Microgrouping to Provide Feedback

Microgrouping to Provide Feedback supports students to receive targeted feedback specific to their learning needs
285 teachers like this strategy
Microgrouping Overview
4:11

About This Strategy

Providing feedback to students is crucial. Yet meeting with students individually is not always feasible for teachers. Microgrouping allows the teacher to form small groups of students who need similar feedback or to be given feedback in a similar manner. Micro groups are flexible to meet the needs of teacher and students.

Implementation Steps

30 minutes
  1. Use formative data, benchmark data, or observation data to determine students who need similar feedback or need to receive feedback in a similar manner. Examples of such data might include exit tickets, written pieces, or unit exams among other things.

  2. Once students are grouped, determine the focus for each specific group and the resources needed.

  3. While other students are engaged in other learning activities, micro groups can meet.

Microgrouping to Provide Differentiated Feedback

Not all students are receptive to feedback in the same way. Breaking students into small groups allows you to tailor your feedback to different groups of students.

Implementation Steps:

  1. Building on your understanding of your students learning styles, determine the manner in which your students will best receive feedback. Examples include: verbal, written, a combination, from a peer, annotated, (un)graded.

  2. If there are small groups of students with similar needs, these students could, logically, make a strong micro group.

Microgrouping for Distance Learning

Juan Matos
BetterLesson Instructional Coach

Micro Grouping allows the teacher to form small groups of students who need similar feedback or to be given feedback in a similar manner. Microgrouping is especially important during distance learning because it affords teachers opportunities to provide targeted small group support to students when they cannot see the students in person.

Implementation Steps:

  1. Use formative data, benchmark data, or qualitative data to determine students who need similar feedback or need to receive feedback in a similar manner.

  2. Once students are grouped, determine the focus for each specific group and the resources needed. During a microgroup session, you could use a whiteboard tool or googledoc to provide small group instruction or feedback.

  3. Determine how you will host microgroup sessions. 

    • If you can meet with students synchronously, invite selected students to a live video call at a designated time.

    • If you cannot meet with students synchronously, you could either:

      •  develop a goodledoc in which students can post their work, their feedback to each other, and in which you can provide your feedback to students in the group.

      • Engage in an email exchange, backchannel discussion, or flipgrid video exchange with students to provide feedback to each other.

  4. Provide an exit ticket at the end of the microgroup session in order to assess students' learning and gather feedback on the session. Also be sure to preview the focus of the next session before wrapping up.

Special Education Modification

Nedra Massenburg
Special Education Specialist

Micrgroupings support students with disabilities by providing a structured opportunity to receive differentiated instruction. 

Effective strategic groupings require teachers prepare for the significant executive functioning (task initiation, prioritization, working memory, etc.) skills, written expression skills, reading skills, and/or verbal skills required of students.  In order to support students with disabilities who have difficulty in these areas consider the following modifications:

Modifications:

  1. Teachers who use strategic groups like mild, medium and spicy should be mindful of student disability types and needs in addition to formative data when designing groups and activities.  For example, a teacher may create a grouping across different skill levels with activities involving more kinesthetic movement for students who struggle with attention deficits.
  2. Teachers should thoughtfully plan modifications for any activities planned.   A variety of modifications should be considered for each group’s activities, i.e. allow students with disabilities in a group access to read aloud for a text or provide sentence stems to write responses to a text for learners with writing impairments. See the following resources in the resource section below for more information: "How to Set Up Work Centers in a Special Education Classroom" and "Focus on Five: Tips for Setting Up Daily Rotations."

EL Modification

Shannon Coyle
English Learner Specialist

This strategy provides English learners with integral support in smaller group settings to support their individual learning and language needs. 

English learners need to listen to and respond to teachers during conferences. Learners may need to use all four domains of language, reading, writing, speaking, and listening during group learning activities. In order to support English Learners consider the following modifications:

Modifications:

  1. Ensure assessments are fair, accurate assessments of learners. Consider accommodating, modifying, or creating alternative assessments for English learners that aim to distinguish between linguistic and content mastery. Consider partnering with learners’ language specialist. See the following resources in the resource section below for more information: "WIDA Can Do Descriptors," "Using Informal Assessment in the Classroom" and "Assessing ELLs in ESL or Mainstream Classrooms: Quick Fixes for Busy Teachers."
  2. Provide a variety of ways for learners at lower levels of proficiency to present their learning, including visually and with limited, scripted, or pre-recorded speaking. Consider cloze exercises, portfolios, learning logs, oral presentations, 1:1 conferences. Consult learners’ language specialist and use data about learners’ language levels to determine appropriate assessment formats. See the "WIDA Can Do Descriptors" and "How to Use Can Do Descriptors for Designing Learning Activities" resources in the resource section below for more information.
  3. Provide feedback in a language learners can understand. Use simple sentence structure and use comprehensible vocabulary. Ask questions that are specific and efficient.  See the "Teacher Tool: Leveled Question Stems" resource in the resource section below for more information.
  4. Give direct feedback on language use. Conveying knowledge and information, and interacting with socially and academically with learning facilitators and peers are important parts of mastering any skill for English learners. Use learner-friendly rubrics to evaluate language skills used to show content mastery.  See example rubrics in the resource section below.