kitchen table math, the sequel: resource on grouping

Friday, March 12, 2010

resource on grouping

palisadesk recommends:

The Principals' Partnership
Research Brief
Tracking & Ability Grouping


K9Sasha said...

The assumption is that if teachers are working on higher level thinking skills in a mixed ability classroom, that all students are able to profit from the instruction.

The complaint about tracked classrooms is that lower track students are working on low level rote skills while students in higher ability classrooms are learning how to apply what they know to new questions or problems.

It seems to me that the lack of automaticity with foundational skills would keep low ability students from being able to apply those skills to higher level problems whether they are in a tracked classroom or a mixed ability classroom.

Catherine Johnson said...

I need to know more about how differentiated instruction is actually working inside real classrooms.

What concerns me are the 'tiered assignments.'

My district now has math software that provides a catalogue of homework problems ranging from easy to hard.

That's fine; you need a range of problems.

But do the kids getting assigned the easy problems ever move on to the hard problems?

No one has said, and there is no interest whatsoever in acceleration of any kind for any kids, including catch-up acceleration.

How many parents know which tier of homework problems their kids are bringing home?

SteveH said...

" differentiated instruction is actually working inside real classrooms."

It isn't, but then, how can you tell? I've been trying for years to find any sort of methodical approach that is applied at our schools. There isn't any. They implemented full inclusion based on a promise that differentiated instruction would work, but there were no specific lesson plans. Even now, many years later, they are still struggling with lesson plans. I see absolutely no tiered assignments. Any sort of differentiation I see is so trivial as to be laughable.

What I do see is differentiated expectations and grading. The material covered appears to be the same for all kids, and the rubrics are the same, but the rubric expectations and grading are non-linear. Then, everything goes into a portfolio and parents have no clue about what's going on at school.

It's really quite astounding. Don't assume that they have an official differentiated instruction plan to even check to see if it is working.