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Making the Most of Small Groups

  • Title:Making the Most of Small Groups: Differentiation for All
  • Author:Debbie Diller
  • Publication Date:January 2007
  • Grade Level:K-3
  • ISBN:9781571104311
  • Publisher:Stenhouse

In her previous books, Literacy Work Stations and Practice with Purpose, Debbie Diller showed teachers how to productively occupy the “rest of the class” while meeting with small groups. Now Debbie turns her attention to the groups themselves and the teacher's role in small-group instruction. Making the Most of Small Groups grapples with difficult questions regarding small-group instruction in elementary classrooms such as:

  • How do I find the time?
  • How can I be more organized?
  • How do I form groups?
  • How can I differentiate to meet the needs of all of my students?

Structured around the five essential reading elements—comprehension, fluency, phonemic awareness, phonics, and vocabulary—the book provides practical tips, sample lessons, lesson plans and templates, suggestions for related literacy work stations, and connections to whole-group instruction. In addition to ideas to use immediately in the classroom, Debbie provides an overview of relevant research and reflection questions for professional conversations.

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Author Bio

Debbie Diller has been a national consultant since 2000, but she still has "those 'back-to-school' dreams in the fall." She earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in education from Millersville University and Temple University and spent the next thirty years as an educator. Her love of teaching stems from her love of learning. "I have always loved learning. Becoming a teacher was a way I could share that love of learning with children and eventually, adults."

Debbie's ideas for her books also come from her work with teachers. She listens for frequently asked questions, patterns, teachers' needs and keeps a writer's notebook to collect ideas, thoughts, and notes. "Often, the old joke comes to mind: 'how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.' That's how I write: Bit by bit, on planes, in hotel rooms, in my office on a rare day. Teachers' questions and comments spur me on through my daily, ongoing work in classrooms, which sustains my work."

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