1 Easy Teacher Hack for Small Group Instruction: Menu Covers!

Ah…Small Group Instruction. It seems so easy, doesn’t it? But, we know better! Here is a fun little hack that will make small-group instruction just a little easier. Menu Covers (yes, the plastic covers that you find in a restaurant with the menu inside) will become your new favorite teaching tool! This post does contain Amazon Affiliate links. If you purchase anything through these links I will receive a small commission at no cost to you. Thanks so much!

Small Group Instruction hack with Menu Covers! Image of menu cover with a phonics comic, read the punctuation, and word mapping mat.

The Power of Small Group Instruction

Small group instruction is essential for personalized learning. It allows for targeted instruction, individualized support, and student engagement. However, getting organized and planning for small-group instruction can be a challenge.

Menu covers are a great way to keep your reusable small group materials together, ready, and convenient to use.

Menu Covers for Small Group Instruction

Menu covers are like a custom book that the students can write on (using dry-erase markers) and reuse! You can create them with whatever materials you like, then reuse them! Win-Win!

Small Group Instruction Hack: Menu Covers. Image of menu cover with a phonics comic, read the punctuation, and word mapping mat.
  1. Choose which menu covers you would like to use. There are a TON of different menu holders to choose from. They come in different sizes, different numbers of pages, and different colors! You can see a selection here (Amazon Affiliate Link). The pages are clear on both sides so you can put in a double-sided piece of paper, or 2 single-sided pages.
  2. Choose what you want to put into the menu holders. Think of things that you use again and again in your small groups such as handwriting pages, alphabet or sound charts, gameboards, 100’s charts, ect. I suggest copying the material onto colored paper to make it easier for your students to find. Open your menu to the green page…
  3. Add them to your small group instruction area. You could have different types for your different groups. (reading group set, writing group set, math group set). If you are going to have your students use them with dry-erase markers, have the markers and erasers handy too!
  4. Show your students how to use them!
  5. Reuse! Swap materials out when you need to. You can use them over and over because they are protected inside the menu holder.

Menu Covers for Other Things…

These are great for so many things in your classroom!

Use them for independent reading or math time (add what you want students to work on, then you can rotate them, or change out what is inside. Examples:

Jimmy needs to practice reading and writing short a cvc words. In his menu are several passages that have short a cvc words. Have a few practice sheets with short A cvc words. You could also include handwriting/writing pages where Jimmy could practice writing his short A cvc words. During a small group instruction lesson, show Jimmy all of the items in his menu holder. Give him a dry-erase marker and eraser to keep with his menu holder in his book box. Then, during independent reading time, he has what he needs to practice right in his book box! Then, when Jimmy is done you can give his menu to Charlie who needs to practice those things as well!

Small Group Instruction Hack: Menu Covers.

Tammi needs practice with basic math facts. Put a 100 chart and a few practice basic math facts sheets in her menu.

These also make great centers! Put what the kiddos need in the menu cover pockets, then they grab the one they want to work on and go! They can hold papers and small pieces (if students are careful). If you color code the items the kiddos can quickly find where pieces go if they find one on the floor.

Check out this post for some fun other ways to use Menu Covers!

I have made an Amazon list if you are interested in checking out any of the things that I have talked about in this post. If you purchase anything through this link, I will receive a small commission at no cost to you.

Save this fun Small Group Instruction Hack! Pin the image below.

Small Group Instruction hack with Menu Covers! Image of menu cover with a phonics comic, read the punctuation, and word mapping mat.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Happy Teaching,

hilary

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