Ability Grouping - ProTeacher Community


Home Join Now Search My Favorites
Help


      BusyBoard

Ability Grouping

>

Reply
 
Thread Tools
countrysue countrysue is offline
 
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 39
Junior Member

countrysue
 
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 39
Junior Member
Ability Grouping
Old 03-28-2012, 03:10 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #1

Do any of you ability group in reading? For example, do you have one teacher with the low students, another with the average, and the third with the high? This is something that is being discussed and I would like to know if others do this and what the pros and cons are. The idea too is that the students would have the chance to move into a different group if quarterly assessments indicate such.


countrysue is offline   Reply With Quote

roo's Avatar
roo roo is offline
 
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 6,108
Senior Member

roo
 
roo's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 6,108
Senior Member

Old 03-28-2012, 03:32 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #2

We did 1x/week like that last year, but this year, we have the luxury of having an intervention teacher working solely with our grade level and we can all teach reading at the same time. We have divided up into 4 groups (very low, low, average, high) with the first 2 groups being smaller-sized. We use several pieces of data to make determinations about who belongs in each group and move kids around as necessary. We have really found this to be helpful for the kids, because their group moves at their pace and provides them with an appropriate amount of support and challenge, which is much more difficult when working with heterogeneous groups. At first it was weird not working with our homerooms for reading since we had done it that way for so long, but we adjusted.
Pros: appropriate support & pacing, ability to work with a narrower ability range leads to more flexible grouping within each leveled group
Cons: lack of continuity with own homeroom (I often tie in what we're reading to other subjects and class discussions. This is harder to do when you're not all reading the same thing. I still do a read aloud with my homeroom, which is important.)
roo is offline   Reply With Quote
beachygrl beachygrl is offline
 
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 2,977
Senior Member

beachygrl
 
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 2,977
Senior Member

Old 03-28-2012, 03:37 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #3

It isn't called ability grouping on my 5th/6th grade campus. Students are placed in reading classes based on several assessments. I teach the students with the lowest scores in a specialized intensive program, another teacher teaches those whose scores are slightly higher than my students', and the rest of the students are in "regular" reading classes. One of those sections includes our gifted/talented class. The benefit of this plan is that instruction can be targeted to the skill level of the students in your room. The problem is that those with lower skills don't progress to the same level as those with stronger skills in the same amount of time (big surprise, right?) Some people think there's a benefit to mixed ability grouping, as the students with weaker skills gain from interaction with peers who have higher skills. This is probably true up to a point, although I've never seen any evidence that bears that out in classes with huge disparities in skills.
beachygrl is offline   Reply With Quote
Overlightnes's Avatar
Overlightnes Overlightnes is offline
 
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 760
Senior Member

Overlightnes
 
Overlightnes's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 760
Senior Member

Old 03-28-2012, 03:37 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #4

I'd kill for ability grouping. Our administration is against it because they say research doesn't support it. However, all the research I find supports ability grouping. Ability grouping is recommended for high achieving students and gifted students. If you do ability grouping the most important part is that groups are flexible. A student should be able to move into a group depending on assessment. It is also very important to have more than one factor to determine groups. I would suggest factors such as: assessment, pre-tests, and teacher notes. Never ability group based on one factor.

I have lots of research that supports ability grouping. This article is probably what you'll need to defend your actions. It shows that high ability student performance actually decreases when they aren't provided with difficult work. The study shows how high ability readers do not improve their reading when mixed in with low-average readers.

http://www.edexcellence.net/publicat...gh-flyers.html
Overlightnes is offline   Reply With Quote
lurner4 lurner4 is offline
 
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 118
Full Member

lurner4
 
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 118
Full Member

Old 03-28-2012, 03:39 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #5

We started ability grouping in reading and the lower grades like it, but we (4th) do not. There have been too many problems with kids switching (every 6 weeks). It is difficult to keep up with how your homeroom students are doing and to have any carry over into the other disciplines. We feel we do not really know our students as readers. If anyone else rotates for reading in 4th, I would like to know how it is working. Unfortunately, the majority of behavior problems tend to be with students in the low group, so this becomes a challenge as well.


lurner4 is offline   Reply With Quote
lurner4 lurner4 is offline
 
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 118
Full Member

lurner4
 
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 118
Full Member

Old 03-28-2012, 03:47 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #6

This is in response to roo, I'm curious to know how many homeroom classes do you have? 3 or 4? You stated that the intervention teacher working with your grade level? Does this person work with the very low? And is it in one of your classrooms, or in a separate room? How many students do you have in each reading group? We are doing grouping this year, with kids rotating every 6 weeks. This rotation, I have a group of 21 middle learners, divided in 3 groups, based on DRA levels. What amazes me is that there are so many smaller groups across the grade level. Remember when we worked with 3 groups - high, middle, low? Why is it that within a grade level, you can have 10 different ability groups? Doesn't make sense...
lurner4 is offline   Reply With Quote
ConnieWI ConnieWI is offline
 
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 6,162
Senior Member

ConnieWI
 
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 6,162
Senior Member
Reading Groups
Old 03-28-2012, 04:47 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #7

During my last year of teaching, I had five guided reading groups in my classroom. The year before that, I had six.

Last year, the groups ranged from level J (beginning second grade) to O (middle of third grade) at the beginning of the year, and levels M (end of second grade) to S (middle of fourth grade) by the end of the year.

I always had a comprehension focus for five to seven days. This strategy was taught whole group in a mini-lesson, and then the focus in the guided reading group was to use this strategy with materials at each student's reading level.

I can't imagine teaching reading any other way. It just makes sense to meet the needs of students at their level...and also to make sure the materials they are reading independently (library books) are at a level just slightly below their instructional level.

I would really need to trust the other teachers in order to share my reading groups. I just love the way my school did it because it really allowed me to know my students. When parents came to me, I had an answer. It also allowed me to use time in social studies and science to teach nonfiction reading skills.
ConnieWI is offline   Reply With Quote
UVAgrl928 UVAgrl928 is offline
 
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 230
Full Member

UVAgrl928
 
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 230
Full Member

Old 03-28-2012, 04:48 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #8

I hope that I can explain this in a way that makes sense... I teach 2nd grade and we decided we wanted to try this this year. Three 3 classes are doing this together (each class has about 22 students).

I got training in Wilsons Fundations to do a targeted phonics intervention with our lowest students. I do this in my classroom (receiving students from the other rooms), and my whole class filters into the two classrooms across the hall to work on language arts and writing skills. I currently have 12 students in this group and coteach it with our intervention specialist (we began with 18 but have exited students as they have progressed). The other two classrooms have about 25 students at this time.

Then, after receiving the intervention, all kids return to their classroom and we begin reading groups. We put all our students together in a list by DRA, and organized them into reading groups based on their beginning of the year DRA. I decided that I wanted to take the lowest groups because I was already doing that phonics intervention with them, so I felt like I know their reading skills best. We have a first year teacher that we gave the highest groups to, and the other teacher has the "middle" groups. To give you an idea of our spread, we had several students that began the year at a DRA of 3, and a handful at a 40.... everyone else was in between.

This works for us and our team for a number of reasons, and may not work for all teams. One- we had someone that is willing to work with those lowest kids... and that's not a preference for some people. Two- we communicate on a regular basis with each other about our groups and if we need to change things (including doing report card grades together). Three- our team is flexible. Four- this is the biggest one- we all trust each other as teachers... because we are giving our students to another teacher and trusting that they will help them progress. Without trust in your teammates, this situation will never work.

Pros:
-all of our students in our groups are within one to two DRA levels of each other, our students' progress has been incredible
-planning is made easier (I currently have two groups reading at the same level, which means that I can do the same lesson with both)
-all students have an appropriate group (instead of forcing them to read at a level that is too easy or too hard)
-some of your behavior problems might go to another teacher for reading, so that gives you a break from each other, as well as someone else to observe the same problem behaviors

Cons:
-it takes a lot of time up front to coordinate
-routine is necessary- you don't have as much flexibility to decide to do something different one day because you would have to coordinate it with the other teachers if you need to do a different activity with your class
-you need to all be on time because what you do effects several other rooms

Overall, I have preferred doing it this way a million times better than keeping my whole class for reading. And I think the rest of my team does too!
UVAgrl928 is offline   Reply With Quote

Join the conversation! Post as a guest or become a member today. New members welcome!

Reply

 

>
BusyBoard
Thread Tools




Sign Up Now

Sign Up FREE | ProTeacher Help | BusyBoard

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 12:55 AM.

Copyright © 2017 ProTeacher®
For individual use only. Do not copy, reproduce or transmit.
source: www.proteacher.net