It might help to see what my small group area looks like, and what I keep near by. I actually pull for reading, math and science small groups, in addition to guided reading groups, intervention and one on one when the situation calls for it. I'll keep it short and sweet.
table top easel: a MUST for showing how to work a problem, etc, I've tried on the table, but for modeling, you've got to have an area to show your kids. It's so much easier than writing on the table. You can save writing on the table for your students work......and even then, I wouldn't recommend it. Why? I'll tell you why in a bit..... =)
Keep it neat. I've seen too many tables where students work piled HIGH with papers. Put it on the floor. Make room for your piles somewhere else. This spot should be clear. You've got to keep it this way to be able to pull out manipulatives, letters, and other objects. This table gets full FAST of kids, markers, etc. You don't need MORE stuff on the table that you aren't using. Also, notice I do have a laptop. I use it to show students videos if needed, or even use a powerpoint. (again, if needed)
Keep supplies YOU use nearby. Don't keep stuff you barely use in the important spaces. In my hobbit cup, I have student pencils and markers.
Keep water nearby. =)
I have found that using separate boards are incredibly easier to use at small group. When a child works out problems, writes, etc, I can ask for it, without trying to read upside down. Also, I can quickly identify where the problem is and hand it back. Also, if I need to move students, the work travels with them. Sometimes, I also want them to continue while I call up another group. They just take their boards and task cards with them. #WIN
Teacher Small Group Binder.
Materials, books, manipulatives for the week are kept in storage under the table.
I write student observations, plan, etc in this binder. Here is a quick view into it.
So there is a quick tour of my small group area. Teaching 5th graders really isn't all that different than second graders. It's the content that I find different. I like to think of my fifth graders as taller second graders. =) Hope this helped you! Share and link if you have a different way of doing things! I would love to see!