How I Schedule My Small Groups

As a solo K-6 school counselor, I 100% understand the struggle of trying to create a small group counseling schedule! We don’t want kids to miss academic time, recess, or specials time… so what’s left?! When can we pull them for groups? Below I have a few tips for how I’ve found success in planning times for small groups – hopefully it’s helpful for you too!

Trying to figure out how to create a Small Group Counseling Schedule? Here are a few tips to get you started.

Small Group Counseling Schedule

Intervention Time

If your school has a built-in daily intervention time, yay! This is the perfect time for groups. At my school, we have TEAM (together everyone achieves more) Time, which is a designated daily time for RTI or intervention. During this past school year, the built-in intervention time was the perfect spot for scheduling groups with my students. And because upper grades and lower grades had different intervention times, I had a larger block for scheduling groups.

Daily Consistency

If your school doesn’t have a designated time for intervention, daily, consistent pockets of time are key. Maybe your classrooms have a soft start period in the morning while students arrive that you could utilize. Or, perhaps your classrooms do a read-aloud time after lunch that could be a consistent group time.

In-Class Groups

At times, I’ve had to be creative with group planning. Many of my teacher coworkers utilize centers or small group rotations during academic blocks. I have made myself a “center” during this block in order to see small groups. When this is the case, I try to be present daily during the rotations for about 2 weeks in order to have consistency and to offer progress monitoring. This isn’t my favorite way to do small groups, but it is a viable option when there is no designated intervention block or consistent time pockets that can be used elsewhere in the schedule.

Times I Avoid

If at all possible, I avoid doing groups during lunch and recess. They just aren’t effective, plain and simple. Teachers wouldn’t do academic interventions during these times, and counselors shouldn’t be expected to either. I, of course, offer support or coaching during these times to reinforce skills I’ve taught in class, in group, or individually, but doing instruction during these times is just a no for me.

Looking Ahead

If small group counseling planning is a pain point for you, I’m here to help! I compiled by step-by-step planning process to take you from chaos to confidence when planning for groups! You can get the guide here.

Small Group Counseling Schedule: Get the step by step planning guide for group counseling success!
Trying to figure out how to create a Small Group Counseling Schedule? Here are a few tips to get you started. How to plan group counseling in elementary school, how to plan group counseling in middle school, when to do group counseling sessions, and more.

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