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Making the Most of Small Groups: Differentiation for All [Kindle Edition]

Debbie Diller
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)

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Book Description

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.



Editorial Reviews

Review

"This book is a must-have for the vast majority of teachers interested in developing and honing their skills at delivering differentiated instruction." - Education Review


"An in-depth resource packed with tips, tricks and techniques." - Midwest Book Review

Product Details


Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
(39)
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
Educator Debbie Diller reveals her thirty years of experience as an educator, including classroom teaching of children in grades PreK-10 as well as teaching in small groups and independent work, in Making the Most of Small Groups: Differentiation for All, a practical guide to the teacher's role in small-group instruction. An in-depth resource packed with tips, tricks, and techniques, Making the Most of Small Groups particularly focuses upon instructing small groups in the five essential reading elements: comprehension, fluency, phonemic awareness, phonics, and vocabulary. Packed with tips, tricks, and techniques for organizing one's time and space as well as the nuts and bolts of teaching, and rounded out with black-and-white photographs, sample lesson plans, reflection questions for professional conversations, references, and much more, Making the Most of Small Groups is an invaluable guide for reading teachers of young students everywhere.
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38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must have book July 17, 2007
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book will definitely be a productive resource used over and over again to help me decide what each of my reading groups will be doing each week. The book gives charts for the different areas of teaching reading and what type of activities to do to strengthen these areas. This will be a huge organizational help to me and time saver on a weekly basis, k teacher
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a relief! July 12, 2007
Format:Paperback
At last a book that shows you exactly how small groups should work! I love the section on using a small group planning notebook. I will definately use this book in my classroom in the fall.
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book July 3, 2007
Format:Paperback
Diller is terrific. This book is an easy read with great ideas for small groups and organization. Diller writes specific lesson plans for each area, with details so you can visualize using it in your own classroom. Best for grades 1-3
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, Helpful, Well-written! January 18, 2011
By Teri-K
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is the first book I read on the modern concept of Reading Workshop though I'd read about it on line and seen some teacher made videos. I spent quite a bit of time deciding which books to order. I wanted them to be practical, yet also give me enough theory and overview for me to make intelligent decisions about Reading Workshop myself. Looking back, I can say that this book was a great choice, and I'm very happy to have it in my collection.

The eight chapters are Time, Organizing, Grouping, Comprehension, Fluency, Phonemic Awareness, Phonics and Vocabulary. Diller also has an Appendix for each of these with many reproducible pages that will be wonderful for getting started, and references at the end of each chapter. I didn't read the chapters in order, however. I really wasn't as interested in the time aspects as organizing and actually teaching skills, so I skipped around as I read. This worked fine.

One of the frustrating things about education is that most of our terminology is fluid, so I appreciated Diller's clearly stating that she does not consider her small group instruction to be Guided Reading, as she defines GR as being done with leveled readers. In her own words, "I've created small-group lesson ideas that you can use with leveled books, or texts from a basal reading series, or whatever you've got." (p10) Her small groups are structured exactly like many GR examples: Familiar Re-reading/Book Intro/During Reading (she listens to individual students here)/After Reading. She also discusses the importance of linking small group work with the rest of the day, and having a balance between whole group, small group, one-on-one instruction and individual work. And she discussed how to schedule and fit all of this into your busy day -- all by page 11!
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Small Groups August 9, 2007
Format:Paperback
In this book Debbie Diller does a wonderful job simplifying small groups for reading. Her ideas are practical and easy to apply. It is an easy read! I read it over and over!! Use this with her other book, Literacy Work Stations and you're set.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally, step by step directions! July 26, 2008
By J. Ward
Format:Paperback
Debbie Diller shares lots of tips to help you get organized for small group instruction. Also, there are lots of lesson plans and examples of how to teach various skills in small groups. I am an experienced teacher, but still got a lot of very useful information from this book. It is a book that I am sure I will use often.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Resource for K-2 Reading Teachers June 18, 2008
Format:Paperback
Debbie Diller has written another fantastic resource for reading teachers. This book is full of helpful ideas for teaching each of the five areas of reading and give tips on organizing. Well worth the money--one of the best resources I have seen in 27 years of teaching.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great
Published 3 months ago by Linda Gentile
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Love the ideas! The ones that I have tried are working out great!!
Published 4 months ago by Elsa Newland
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Great ideas!
Published 4 months ago by Wendy
2.0 out of 5 stars Do NOT buy the kindle version of this book.
I just purchased kindle version of this book. Although the content is great, the pictures and text features are all in black and white. Read more
Published 4 months ago by aralove
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Book is great for k-2 teachers
Published 5 months ago by Amanda Davis
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book for K-3 Small Groups
This book gave me so many wonderful ideas on how to build groups, plan lessons, and teach small groups and whole groups. It's a must have resource!
Published 5 months ago by Kimberly R. Cochrane
5.0 out of 5 stars What they never taught you in College, but you wish they had!
This book is great! I have always had the feeling that my small groups were not as effective as they could be. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Joelle Dodge
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Debbie Diller is a genius. I have a new small group bible. Thank you.
Published 5 months ago by Tiffanie Bell
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
I love that this book goes into all the aspects of small groups: how to divide kids into groups, how often to meet with groups, what to teach in small groups, etc. Read more
Published 17 months ago by MissKriss
5.0 out of 5 stars Differentiating
This is a great book for teachers. I am able to apply the information regularly in my reading groups. Great professional book.
Published 17 months ago by KAC
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More About the Author

Debbie Diller is an author, educator, and national educational consultant who lives in Houston, Texas. She uses her experience of over 30 years as a classroom teacher, Title I reading specialist, and literacy coach to teach others about sensible, realistic ways to meet the literacy needs of all students in the classroom.

Debbie's work (through books and videos)focuses on showing teachers how to provide meaningful independent practice for children and how to teach effectively in small groups for reading. Most recently, she has been helping teachers get organized in their classrooms and does "classroom makeovers" on campuses to improve instruction.

When Debbie isn't on the road working with teachers and their students, she enjoys being at home with her family and friends. She grows perennials, rides her bike, concocts homemade soups, and lifts weights.

To learn more about Debbie, visit her website at www.debbiediller.com.

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