ERIC Number: ED489510
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Dec
Differentiation Through Flexible Grouping: Successfully Reaching All Readers
Ford, Michael P.
Learning Point Associates / North Central Regional Educational Laboratory (NCREL)
There always has been a problem with grouping practices in reading programs. The complexity of the interaction between readers, texts, and the contexts in which reading takes place often is ignored by educational decisions that suggest that one program, set of materials, instructional technique, or grouping arrangement can address the needs of all students in a classroom. Common sense and personal experiences suggests that one size rarely fits all. A single instructional response to a group of diverse learners often means that the teaching technique will help some while it ignores others. Furthermore, the exclusive use of the single instructional technique over time will magnify that flaw. Flexible grouping emerged as a practice to address these concerns. It acknowledges that all grouping patterns--large groups, small groups, teams, partners, and individuals-- have value because they all offer the reader slightly different experiences with different outcomes. Flexible grouping was defined by Radencich and McKay (1995) as "grouping that is not static where members of the reading group change frequently" (p.11). For example students may work with a partner, in a small cooperative or teacher-led group, or with the whole class. The basis for the grouping may be students' interests or needs. Typically, flexible grouping may revolve around a core grade-level selection read by an entire class or around an individual trade-book program. Teachers attempting flexible grouping recognize that reading achievement is a function not only of the text, but also of the conditions that surround the learning situation. [This report was provided by Learning Point Associates.] (Contains 4 tables.)
Descriptors: Grouping (Instructional Purposes), Group Instruction, Reading Instruction, Individualized Instruction, Teaching Models, Reading Programs
Learning Point Associates/North Central Regional Educational Laboratory, 1120 E Diehl Rd., Suite 220, Naperville, IL 60563. Tel: 630-649-6500; 800-356-2735; Fax: 630-649-6734; Web site: http://www.ncrel.org/.
Publication Type: Guides - General; Information Analyses; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Institute of Education Sciences (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: North Central Regional Educational Lab., Naperville, IL.Wisconsin State Univ., Oshkosh.