Setting Up…. Small Group in the Classroom

Setting Up Small Groups

Last week, I blogged about setting up your classroom library. This was so much fun for me because that’s my favorite area in a classroom. This is the 2nd edition of the Setting Up series. This week’s post focuses on nooks for small group in the classroom! Small group is a staple in most classrooms, but sometimes, they can be tough to keep up with or keep organized. I hope to bring you some ideas and inspiration for your small group nook!

When setting up and teaching small group, there are three key points.


1. Focus on Organization when Setting Up Small Group in the Classroom

There’s paperwork, books, pencils, pens, highlighters, witch fingers, whiteboards, expo markers, sentence strips, and more! Small group area has a LOT that goes with it. And organizing it isn’t always easy. Here are a few ideas that I found that may help you out!

Teaching in High Heels

Teaching in High Heels
The guided reading bucket is a huge lifesaver because you can carry it with you wherever you go. I love this idea from Teaching in High Heels where she keeps them all in one place.

Miss DeCarbo

Miss DeCarbo
Color coordinate your baskets to help keep your groups together.

Color coordination organizational idea.

Elementary Nest
Back to color-coding. This is from my blog post, where I talk about each of my groups being a different color and how I kept their folders and paperwork in color-coordinated drawers.

Ms. Jump's Class

Ms. Jump’s Class
Love the idea of velcro so that you can move kiddos around if needed.

Fabulous in First

Fabulous in First
This set up is so fun and leaves minimal distractions for small group in the classroom.

Books, Bunting, and Bainbridge

Books, Bunting, and Bainbridge

2. Focusing on Student Environment

The student environment is what I consider to be what the kiddos see when they sit at the table with you. It’s the colors, the chairs, the bulletin boards, even the placemats in front of them. Basically, this key point of small group is another way of saying “pretty spaces.” Here are a few pretty pics that I found from other bloggers and myself that may inspire some fun decorating of your small group in the classroom!

Miss DeCarbo

Miss DeCarbo

Mrs. Wills Kindergarten

Mrs. Wills Kindergarten
This is just perfect. Tranquil and soothing environments will help keep kiddos calm!

First grade fingerprints

 First Grade Fingerprints
These are dry erase circles! They stick to the table. You need these for small group in the classroom.


I love this idea to have each kiddo have their own work areas.

3. Focusing on Teacher Data Tracking

Data, data, data! Keeping up with all the paperwork is a vital part of small group. I found a few pins and blogs that talked about wonderful ways to track your data and keep you ahead!

Planning small groups

Grab my FREEBIE here!

Small group organization graphic

The Thinker Builder

Holy Data, Batman! This blog post is amazing at looking at student data and placing it in the perfect group!

First Grade Garden

All of these ideas and MORE are found on this SMALL GROUP PINTEREST BOARD. Come on over to find even more ideas.

Setting up Small Group Areas


Track what activity, skill, book, standard, or passage each of your groups is using each week! These are sticky note templates to make them reusable!


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