Organizing Classrooms for Small-Group Instruction: Learning for Mastery
Here is an antidote to the stifling academic grind brought on by accountability testing. It demonstrates how mastery of skills can be a joy rather than a chore and describes in detail a highly successful program of structured skill-mastery centers that engage students independently while the teacher works closely with a small group. This system of managing the classroom helps the teacher provide materials that match the many achievement levels of children in the classroom. Typically in use for 60-90 minutes in a school day, up to four days a week, the system works well with the whole language or the guided practice approaches to reading. The program, developed by Carolyn Lawrence, is being used successfully throughout 63 elementary schools in one Florida school district. Many of the schools are nationally recognized for their achievement in test scores. The ideas in this book are simple, clear, and ready to use to bring back excitement, freedom, and smiles to children in their classroom life. Students are eager to get to the skill practice work in the mastery centers, largely because they get to use a variety of manipulative materials matched to their levels. These materials are inexpensive, readily available and described in the book. This book will be of interest to professors of education, superintendents, curriculum and instruction educators, principals, teachers, and parents.