I've been thinking recently about the way I use focus groups in my teaching. I've been thinking about the way I give quality time to each and every child and the way in which I get to know my pupils at the start of the year. I came to the conclusion that it was time for focus groups to take a ride -  I'll explain why.

Until this year I have followed a reasonably standard format. The pupils would engage in their activity, I would take a different group for each day of the week. This would ensure every pupil had time with me (in their group) every week. I would sometimes mark that groups books with them there, giving them feedback and next steps. The remaining 24 pupils would complete their activity and I would look at their books at the end of the day. The remaining 24 pupils would be relatively unsupervised in their learning. I might perhaps leave my focus group to circulate a few times, but other than that, they would be left to independent learning.

I didn't feel happy with focus groups. Sometimes the focus group I had was just there so I could say I'd seen all the pupils that week. Often they just wanted to get on with the activity. I most definitely felt my time was better spent using a different strategy. I wanted a strategy that allowed me to have the freedom and flexibility to target my time where it was needed and for as little or long as it was needed. Focus groups were too rigid, inflexible and often pandering to box ticking. I decided it was time to scrap them.

The way my lessons normally go is I let them start the learning or activity straight away with little or no input from me. I then let the lesson take its natural course, adapting it to the needs of my class. I prefer to target children on an individual basis and give them 1 or 2 minutes individual time with me. Often, this is all they need and they can carry on and complete the rest independently. If they get stuck again, another piece of concentrated time from me is given, and so on. Different children will find parts challenging at different times, they will require different inputs and for different lengths of time. By fluidly cruising around the classroom, this gives me the freedom and flexibility I desire. Once I recognise similar difficulties occurring, I have the flexibility to stop the class, give input or get pupils to share skills and strategies. The class will then resume. This is the intervention marking strategy.

It worked very well for me. However, the school still wanted focus groups. I had to think how I could merge focus groups and intervention marking. The planning required a focus group to be written down for each lesson. I looked at the strategy of fluid focus groups where you select 3/4 pupil struggling on the same area of learning, bring them together on a table and give them focused time, sending them back afterwards to carry on. This makes a lot of sense. However, my goal of giving time to every child individually was lost. I would still have to show I got around every child each week. I would end up pulling pupils to my focus table when they really didn't need, nor wanted to. It was rigid focus groups in all but name.

As a result, I am still on the hunt. I am sure successful ideas are out there, I just haven't looked hard enough so if you do know of any, please leave a comment and let me know. Until that day, I'll be trying different strategies in the coming weeks, trying to achieve the goal that:  

In every lesson, the whole class will be my focus group.

 


Comments

10/06/2015 09:15

Just a suggestion that you may want to consider: Maybe what you can do is allocate time for focused groups and open time per class/session. This way, you get to have the benefits of both. You can allocate using a 70/30 ratio, allowing focused groups to take a longer time.

I admire you for embracing your role as a teacher and for being very dedicated to your students' learning. I really hope you will find what works best for your students.

Reply
06/01/2017 01:13

Sometimes it's impossible to spend more time with individual students for some reasons that are not within our control. What is a sure thing is there will be slow learners and students who will learn faster if you spend more time with them, while there are some who are better left alone. Each student is different. The trick is knowing what might work best for each.

Reply
27/10/2015 03:42

thanks for share and fighting

Reply

thanks for share

Reply
17/12/2015 18:19

We are focusing on the best quality for our customers!

Reply

Bring a family member or friend to practice on.

Reply
02/04/2016 11:06

I would like to read more posts on this blog as well as share it. to my friends.

Reply

In a way, O Brother is that the ur-Coen Brothers show. If they’ve continually investigated varied manifestations of Americana – a rustic inhabited by gangsters, rednecks, slackers and screenwriters – this is often the primary likelihood they’ve had to bring all those totally different archetypes along. The ensuing show is as breezy and confident as Everett himself. It ambles simply from a lakeshore sacrament procession to a fiery Klan rally, a
« Back

Reply
29/05/2016 12:34

If you aren't happy - change the format. It's so simple.

Reply
10/06/2016 08:07

I didn't feel happy with focus groups too!

Reply
15/07/2016 08:02

I didn't feel happy with focus groups. Sometimes the focus group I had was just there so I could say I'd seen all the pupils that week. Often they just wanted to get on with the activity.

Reply
10/12/2016 18:02

Focusing on arts is good thing and being an artist is one of the most difficult thing according to me.

Reply
08/02/2017 11:10

Your article perceftly shows what I needed to know, thanks!

Reply

Botox is an injection used to remove the wrinkles on the face by controlling the facial muscles. It is available in various cities of California like botox cosmetic thousand oaks.

Reply

Thanks for share this blog with us.Really we appreciate after reading this post.

Reply

Excellent blog here! Also your site loads up fast.Always a good job right here

Reply

This is really an informative and awesome blog to see, thanks for sharing such a terrific blog..

Reply
13/02/2017 07:20

I like this site – its so usefull and helpfull.Pretty! This was an extremely wonderful article.

Reply
17/02/2017 12:26

Great post !! I found your site via Google while looking for a related topic, your web site came up, and it looks good.

Reply
17/02/2017 13:40

I appreciate all the work you put into this site, helping out others with your fun and creative works.

Reply

I like this site – its so usefull and helpfull.Pretty! This was an extremely wonderful article.

Reply
25/02/2017 12:00

Woodworking requires the right devices to create great products. A woodworking router is an important device for this craft. Check out this article to know more about this tool.

Reply

Nice Web site, Continue the beneficial work. With thanks!. Super inarfmotive writing; keep it up.

Reply
04/03/2017 18:14

TheAcura NSX Find prices, buying advice, pictures, expert ratings, safety features, specs and price quotes.

Reply

This is really an informative blog to see, thanks for sharing such a terrific blog..

Reply
15/04/2017 13:02

I'm always happy to follow this blog post. cool various posts here on friends in social media, various comments always fulfill my social media posts. many benefits, thanks writer, keeps the spirit.

Reply

I have visited your website.It is very interesting and impressive.Thanks for sharing with us such a brilliant article.I want to come again.Keep updated.

Reply

wonderful post.

Reply
24/04/2017 11:56

Hi, Guys! Am glad to share such a big news with you all it is viral

Reply
06/05/2017 09:00

Wow what a Great Information about World Day its exceptionally pleasant educational post. a debt of gratitude is in order for the post.

Reply
08/05/2017 14:19

Your writings, articles, blogs I mean over all contents is must read matter.

Reply
21/05/2017 13:21

Excellent article share with us as well as this blog site is thrills even more people to reading that blog.

Reply
21/05/2017 23:58

I can't get the main idea, but it's really helpful for additional information.

Reply
27/05/2017 08:08

Get the latest reviews Audi's RS5 two-door coupe is completely redesigned engine specs and performance

Reply
28/05/2017 07:41

Passion the site-- extremely individual friendly and whole lots to see!

Reply
30/05/2017 07:09

Kendriya Vidyalayas Challan are a prestigious and reputed chain of schools in India that are directly under the central government

Reply
13/06/2017 12:49

Modro apk is the latest live streaming application that lets you watch all TV shows, Sports, documentaries on you Android Device. Modro apk will be quite different when compared to other applications.

Reply
21/06/2017 01:39

When I saw this web, it's really different than the other. Great Job!

Reply
04/07/2017 16:27

nice post

Reply
05/07/2017 09:23

Amazing insight you have on this, it’s nice to find a website that details so much information.

Reply
06/07/2017 07:22

nice post

Reply
06/07/2017 07:24

This is really an informative and awesome blog to see, thanks for sharing such a terrific blog.

Reply
06/07/2017 07:26

Nice blog and absolutely outstanding. This Post is very useful.

Reply
06/07/2017 07:28

I was reading the provided article with a great interest! This post is useful and informative.

Reply
06/07/2017 07:31

It is truly a great and helpful piece of info,Excellent blog,Thanks for sharing.

Reply
06/07/2017 07:33

I’m impressed with the special and informative contents, Thanks for sharing.

Reply

Very nice, thanks for sharing to us Enjoyed every bit of your blog.Really looking forward to read more

Reply
06/07/2017 07:38

Nice post! Thanks a lot for the kind of perfect topic.I like your post. Thanks for sharing

Reply

NICE POST THANKS FOR SHARING

Reply
07/08/2017 14:45

Thanks for sharing this article.

Reply

Nice article and such a good information. Thanks for your excellent posting. I really enjoyed reading this blog.

Reply
11/08/2017 18:44

Very interesting blog. Alot of blogs I see these days don’t really provide anything that I’m interested in, but I’m most definately interested in this one.

Reply

Thanks for such a great post and the review....

Reply
17/08/2017 17:28

Thank you for the great article I did enjoyed reading it, I will be sure to bookmark your blog and definitely will come back from again.

Reply
19/08/2017 08:20

Thanks for share this blog with us.Really we appreciate after reading this post.

Reply


Thank you very much has been sharing this information,

Reply

Thanks for sharing your article. I really enjoyed it!

Reply
30/08/2017 12:07

just in a roundabout way relate themselves to God through groupings of individuals like holy places and through composed conviction frameworks, which are unimportant intellectualizations of the individual experience of knowing God.

Reply
04/09/2017 20:23

There was a lot of good news that I got. say hello and request for your website. This is smart information for me.

Reply
08/09/2017 01:45

This place has an unspoiled natural condition, fresh air, shady green trees and a crystal clear beach.

Reply
13/09/2017 05:38

Here, You will get our profesional hosting and SEO in a good quality.

Reply
15/09/2017 14:01

We learn a lot from you. This is great to learn for me.

Reply



Leave a Reply