Monday, March 7, 2016

Fun Way to Quickly Group Students

Like most of you, my classroom has a WIDE range of diverse learners.

Some Possible Diversity in the Classroom:
  • Academic ability levels such as reading level
  •  Exceptional Ed, Regular Ed, and Gifted students
  • ELL English Language Learners
  • Medical Conditions affecting attendance and/or attention in class
  • Home life and Parent expectations

Since my school has a high population of ELL, I have been studying over the last several years how to best help these learners. In my research, I found ELL students need opportunities to talk to their peers frequently throughout the day.

In the past, I mainly using turn and talk, where students turn to the person sitting next to them and discuss what they are thinking. While I still use this method, I have found it does not provide enough interactions for my ELL students.

A few years ago, I began using random, heterogeneous, grouping whenever possible. I use random grouping for: centers, lessons, project-based-learning, partner work, you name it. What I discovered is all my students benefit for this type of grouping including my ELL students! Students with lower reading levels or limited language benefit from hearing the vocabulary of students on a higher level. Students on a higher level benefit from looking at the task from an alternative perspective.

One quick way to group students is to use Equity Chips. They are simple to create. First, assign each student a classroom number. Then, number a set of chips. I used my 2-sided chips red and yellow chips. Next, place the chip in a small plastic cup with a lid. Your Equity Chips are now ready to use.

Shake the cup, pull out 3 chips, and then call out the numbers. The three students with those numbers will be partners for the duration of the assignment. My math tasks may last 1 day or 1 week depending on the assignment.

Matching Cards is another fun way to group students. I have a set of Partner Picking cards containing 15 sets of matching noses. First, pass out one card to each student.  Next, Students will find the other person with the exact same nose as them. Students with matching cards will be partners for the activity or task. Click here to get your FREE Partner Picking Cards.

How do you use grouping in your classroom? I would love to read about it in the comments below.

No comments:

Post a Comment