Classroom Organization For Small Groups

This post is to show classroom organization for small groups and explain why we set them up the way we do and how they work. We get lots of questions about our classroom design specifically the how and why of each area of the classroom.

Our small group area is where we do small group reading, small group phonics, and small group math lessons. This is also where we do one-on-one work and one-on-one assessments with ESGI, and it always becomes the hangout spot for my kids as they arrive in the morning.

classroom organization for small groups

Classroom Design For Small Groups

The placement of our small group area is vital because of our classroom design. We want our small group area to be placed so we can see all of the classroom. I also want to keep my footprint in the classroom as small as possible so as much of the classroom as possible is for the kids. We place our small group area in the back corner of our classroom.

classroom organization for small groups
classroom organization ideas for small group instruction

Small-Group Area: How And Why

classroom organization for small groups and materials

Let’s discuss our whole group area specifics!

We use a custom-built table for our small group area. We had this table built because we didn’t like how awkward the kidney table was. This table is perfect because it’s narrow and long, so it’s easy to reach the kids and has plenty of space to work. The table is also in two separate pieces and on wheels, so it’s very versatile.

  • it’s 2 separate pieces so they can be arranged and moved
  • on wheels for easy movement
  • one piece is 2×5
  • one piece is 2×6
  • 31″ high
classroom organization for small groups furniture

Classroom Organization For Small Groups: Organizing Materials

Let’s start with organization. I need to be more organized for small groups because I was spending too much time looking for materials/resources that were taken away from instruction. The rainbow drawers behind the table have helped tremendously. We have 3 drawers: two for small group materials and supplies, and the other for my daily materials. The drawers are labeled Monday-Friday and this is where we keep the stuff we need for each day’s lessons and activities.

classroom organization for small groups lessons

You can see that the drawers are labeled. There are drawers for reading materials (decodable texts, etc), math materials (counters, etc), writing supplies, and dry-erase supplies. Now, when we’re doing small groups, I can just grab the drawer I need and keep going. No more looking all over for stuff.

We also have some smaller rainbow drawers. These are for supplies such as golf pencils, rubber bands, paper clips, etc. (These are from Michaels).

classroom organization for small groups materials and resources

Our small group toolkits are also in this area. These are individual boxes for the kids to use during small groups. Again, this is to keep things moving efficiently. Everything a student might need for a lesson can be found in the box. No more digging or running to get supplies. It’s all right there!

We also keep our planning materials in this area. There is a binder (a REAL LEGIT TRAPPER KEEPER, ya’ll!) that has my whole group lesson plans, small group lesson plans, anecdotal notes, data, and groupings. I keep it all in one place so it’s ready to go for meetings and for my own personal planning. Again, efficiency. Everything I would need to plan groups or make groups is in that binder!

You can get this binder at Berteau And Co.  We have binders, clip folios, notepads, pencil pouches, planners, and more to keep you organized and on track!


Small-Group Area Seating

Let’s talk about our seating at the small group table. We use drafting stools from Amazon.

The stools twist so the kids can even get some wiggles out if needed! (CLICK THE IMAGE TO GET THEM ON AMAZON!)

classroom organization for small groups and classroom seating

Finally, there are two management tools in our small group area: the stoplight and our interruptions poster! The stoplight is a lamp without a shade and a red light bulb. When the red light is on, it means STOP, and you can’t interrupt Mr. Greg. The interruptions poster helps them remember the rules!

classroom organization for small groups small group management

Small-Group Tools

If you need some tools to make your small groups more efficient and effective, grab our small group tools bundle! You’ll get materials for math and reading groups!

For more information on our classroom, check out these posts:

For resources mentioned in this post, check out these creations:

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