Collaborative Student Groups

Small Group Writing Guidance

When I am the teacher-artist, I consider the personalities and work ethic of students. If there are chatty students or students who are going to end up in a conflict, I cannot put them in the same group because of the nature of not being able to facilitate all of the students at once. In this instance, it is more important to create groupings that promote a harmonious learning environment. There are times when I form groups based on pre assessment or skill deficits. When the instructional focus is writing or the writing process, I found that grouping students with the same instructional need for that particular set of writing prompts has produced the most gains. These homogeneous groups allow students to practice a skill with their peers and for the small group instruction to be more targeted and specific to the needs of the learners. There may be a group of students who are struggling with the thesis statement for a particular prompt or may have difficultly connecting the content to writing process. These students would be placed in the same group.

Strategy Resources (2)
Online Student Resource
 
 
This is a snapshot of our workflow guide on class wiki. It outlines that the teacher directed station will be focusing on the writing prompt. Students are grouped according to skill and need for this rotation.
 
Online Student Resource
 
 
This is a snapshot of our workflow guide on class wiki. It outlines that the teacher directed station will be focusing on the writing prompt. Students are grouped according to skill and need for this rotation.
Tanesha Dixon
Wheatley Education Campus
Washington, DC


 

About this strategy

Prep Time:
Moderate
Subject:
Social Studies
Grade:
Eighth grade
Similar Strategies
Whole-Group Instruction
Whole Group Discussion

During Live Investigation and Task sessions (both teacher-led), I often use a whole group discussion format just like a traditional classroom. Blended or not, there is no substitute for discussion.

 
Instructional Closings
Independent Station Whip Around

There are times when the work being completed at the independent station is not designed to be completed in one session. I noticed that, while I could get an accurate pulse of the small-group session and collaborative station, assessing the independent station was more challenging. My students are expected to account for the work they did or did not complete during the independent station by commenting on their progress or by talking about something that was interesting or challenging. This is an extremely powerful accountability strategy and also an opportunity for my students to practice their speaking and listening skills.

 
Instructional Planning
Aaron's Approach to Planning

Planning is an essential part of a blended teacher’s practice. In blended environments, where students can be at different points in a course on various modalities, blended teachers need to be very intentional about how they plan. Check out the video below to see how Aaron plans for instruction in his blended classroom.

 
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