In my school the students are grouped by ability for math and can move up or down according to what they need. It seems to work well, but I do have a concern. Some of my students I can tell early on are ready to move up to another class, so I take them for a few minutes in the morning and teach them some concepts so they'll be ready for the next level, but the other students notice and I don't want them to think they are "dumb" because I'm not moving them up. Some will ask why they don't get to learn the same things. I try to tell them they are going to learn the same things, just later. It's just such a tricky thing. It would not be helpful to move them to a higher level when they aren't ready (and I've gotten pretty good at recognizing when they are ready to move on), but I also don't want them to get stuck in the mentality that they just must not be good at math. I remember in elementary school they would split us into ability groups, and everyone knew what the "dumb" and "smart" groups were, though the teachers obviously never told us explicitly. How do I address this? I want to still move the students up, and no matter how discreet I try to be, the other kids know that they are in a lower level. I'm worried that stigma will keep them from reaching their full potential. Because really, I think they are as capable, but it will just take longer to get there. Any ideas? Forgot to mention, these are 1st graders, if that helps. I didn't think they would notice things like this young, but they do.