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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Creating Classroom Groups

I have learned that the first few weeks of school are chaotic for any teacher regardless of experience. One of the reasons for this is that the students and teacher have not built a relationship with each other yet. They have no clue who the other one is and how they will respond.

While setting up the classroom, teachers create a space for each student but who really knows if that will work or not. It takes time to decipher where the best spot is for each students.

After the first four weeks of school was completed and the initial assessments were completed. There was finally enough data collected to rearrange the students into a working seating arrangement but the question became how?!

I love this comic as this is totally how I felt while discussing creating teams for the classroom. We used a Kagan Cooperative Teams to build the structure for the classroom. Each child has their name added to a rectangle shaped paper. We first marked off our hard and easy kids to manage (see the comic!).

Next we evaluated test scores and used those to add more information to the student card. Armed with this we were ready to rock!






Student #1 is a high testing, well behaved student where as Student #3 is low testing, low behavior. Student #2 and #3 are fillers. This system is for building groups of 4. You could go up as high as 5 but 4 is the ideal number.

The theory is to have 1 high and 1 low with 2 middle of the row students. That way there is someone there to help when someone is struggling. Sometimes you have a high function low behavior student. You pair them with a low function high behavior student. The high behavior (ie the good kid) acts a model for the group. The other two help balance it out.


In my classroom, we did this by grades and then by groups. Most people do not have multiple grades in a classroom so no need to worry about it. We have been using these new groups now for 2 weeks and they work amazingly well.


Do you use EEKK from Daily 5? We use it with out groups! Work with your elbow buddy or knee buddy. So much fun and reinforces the vocabulary of our classroom.


How do you create groups in your classroom? Do you have an alternate method?

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6 Comments:

At September 5, 2012 at 10:48 AM , Blogger Shawna said...

Hi Misty,
Sounds like a lot of work...and it is a lot of work, but in the end very much worth it. Glad you got the hard part done and have moved on to the fun part.
Shawna
The Picture Book Teacher's Edition

 
At September 5, 2012 at 3:16 PM , Blogger April Walker said...

I have usually tried to do that once I got to know my students, but much less officially.
~April Walker
The Idea Backpack

 
At September 5, 2012 at 5:41 PM , Blogger Mrs. Wathen said...

I went to a Kagan training today and tomorrow is day two. We did talk about seating today and I was actually glad that this is just about how I already do it. It is nice to have the theory behind it all!

Tammy
The Resourceful Apple

 
At September 5, 2012 at 7:40 PM , Blogger Deniece Frideley said...

My GT classes this summer all spoke about putting all GT kids together in groups. The theory behind it is that if you pair GT kids with non-GT kids the only child that benefits is the non-GT child. I'm not sure how I feel about it.

I personally, like your idea. I change seats every 6 weeks, I'll try it your way next and let you know how it works!!

 
At September 5, 2012 at 7:49 PM , Blogger Melissa said...

I pretty much used the same process you explained w/o knowing it was called the Kagan Method. Thanks for that piece of info.
;0) Melissa
Www.moretime2teach.blogspot.com

 
At September 6, 2012 at 8:12 PM , Blogger Shannon said...

I change my groups every 6 week grading period. I try to just group by pretty much the same way you do-high, low, behavior, etc. But my thought process on it isn't as structured as yours. :)

Shannon
http://www.irunreadteach.wordpress.com

 

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