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Teaching Strategies

Chapter 9 (Accommodate Instruction to Meet Individual Needs)
  1. Purpose of Activity: to explore the strategy of flexible grouping. Flexible grouping is another technique for accommodating learning to meet the needs of all children.

  2. Key Concepts:
    • Flexible Grouping is a temporary grouping of children. Flexible Grouping options include: teaching skills/strategies, common interests, student choice, social skills of class or randomly.
    • Flexible grouping builds on strengths to support the development of weaker strategies/skills/modalities.
    • Flexible grouping has limited impact on students' self-concept and self-esteem because it is only temporary.

  3. Divide your class into groups of four. You might want to simply count off by fours (1,2,3,4) until everyone has a number. Then place all the ones, twos, threes and fours in separate places in the room, and have them form groups of four.

  4. Assign this work to the groups:
    • Read the article: Empowering the Reader in Every Child (i.e., the article above). The focus of the reading should be:
      • Defining flexible grouping.
      • Identify grouping options and teaching strategies with flexible groupings.
      • Draw a scene in a classroom that shows a teacher working with at least two flexible groups. In the drawing, please include what the other students are doing while the teacher is working with the other two flexible groups.
    • Allow approximately 20 - 30 minutes for this activity.

  5. After 30 minutes, have each group post their drawings, and describe them. In order to maintain the focus of your class, please have them list 2 concepts/ideas they found interesting about each presentation.
  6. When all groups are finished, call on students to share their interesting concepts/ideas. I suggest that you utilize this technique to increase participation: call on all ones, twos, threes, and fours randomly.

  7. Please chart their responses using this suggested format:

  8. End the class by having your students write a reflection on what they learned about flexible grouping.

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