Small groups are a crucial element of every teacher's reading program, and their importance only grows as teachers face more diverse learners. Spotlight on Small Groups gives viewers an in-depth look at two reading groups led by master teacher and author Debbie Diller. Debbie leads the groups through a structured routine (introduction, guided practice, conferring, check-in, and more practice), demonstrating how to balance whole-group and differentiated instruction and showing how visual aids such as strategy bookmarks pique student interest. One group in the video focuses on vocabulary development, working with a nonfiction title; the other shows how to teach the strategy of inferring in fiction. The third-graders in the groups are English language learners, with their regular teacher, Lisa Gregory, observing and debriefing with Debbie after each lesson.
Spotlight on Small Groups, particularly when used in conjunction with Debbie's book Making the Most of Small Groups, is ideal for professional study groups or staff development programs designed to help teachers deliver more targeted instruction. The after-group discussion and reflection between Debbie and Lisa are also appropriate for analyzing literacy coaching techniques. The program includes an extensive viewing guide, with questions, work samples, and reproducibles for groups.