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Multiple Methods of Student Groupings

Mixing a variety of grouping strategies based on students’ needs

Overview

Valor teachers employ a variety of grouping methods, all of which align to different instructional purposes. Instead of picking a single grouping strategy, such as homogeneous or heterogeneous groups, teachers take time to get to know their students and understand which method would work best for them. Groupings are based not only on academic performance, but also a deep understanding of the students, including what motivates them and how they work best. At Valor, one could observe a variety of different groupings in a single classroom, including:

  • Homogeneous groupings - Students of a similar performance level are grouped together. This creates a more efficient support structure as the teacher can scaffold supports to two or three students instead of one.
  • Heterogeneous groupings - Students of all skill levels are grouped together. In this grouping, students with higher skill levels are able to support students with lower skill levels. Questions asked by students with lower skill levels also pushes those with higher skill levels to deepen their learning.
  • Peer tutors - Students who work really well together or have a more specific need may be paired together.

Collaborative practice is a core part of Valor’s math instruction and optimal student groupings make it possible. Having students grouped in a way that they all work best enables them to engage in dialogue and figure out problems together instead of overwhelming the teacher with questions.