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Do reception kids get put into ability groups for reading and numeracy? How do teachers differentiate?

(18 Posts)
pigswithfludontfly Sat 11-Jul-09 15:26:22

Just wondered really how it works. How do most reception teachers differentiate as I'm struck by the huge difference from those who can't recognise letters to readers and kids who can't manage to count to 10 to those who can count to 100 or whatever.

smee Sat 11-Jul-09 17:11:49

Yes from what I've seen. They spend some time working out who's at what ability first, then divide them into small groups so children are working with others at the same sort of level as them. In our school they don't tell the parents or the children they were doing this.

zeke Sat 11-Jul-09 17:29:54

If they did it at my son's school he was totally oblivious to it!

They were put into mixed ability 'mini groups' right from the start - blue, green, red group etc. Definately had a mix of ages and abilities in them.

I ask him who is in his guided reading group and it seems to be the same as his mini group. The range of reading abilities is red-gold at the end of the academic year, so quite a mix.

I'm thinking maybe they made other groups by taking out the best and the weakest students, but really don't know.

mrz Sat 11-Jul-09 17:50:15

I don't have set groups in my reception class and don't ability group.

lockets Sat 11-Jul-09 18:03:23

Message withdrawn

misshardbroom Sat 11-Jul-09 18:38:06

In my DD's class they have a group for literacy based activities and a group for numeracy activities, and these are based on ability. This wasn't made public but it's pretty obvious.

They also then have a general group for other things, e.g. purple group might be with the TA doing a set craft activity while green group have free choice of things to play with.

lljkk Sat 11-Jul-09 18:42:24

Yes in our school, initially it's just a random allocation I believe (well, nearly random, gender/personality balanced to some extent). I don't think ability groups as such start to get formed until after October half term or later.

sagacious Sat 11-Jul-09 18:47:11

They sit on different tables (judged by ability) groups are randomly named (colours/animals/flowers etc) children move up or down/stay put based on teacher assessment every half term

Its pretty obvious which group are 1/2/3/4 in terms of progress. The children certainly know.

sagacious Sat 11-Jul-09 18:47:12

They sit on different tables (judged by ability) groups are randomly named (colours/animals/flowers etc) children move up or down/stay put based on teacher assessment every half term

Its pretty obvious which group are 1/2/3/4 in terms of progress. The children certainly know.

amidaiwish Sat 11-Jul-09 18:48:41

not in our school, no ability groups in reception.

Karam Sat 11-Jul-09 23:19:15

At my DDs school, they are in ability groups - which they do for reading, writing, numeracy and other work with the TAs. These are groups from their class. In year 1, I believe they do literacy and numeracy in same ability classes (three form entry) and so are split up for that.

katiestar Sun 12-Jul-09 00:14:56

In our reception class the children work in mixed ability groups with the teacher/TA for writing and numeracy.This is because the less able students need a lot of one to one support at reception age. you have to have some who can get on with it on their own with minimal support while you concentrate on supporting those that can't.The differentiation comes where a more able child will write half a dozen sentences where sn average child might write 2 or 3 and a less able child just a caption with a lot of help.
Our reception children only do individual, not guided, reading.

southernbelle77 Sun 12-Jul-09 10:32:33

DD is just finishing reception, and although we haven't been told it, they are clearly put into ability levels for certain work. The groups are on the walls (not in order) but it is quite obvious which is the top and the bottom group. DD is somewhere in the middle. They are just told they are work groups but I'm not sure which work they are for as I know that the group up on the wall is the one dd is in for numeracy and for writing, but she is in a different one for phonics and reading (because she has told me who she does this with and it's not the same people as the group on the wall).
I don't mind particularly I guess as long as dd is getting adequate teaching time although I do think it's young to be doing it.
The other thing that I noticed when looking around the classroom was that most of the work on display was from the top or the bottom groups and it worries me that the ones in the middle will get lost in the crowd.
Am waiting to see what happens in year 1 now!

yomellamoHelly Sun 12-Jul-09 11:07:09

Ds1 has been "streamed". Parents haven't been told, but it's clear from talking to other parents about what their children are up to. Again the groups are listed on the wall. I feel a bit funny about it because it's been done in an "under-hand" manner and wish they'd just told the parents what they were going to do at the outset.

cory Sun 12-Jul-09 11:23:12

in our reception classes they were grouped, and then regrouped for certain subjects (after ability but this was never said) half-way through the year when the teacher had got to know them

I never thought of this as underhand; teacher was always happy to discuss dcs progress, but I always expected her to decide how she taught

worked well for us: ds who was struggling needed to get away from working with his mates who were very bright and not mature enough to exercise tact

pigswithfludontfly Sun 12-Jul-09 11:56:31

So do they tend to split them in different ways for different 'subjects' e.g. one set of groups for writing and another for reading, another for maths (oops sorry, "numeracy")?

Elibean Sun 12-Jul-09 18:30:00

I don't think they do at dd's school, at least not based on my observation of who is in which group (I read there one morning per week) hmm

I think the only point of groups is activity based.

fridayschild Sun 12-Jul-09 20:39:53

Ah Elibean, for our super-expanded reception intake in September, which I think is the school your DD is at smile, nursery has told us that when putting children into the two reception classes in September, they are taking ability into account (as well as friendship groups) for the streaming in the two reception classes next year. Which I have understood to mean that both classes will have children with a range of ability. And I think DS1 was streamed in reception there, although he didn't notice any streaming until Y1.

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