My study skills groups for grades 3 and 4 meet during lunch so I have to maximize our time. We
have met once a week for the entire second quarter and will continue through the end of the third quarter. Many of the students in these groups are in our gap group. To engage them immediately I frequently do an opening activity where they each get one or two items that serve as a prompt. Sometimes we sort them (helpful not helpful) and sometimes they read it aloud to the group and explain. This past week I gave them each 2 foam flowers with strategies or concepts we have already discussed for a review. They like getting something tangible to hold (not just a piece of paper) and I am always looking for them to say how they can apply what we learned. They had to say why the one they had was important for school success. I then have the entire list with explanation typed out and copied in advance for them to add to their folders that go home at the end of each quarter to let parents/guardians know what we covered. The foam works well because you can wipe it off if they get food on one.