Help for Classroom Assistants Leading Small Groups

By | September 22, 2019

Classroom helpers are an amazing resource. The extra hands, eyes and brain power lets students receive help sooner than when its one teacher and thirty students.  Leading a small group to work on a skill, practice using a tool or studying a curriculum component. Here are a few suggestions to help a small group run smoothly:

  1. Arrive on time to organize your materials, find a meeting place and settle in.
  2. Seat your self strategically – along the side of a long table or in a circle so you can see everyone.
  3. Establish yourself as the adult guide for the activity by sharing your expectations of manners, arriving/leaving quietly and actively participating.
  4. Use wait time (pause 10 seconds before accepting any answer) and ask open-ended questions (where multiple correct answers are possible).
  5. Keep students focused during their time with you by engaging them in discussions, etc.
  6. Stop and answer general questions after 5 minutes of work time. Monitor their work time and their progress on their assigned task.
  7. Praise the quality of their work rather than them as students.
  8. Give a 5-minute warning as your time together is ending.
  9. Have the students to the cleanup and gathering of books and supplies you’ll be using for an arriving new group.
  10. Follow the classroom and emergency procedures the teacher has set up.
  11. Leave the teacher a daily evaluation (if asked for) then leave quietly.

Please know that you are deeply appreciated by the teacher. Your presence makes the day progress more smoothly.