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Ability grouping alternatives

(41 Posts)
user1471516536 Sat 24-Dec-16 18:39:56

Hello all!
I have colour ability groups in my y3 class, which ranges in ability from children working at y1 level to children working at y4 level (can even be y5 level in some areas!)
I am obviously using the mastery curriculum so we are all learning our current y3 curriculum but with interventions or reasoning challenges.

I'm concerned because my children have cracked my ability code and I don't want to demotivate my lowers. What alternatives do you have to ability groups in your class?

MrR2200 Sat 24-Dec-16 19:24:45

I generally group mixed ability with a focus on getting complementary personalities on a table. Children then can choose tasks to the required challenge and/or be moved on when required.

SisterViktorine Sat 24-Dec-16 19:38:12

I teach a class of HFA pupils from Y3-Y5 with attainment ranging from Y1-Y6 across different objectives. I differentiate input by pulling them in at different points- if someone doesn't need the input I peel them off to do something else, but generally I can hit everybody in one short input.

Then the follow-up is varied by task and level of support.

If you don't know how to make it work maybe go and observe at a really effective small school where they teach mixed age and ability all the time.

mrz Sat 24-Dec-16 21:06:42

I don't have group tables for most lessons. I might put them together for art or science but it's more about accessing resources than grouping children.
No two have the same ability so why make tenuous groups.

user1471516536 Sun 25-Dec-16 22:42:46

MrR220 what strategies do you use to make sure that children choose an appropriate level of challenge. Also doesn't this have the same issue- low ability children know that they are only completing the "easy" level of challenge? Or does their control over their work decrease this?

Sister vicktroine- this sounds great but also really difficult to do! Whenever I try to do this I end up with the children on the tables continuing to listen to my carpet input or faffing around and the children on the carpet distracted by low level noise. Do you have to enforce silent table work for this to work?

Mrz how do you show differentiation in your books?

Thanks all for the ideas- they're all good ones just trying to see how I might implement them!

mrz Mon 26-Dec-16 06:12:26

There are many ways to differentiate (not all evident in books ) but just because children are sitting together it doesn't mean they will be doing the same work in books or receiving the same input or having access to the same resources or given the same challenge.

ScarletSienna Mon 26-Dec-16 06:20:10

There are some links at he bottom of this piece that may be useful:
www.thirdspacelearning.com/blog/2016/mixed-ability-grouping-vs-ability-grouping-in-the-primary-school-maths-classroom-where-do-you-stand

I would ask if you could have some cpd time to observe it somewhere it's established if possible.

ScarletSienna Mon 26-Dec-16 06:22:58

There are a few different experiences in responses here too:
beyondlevels.website/teaching-without-sets-or-groupings/

TheTroubleWithAngels Mon 26-Dec-16 12:22:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mrz Mon 26-Dec-16 12:35:24

*"*^*Of course the Yellow Group know which one is meant for them.*^*"* Solution don't have a yellow group

TheTroubleWithAngels Mon 26-Dec-16 14:01:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mrz Mon 26-Dec-16 14:23:06

My philosophy is to not label children fsmile

TheTroubleWithAngels Mon 26-Dec-16 14:31:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mrz Mon 26-Dec-16 14:57:24

"*Although most teachers claim that students are moved up groups as they improve  research shows that once placed in a slow group this is where they stay*: _^*The achievement gap actually widens.*^_"

mirokarikovo Mon 26-Dec-16 15:05:15

The kids choosing their level of challenge themselves is massively letting down the "bright but a bit lazy" ones who could really shine and achieve amazing things if they could just be inspired to do so. Sadly it's much more usual for them to get used to being able to get away with achieving the minimum acceptable level of work with as little effort as possible and that can ruin the rest of their lives because they bring the same attitude to the world of work.

mrz Mon 26-Dec-16 15:07:57

^*"*^_^*The practice of “streaming” children by ability in the early years of primary school is widening the achievement gap between children*^_ ^*"*^

TheTroubleWithAngels Mon 26-Dec-16 15:10:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mrz Mon 26-Dec-16 15:58:35

I'm saying don't let children become non readers

mrz Mon 26-Dec-16 15:59:58

and not to assume that because a child needs help to read the words they aren't capable of comprehending them wink

TheTroubleWithAngels Mon 26-Dec-16 16:28:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mrz Mon 26-Dec-16 16:29:02

Whereas we don't have any ten year old non readers

mrz Mon 26-Dec-16 16:31:01

Only one we've had in recent years moved from Scotland (in the week of SATs) where he'd spent three years being taught separately.

irvineoneohone Mon 26-Dec-16 16:50:15

My native country only does whole class teaching. There are only 1 teacher a class, and no ta, and children's numbers are 30-40+. Works fine. Always comes as a one of the top country in PISA.

I was once a EAL student in US, with no English. I was put in the normal class, and expected to do the same work. Only difference was that I was given access to the volunteer ex teacher who was available at lunch time, if I needed any help. I was exceeding fellow American children in about a year.

irvineoneohone Mon 26-Dec-16 16:57:22

I went to about 4 different schools in US. They all had volunteer teachers(retired teacher, or sometimes it was just a SAHM with bit of clue about education, etc., not a teacher at school. ) to help EAL students. I always wonder, can English school with lots of EAL children do the same.

TheTroubleWithAngels Mon 26-Dec-16 17:13:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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