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    #175761 - 11/24/13 06:49 PM article on ability grouping
    blackcat Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/23/13
    Posts: 2154
    Not sure if this has ever been posted, but I found it interesting in case people have not seen it.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/10/educat...0&smid=pl-share


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    #175762 - 11/24/13 06:59 PM Re: article on ability grouping [Re: blackcat]
    22B Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/10/13
    Posts: 1228

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    #175814 - 11/25/13 07:10 AM Re: article on ability grouping [Re: blackcat]
    Sweetie Offline
    Member

    Registered: 06/05/11
    Posts: 669
    In our school in reading there might be a whole group instruction on say a topic...baseball integration/Jackie Robinson that includes setting, vocabulary, etc. then the reading kit includes say 5 copies of readers for each of 5 different groups...below, on, above, English language learners, (and one other low group not sure what it is called)...each reader is on Jackie Robinson but specifically for that group. Problem is that unless my son's reader was a book from the library written at a high school or above level...he can be in the highest group and not get challenged. You can give him the vocabulary test for the high group before they even work on it and he will get 100. He might learn about Jackie Robinson and baseball and if he wants to read more about it at a higher level from a real book...but the actual reader is a waste of time as far as his reading growth goes.

    This system works for those slightly above, slightly below, on, and those in that 5th group below slightly below, and ELL/esol. But not so much for the advanced outlier. Even if the reading program listed appropriate related titles that the outlier could look for in the library it would help.


    Edited by Sweetie (11/25/13 07:12 AM)
    _________________________
    ...reading is pleasure, not just something teachers make you do in school.~B. Cleary

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    #175815 - 11/25/13 07:41 AM Re: article on ability grouping [Re: master of none]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4227
    Originally Posted By: master of none
    Quote:
    ... encourages team C, her highest-achieving group, to write more complex sentences, perhaps using two new vocabulary words in the same sentence. She also asks children in team C to peer-teach students in the other groups.

    “At the end of the day, they’re learning the same words, but just with different levels of complexity and nuance,” she said.

    The above is just one quote from the article. This isn't really ability grouping. This is what our school system supports. Differentiated learning where the SAME lesson is taught to everyone, and then in small groups, they work on a very basic or a higher level on that SAME concept.
    Agreed. These practices are a veritable "wolf in sheep's clothing", dressed to look like something acceptable and when welcomed capable of predation.

    Consider the impacts on growth in pupil learning... if a pupil is dedicating time to teaching others rather than to their own growth and acquisition of skills, how might this be holding them back? ... leveling them out? ... plateauing? ... creating underachievement?

    Consider the impacts on grading. In what ways is the expectation or rubric for Team C distinguished from others in the class, while being transcripted as the same course? For high school students, how might this play out in grade point average? In class rank?

    True ability grouping... clustering by readiness and ability... allows pupils of any age or grade level to study curriculum at the appropriate challenge level and pacing... with their intellectual peers... keeping them working in their zone of proximal development... while not being socially isolated, nor lacking teacher instruction (possibly with the teacher as a "guide on the side").

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    #175822 - 11/25/13 08:42 AM Re: article on ability grouping [Re: indigo]
    Val Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/01/07
    Posts: 3289
    Loc: California
    Originally Posted By: indigo
    True ability grouping... clustering by readiness and ability... allows pupils of any age or grade level to study curriculum at the appropriate challenge level and pacing...


    Yes. A thing I've noticed in schools my kids have attended is that everyone seems to start at the same place next year, regardless of last year. This means that a few kids repeat stuff and a few kids have skipped past stuff they didn't do. This approach creates problems for both of these groups.

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    #175826 - 11/25/13 08:59 AM Re: article on ability grouping [Re: blackcat]
    madeinuk Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/18/13
    Posts: 1446
    Loc: NJ
    I think this is just another spin on enrichment. And putting things bluntly, I think that for truly gifted kids it is essentially ordure dressed to have the appearance of Shinola.
    _________________________
    Become what you are

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    #175827 - 11/25/13 09:02 AM Re: article on ability grouping [Re: blackcat]
    blackcat Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/23/13
    Posts: 2154
    At least last year in second grade my DD was actually in an ability group for reading. They read chapter books with the teacher. This year she is in the gifted "cluster group". I had high hopes that they would work on chapter books more at her level. But it is worse this year. The entire third grade class sits on the carpet in their assigned spots and watches the "Journeys" curriculum on the promethean board. Then they all do the same third grade level multiple choice reading comprehension worksheets. The questions are idiotic or poorly worded and DD over-analyzes them and usually gets some questions wrong. One of the moms in the class grades all the papers and says that most kids get most of the questions wrong. What the heck is going on?

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    #175830 - 11/25/13 09:21 AM Re: article on ability grouping [Re: blackcat]
    Quantum2003 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/08/11
    Posts: 1425
    Until this year with the adoption of common core, DS/DD were in stand-alone GT classroms so more akin to tracking than ability grouping per say. This year the school split up the GT students into three of the six 5th grade classrooms for the reading/language arts block. I visited the classroom during American Education Week and saw first-hand how the new curriculum works. The teacher teaches some of the basic ideas to the class as a whole with some responses from the students, then the students break up into three groups by ability. Each ability group has different level reading materials and the teacher meets with each group for 5 to 15 minutes depending on what is being covered and the students work independently the rest of the time. It looks to me like the teacher has to work much harder than when she just have one curriculum to teach.


    Edited by Quantum2003 (11/25/13 09:22 AM)

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    #175845 - 11/25/13 11:01 AM Re: article on ability grouping [Re: master of none]
    Val Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/01/07
    Posts: 3289
    Loc: California
    Originally Posted By: master of none
    Warning snide remark not be taken literally:

    It never ceases to amaze me how educational theory is developed and then twisted to maximize the chance of poor results.

    Ok, I'll delete this soon, but just felt like ranting for a moment..


    No, don't delete it. You made a good point . Don't delete it because it isn't PC. Too many criticisms about our education system get derailed unfairly because they aren't PC.




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    #175865 - 11/25/13 03:15 PM Re: article on ability grouping [Re: Quantum2003]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4227
    Originally Posted By: Quantum2003
    It looks to me like the teacher has to work much harder than when she just have one curriculum to teach.
    This may be an example of "overwhelming the system", a contrived effort to cause a failure? How much more beneficial might it be for teachers and students, for teaching and learning, if pupils were grouped with all others at their level of ability and readiness, regardless of chronological age or grade level?

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