As supervisor of reading and language arts K-5, I've stressed the importance of small group instruction during the literacy block as a means to differentiate and to work explicitly with all students. Teachers recognize the importance of flexible grouping but many attempt have divided their class into 5-6 groups and as a result, meet very infrequently with the groups or for only 10-12 minutes at a time. The instructional block for grades 3-5 tends toward whole group instruction with little time for small group. I've suggested that teachers attempt no more than 3 groups so that students receive the appropriate amount of instruction and at the same time, teachers obtain a better understanding of student progress etc... We've also been transitioning away from rigid instructional levels and moving toward scaffolded instructional support using grade level text.
Am I being unreasonable? Some teachers insist that we "show them the research." Could you point me toward specific research on small group instruction as well as time spent 'face to face' with the teacher?