How to group students during centers?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by shoreline02, Jan 3, 2016.

  1. shoreline02

    shoreline02 Cohort

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    Jan 3, 2016

    I teach 4th grade science and social studies and am struggling a little with student grouping during centers.

    1. When I group students by ability level: below, on, and above... my below level students seem to need my support throughout all the centers but I can't follow them around the whole time. I also need to meet with other students and monitor all of my groups.

    2. Does anyone mix the ability levels of their groups? My only problem with this is: one of my centers is always a reading center and I try to differentiate the readings and meet with students when they visit this center. How can I support my students when each one of them would be reading something different. Would I split the group up and sit with my lower students and allow the others to work on their own or in partners?

    3. I really feel that my original grouping by ability is just not working. I think my lower kids would benefit from the on/above level students assistance.

    4. What do you think or do for centers?

    Thank you!
     
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  3. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    I do a variety of things, but a center may not be the same for each group. For example, during math on the days I do centers, some groups will do a higher-level thinking logic problem, while some will do a problem of the day reviewing and reinforcing a previously taught concept.
     
  4. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Could you do similar concept texts at multi levels at the reading center?
     
  5. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

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    I've always found the standard mixed ability grouping works best. I also mix the students socially. I mix quieter students with more extroverted students, active with less active students, etc. Their differences tend to balance each other out. I would place lower readers with higher readers. Even in homogenous groups, the lower readers are going to stand out, but if the heterogeneously grouped activity is such that each one has some way of contributing, the lower readers won't stand out as blatantly and research indicates they often will evolve up towards the level of the rest of the group; (the exceptions being more severe brain differences in languaging).
     
    Tyler B. and shoreline02 like this.
  6. shoreline02

    shoreline02 Cohort

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    Yes this is what I am currently doing.
     
  7. shoreline02

    shoreline02 Cohort

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    Thank you, this helps!
     
  8. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Jan 3, 2016

    Daily 5-ish centers will give the vast majority of kids tasks they can independently do.

    The kids I pull back... heck, that can be anything from homogeneous to hetero.

    I did away with the usual rotating groups this year.
     
  9. MissMae

    MissMae Rookie

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    Jan 9, 2016

    Try pairing/triad students and set them up with several stations to visit. That way everyone has someone to work with or support, they can work at their own pace, and you can circulate and assist where needed.

    If that doesn't appeal to you, pair up the middle/upper level kiddos and give them activities that they can complete together while you stay with the low group, just setting those expectations for the other students on behavior & work ethic.
     

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