The Importance of Managing Small Groups in Preschool Education
When looking for good preschool education for your child, whether it’s in-person at a Tribeca Montessori preschool, or part of a virtual online homeschool, it’s important to look deeply into how the best preschool curricula function. A preschool is more than a name, or prestige value. The best preschool curriculum needs to genuinely educate and uplift your child, so they’ll be ready to succeed throughout their K-12 educational career.
“Small group” work is a cornerstone of any best preschool curriculum practice. Young children shouldn’t be lectured to all day. Work in small groups allows them to experience many different activities, significantly expanding the educational experiences they’re exposed to.
Here are our thoughts on how small groups should be run and managed:
How Small Group Work Contributes to A Quality Preschool Education
The first and most important aspect of a small group is that it must be small. In general, each group shouldn’t contain more than around 5-6 kids. A good preschool educator will set up multiple stations around their classroom, based on the overall class size, so that there’s room for everyone to be in a small group.
These groups should have varied goals and activities, to stimulate children’s minds and bodies. A good Montessori preschool knows that children should be encouraged to follow their own interests and given a level of freedom to choose enrichment activities for themselves.
Typical activities for small group work could include:
- Basic life skill activities such as sorting or matching
- Basic cooking or kitchen awareness
While many of these groups will be overseen by the instructor or a teaching assistant, it’s not necessary that every group be directly supervised. Even at a young age, children can still develop a sense of trust and independence, by being allowed to engage in their chosen activities with a minimum of oversight. This helps them learn the self-awareness and self-control necessary to behave well once they move into a traditional elementary school setting!
In addition, group time is a great opportunity for teachers and their assistants to make informal evaluations of students and their progress, without stressful tests or worksheets. Proper play, proper language use, sharing, and collaborating with others — these are all things a teacher can discretely witness and take notes on, without interrupting the student.
At Playgarden Prep, we believe in preparing your child for academic greatness! As a leading Montessori preschool in Tribeca and the Upper East Side, we’ve had numerous success stories with our Playgarden Prep families! Look into Tribeca Montessori preschool, UES Montessori preschool, or online Montessori preschool for your little one today, and benefit in the best preschool curriculum in NYC!