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TAG Presentation Grouping Strategies. Common Message for Principals, TOSAs, TAG Coordinators and Instructional Facilitators GOAL: Create a common language for grouping strategies in PPS. Why Group?.

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TAG PresentationGrouping Strategies

Common Message for Principals, TOSAs, TAG Coordinators and Instructional Facilitators

GOAL: Create a common language for grouping strategies in PPS


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Why Group?

Effective differentiation requires a classroom organization and management system that promotes students’ independence and responsibility, makes efficient use of instruction time, and limits the intensity of teacher preparation for instruction.

Bertie Kingore, Ph.D.

Reaching All Learners


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“The Flexible use of student groups is the heart of differentiated instruction.”

When you group flexibly, you create instruction groups and prescribe specific activities that respond to students’ learning needs.

Diane Heacox, Ed.D.

Differentiating Instruction in the Regular Classroom


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Common Language differentiated instruction

  • Ability or Performance Criteria?

  • Flexible grouping

    • Performance-based

    • Ability-based

    • Heterogeneous and cooperative

    • Whole group

    • Pairs, triads, tetrads…

  • Cluster grouping

  • Tracking **Defined here, but NOT recommended.


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Performance differentiated instruction

  • Teacher looks at current performance or potential for performance to determine groups.

Ability or Aptitude

  • Students are grouped according to scores on standardized tests of aptitude, intelligence, or ability.


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Flexible Grouping differentiated instruction

  • Teacher uses curricular needs, student needs, ability, performance, interest, strengths, and preferences to determine the group make-up.

  • Used as needed to provide a better instructional match for students.

  • Flexible grouping is changed regularly to match student need to the task at hand.


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Flexible Grouping differentiated instruction

Occurs when there is a whole group assessment or instruction initially; and then the students are divided by their need for either review, re-teaching, practice, or enrichment.

Such grouping could be a single lesson or objective, a set of skills, a unit of study, or a major concept or theme.

Flexible grouping creates temporary groups for an hour, a day, a week, or a month or so. It does not create permanent groups.


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Performance Grouping differentiated instruction (Leveled Groups)

  • Teacher looks at current assessment data in a particular content area to determine group membership.

  • Examples include

    • Walk to Read, Mosey to Math

    • Lit Circles

    • Reading/math groups


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Cluster Grouping differentiated instruction

  • Purposeful classroom placement of 3-6 similar ability students (usually in the top 5%) together in a mixed ability classroom.

  • Ideally, the teacher has an interest and knowledge in teaching this group of students.


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Cluster Grouping differentiated instruction

  • Benefits

    • Provides a full-time gifted program requiring minimal funds

    • Prevents gifted kids from becoming the group which benefits least from heterogeneous grouping

    • Keeps TAG students together in area of strength and allows for taking risks which may not occur in heterogeneous grouping.


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Example of a Classroom Composition for School Cluster Grouping(for a single grade level)


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Tracking Grouping(We are NOT Advocating this)

  • General learning ability or performance grouping that does not change. Once a student is assigned to this group, he/she keeps that assignment over the year, or years, regardless of change in achievement level.


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Cooperative Grouping Grouping

  • Students are grouped for collaborative work, either by the teacher or by student choice

  • Grouping for the purpose of developing cooperative skills

  • Gifted students may have much to lose and little to gain from traditional cooperative groupings


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Follow-up to the GroupingDr. Karen Rogers Presentation: Organizing the Learning of Gifted

Gifted learners need to be grouped for substantial blocks of time for learning and for socializing

  • Magnet Schools, Full-time Gifted Programs

  • Cluster Grouping

  • Within Class Grouping

  • Cross-Grade Grouping

  • Pull-out/send-out Programs

  • Like-ability/performance Grouping

  • Cooperative Grouping

  • Academic teams and competitions

  • Affective support groups

  • Service learning and other group projects


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Research on Instructional Management: GroupingGrouping Permutations

  • Full-time ability grouping- Magnet schools (ES= .49)

    e.g. Those receiving full-time ability grouping had 1.49 years of academic growth in one year’s time.

  • Regrouping for specific instruction (ES= .34)

  • Cluster grouping of GT students (ES= .59)

  • Send-out grouping (ES= .45)

  • Within class ability grouping (ES= .34)

  • Cross-graded classes (ES= .45)

  • Mixed ability cooperative groups (ES= 0)

  • Like ability cooperative groups (ES=.28)

    Karen Rogers, Ph.D.


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Whole class Grouping

Mixed ability

Similar ability

Individual work

Cooperative work

Common time for teachers to meet and plan


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“The concerns are adult issues, not kid issues….” Groupinga paraphrase from a PPS Principal in reference to student movement to an above grade level class.


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Planning for Grouping Grouping:Questions to Consider

When does grouping benefit students?

When does grouping facilitate instruction?

Which activities lend themselves to group work?

How do you determine group membership?


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Pre-Assessments Grouping


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PRE-ASSESSMENT Grouping

The purpose of pre-assessment is to determine what students know about a topic before it is taught. Pre-assessment will help the teacher determine flexible grouping patterns and should be used regularly.


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Pre-assessment Strategy Examples Grouping

Teacher prepared pre-test

KWL Charts /Graphic Organizers

Writing Prompts/Samples

Guess Box

Student demonstrations and discussions

Student products and work samples

Show of hands/EPR Every Pupil Response

Standardized Tests/ISM Data

Teacher observation/Checklist


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Support from OTL Grouping

Pre-assessments

Accelerated content materials-

when pre-assessments show it is necessary


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Management of Groups Grouping

Prepare the students

Discuss what and why your classroom operates like it does

Behavior expectations

Managing student work

What to do when you’re done


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Effective Grouping Options Activity Grouping

Use the Effective Grouping Options Handout

Work as a Table

Fill in the boxes

Discuss questions provided


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Flexible Grouping Grouping for the delivery of instruction is the cornerstone of appropriate differentiation for the gifted student as well as all students. The use of Flexible Grouping assures Success for Every Student.