I have recently started tutoring for Rocket Learning and I accomplished more in 1 hour with those students than I have all week in my regular class.

Why?

Well, my guess would be that it is a lot easier to have productive lessons and meaningful conversations with 5 students than it is with 34 students.  Hmm, anyone else agree?This is really not an earth shattering notion but I have been thinking about it since yesterday.  We read and discussed a nonfiction article and we were able to identify story elements, main idea, make inferences and compare the main character’s life to each of our own.

Rocket Leaning uses a similar lesson plan layout to the one I use in class (although I don’t use these cool rocket related terms):

  • Ignite: Anticipatory Set (Music, Poems)
  • In-Flight Writing (Pre/Draft/Edit/Publish) or Prepare for Liftoff (Phonemic awareness/ Phonics/Vocabulary/Fluency)
  • Refueling – Test Prep/Practice
I know more about these kids than some of the ones who have been in my class for 16 weeks. I learned who the shy one is, who the jokester is and who the ringer is (I call bright kids who make sure that they correct your mistakes, answer all questions with depth and share often with the class, ringers.)
Size does make a difference and whoever said that it didn;t wasn’t being honest.  … With a smaller group, we have the opportunity to make connections that aren’t possible in larger classes.  Who said that bigger is better?  No one in a classroom of 35, that is for sure.
 Smaller is better and leads to conversations while bigger is … just plain harder.