Reflection: Student Grouping Workshop Time For Dialogues - Section 3: Workshop Time


I always struggle with making groups. I know there are so many theories out there with what works and what doesn't. Some say make groups based on ability, others think more of work ethic. In middle-school how can we forget about personalities? We know what students will work together and which will not. Do we assign groups? Randomly choose groups? Let students choose? There is, at least from what I found, no clear answer. It's hard to pick groups that will motivate and engage each other but also that will create a productive and stimulating environment.

For this lesson, I choose to assign groups based on topic. It's a fair way so students are not worried about social issues but also allows me to assign them based on work ethic. By choosing based on topics it gives student a way to begin writing. Most groups are assigned based on topics (athletes, politicians, entertainers, etc.). Occasionally, based on numbers, some groups make no sense how they fit together. This is just luck of the draw but also challenges their thinking when forced to think about similarities amongst very different topics.

It is really up to the teacher to determine when and how to choose groups. For me, it is really based on the assignment. What really helps me is to try and change groups a few times a year for smaller assignments, such as this one, but to keep a group together so they can form great relationships when conferencing on bigger writing pieces.

  Student Grouping
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Workshop Time For Dialogues

Unit 6: Research Paper: Influential Lives Part II
Lesson 2 of 14

Objective: SWBAT infuse main ideas and key details from biographies to create an argumentative writing piece.

Big Idea: Who's more noteworthy? Let the facts decide.

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