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Selecting Small Groups by Learning Level

Continually shifting groups to support students working at the same learning level while moving at their own pace

Context

Teachers at Locust Grove strategically group students based on their proficiency and learning activity to ensure the right supports are available for each group. Teachers utilize data from pretests to identify each student’s proficiency at the beginning of a unit, determining the starting point of their Learner Pathway, which is broken down into learning targets based on performance indicators leveled by rigor (Depth of Knowledge, or DOK). Based on proficiency and the DOK-aligned task, students are grouped with other students at the same level, allowing them to collaborate and support one another. Additionally, as teachers circulate, they can easily convene a small group mini-lesson as needed to support the group in the same learning target. Teachers have built a culture of flexible student seating, shifting groupings as often as needed based on student progress on the Learner Pathway and the day’s activities. Students can also advocate for their needs and make the choice to work independently. Some teachers also add accommodations to the grouping system to support diverse learners in identifying the appropriate learning task to focus on.

Student Does

  • Takes pretest to determine entry point into their Learner Pathway.
  • Works in groups or individually based on their pace and mastery of learning targets.

Teacher Does

  • Shifts student groupings regularly based on proficiency and progress on Learner Pathways.

Technology Does

Supports teacher access to proficiency and progress data to inform student groupings.