Reading Groupings

Discussion in 'Elementary Education Archives' started by NCP, Apr 28, 2006.

  1. NCP

    NCP Comrade

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    Apr 28, 2006

    In our school this past year our first grade team has ability grouped all of the first graders for literacy time. They have their homeroom students, but then switch some students for literacy. We have six rounds of first grade. So now we, the second grade team, are looking into doing something similar. I want to try this because I usually get most of the low (below grade level) students each year, but then I will have a fair share of students that are on or way above grade level. This causes complications because I am feeling my centers/literacy activities are not as enriched as they could be. I also feel my higher groups get short changed when it comes to small group time with me because I need to give my low guys so much time. So as a team of five, four of us want to do this next year, and one doesn't. We are putting together our proposal b/c this will require some minor schedule changes to give us a common lit time. I am thinking we could do it without her, but am not sure how our principal will react. Throw into the mix we are hiring a new person for our team for next year also.
    So..............any thoughts? Has anyone done this kind of grouping with their students? Could it be done w/o the one person? Thanks!
     
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  3. janlee

    janlee Devotee

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    Apr 28, 2006

    NCP: About 25 years ago I did grouping according to ability for reading (spelling, language arts, and writing were all separate back then) in a 3-5 school. There were 8 third grade classes. We had two teams of 4 teachers. It was one of the best things I ever did in teaching. Each team had one high achieving group that moved at a fast pace, two on-level groups, and one group that required more review and lessons taught a a slower pace. All groups learned the same material but at a pace that would assure successful learning. If I could do it today I would in a minute! I truly saw success with so many students. We were also able to keep the lower level group so much smaller so they would get more attention. I taught the high achieving students in math. I was able to skip the first 3 chapters because they aced the chapter tests in Sept. (why waste time on material that they already knew) So we began at chapter 4. Would my current school allow such a thing? I doubt it very much. Is this possible with one teacher not wanting to do it? It might work but I think she and her students might not fit into the scheme of things. I know this works. I did it for 5 years.
     
  4. Beezus

    Beezus Cohort

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    Apr 29, 2006

    I also teach 2nd grade. This year, we went to ability grouping exactly as you are describing. Just as you are describing, the ability grouping had been done for a few years in first grade, and we decided to try it this year. As a matter of fact, we have 4 2nd grade classrooms, and one teacher decided she did not want to do this with the rest of us.
    We've not had, nor has she, any negative consequences. Our main focus in implementing this plan was getting our low,low students closer to grade level (but hoopefully on grade level!). It's been wonderful for this group of students. The plan allowed us to create a smaller class size for these little guys, and we placed all available adult help in there for that time period. We actually were able to schedule our reading block so that our special ed teacher and 2 aides were in the room!
    This group of students just made SO much progress this year! We are extremely pleased with how it has worked out. I probably should also mention that we chose to have the other 2 classrooms be a mix of mid-level and high-achieving little guys. We then differentiated within the class for those groups. ALSO- we did move kids out of the low, low class and into one of the other classrooms as they seemed to progress.
    We have been so pleased with the results this year, that we are planning to do something similar with Math next year! Hope this helps you as you are making planning decisions and writing the plan for your principal/
     

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