The newest idea in grade school teaching is to group kids based on ability. It may not sound like it is fair, but many think the approach is working.

It is time for a fourth grade class to work on Language Arts. After a classroom discussion on a book promoting multicultural friendships, the students are assigned to one of five workstations. These groups are organized based on standardized test scores, as well as informal assessments by the teacher and are designed to team up kids working on similar skills. Some scour over novels in the reading nook. Others will use a laptop and headphones to try reading along with a fluent reader. Another group will work on their writing skills.

To keep a teacher from being overwhelmed, the teacher will connect with 3 groups per day, rotating so that every student gets some individual attention. The same technique will be used for math class. The groups are flexible, so a child might be in a slower paced group for decimals and fractions and a faster paced one for multiplication facts, and can switch levels during the school year.

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  1. […] you remember back to our last post, we asked the question, “What is the best way to provide school kids with individual […]

  2. […] With students being taught by ability some will excel past the top groups expectations. This is why a growing number of educators want the schools to view gifted kids as special needs kids. If a child is in a wheel chair then we build them a ramp. Likewise, we can not put gifted students in a one size fits all learning situation. Teachers believe that separate class rooms for the gifted students is the solution. Being ahead of the other kids can be isolating. It is difficult for smaller schools to support gifted programs. However, if your child fits into this category and their needs are not being met, set up a meeting with the principal to see what options you might have. If there is not a test in program then ask about enrichment opportunities for an academic challenge. Some colleges offer accelerated math classes for grade schoolers. See more on ways of sorting students. […]

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