How Flexible Are You . . .
Flexible groupings are probably one of the easiest ways to begin intiating differentiated instructional strategies in a classroom. The question is, what does it look like, how do you organize it and how does it work. I don’t think it looks the same in any two classrooms. As with anything, it has to work for you.
In my class, there are pocket charts (I love, love, love those little $1.00 Target pocket charts), laminated magnetic cards and even MORE pocket charts to indicate different cooperative groupings.
|Literacy Groups Based on Readiness, Learning Profiles and Cooperation|
I divide my literacy groups by learning profiles and readiness by using animal groups. Because they are on magnets, I can move students around from group to group as often as I want depending the skills we will be addressing or as a result of ongoing assessing. My students are very good about looking up at the board to see what animal they are on any given day because it changes quite often.
|Math Stations Grouped by Readiness and Learning Profiles|
Math Stations are separated by color and groups of four. Within those groups they work as pairs. I have the WORLDS SMALLEST kindergarten classroom. It was clear 12 math stations for 24 students just wasn’t going to happen for me, so this system works out well. These groups change about every three weeks and they are based on readiness and learning profiles as well. The cards are coded by color to indicate different activities that students utlize from their station based on their readiness. So orange students may have different activites than a green student and so on. These cards are laminated to that I can move students around and change their color based on pre and on-going assessment of skills.
|Calendar Partners Grouped By Interest and Cooperative Learning Profiles|
Calendar partners are changed every month. We utlize calendar books and I found that by having students work in partners, they are able to help eachother out rather than walking around myself and checking every child for understanding. Partners are determined based on interest and cooperative learning profiles.
|Learning Center Groups Based on Multiple Intelligences and Learning Profiles|
Learning Centers have students in groups of three. These groups change about every two weeks and are based on learning profiles, interests and multiple intelligences. Although about half of these stations are tiered, the groupings for these stations are NOT based on readiness.
The goal of flexible grouping is to provide lots of different kinds of opportunites for students to work in meaningful ways with other students who are not necessarily like themselves. I, myself, can’t imagine my groupings working any other way, but I would love to hear what other teachers do. I’m always looking for new ways to organize and streamline my groups. Drop me a comment to let me know if you’re ‘flexible.’
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Great post! Love pocket charts- so helpful.
Conversations in Literacy
Busy Bees says
Awesome post. I am organizing some things right now for the next couple of weeks and you gave me some great ideas!!
Thank you so much. Your kind words mean so much to this newbie!
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Marsha M. Moffit McGuire says
Thanks Kalaigh. I’ll be right over.