Sunday, September 4, 2016

Flexible Grouping!

Hey Kinder Friends,
Flexible grouping has been on my mind since late last year. In the spring I was able to try several group strategies with my easy going class. I liked the idea and I learned it was not only engaging but highly motivational for my students. I was even able to branch out and try flexible grouping with a bilingual class and the results were the same...we loved it. We used flexible grouping mostly in math and science last year.
But this year I wanted to use this grouping strategy a little more and try some new things. I knew from experience that when I started in the spring last year I had already established many things in the classroom that made trying different strategies easy. Since I wanted to try flexible grouping this year at the beginning of the year I wanted something that would be simple to understand and easy to use. As I was on an internet search I came across these.
I knew when I found these that these would be the perfect start to my flexible grouping because they are simple to use. These are from Learning Resources. I bought them on Amazon cheaper than buying them direct and I paid no shipping since I am a prime member. I ordered them late on a Friday after ten days in school because I was thinking my class was ready to give it a try. I am excited that I have them in my hands on Sunday ready to take into the classroom this week and put them to work. I love that about Amazon Prime.
So, how am I going to use them?
In the beginning of the year the children can get familiar with them by selecting a stick and having them group themselves together and answer simple questions or even introduce themselves to each other. These can be used as a grouping tool for those first day ice breakers and you could establish flexible groupings from the first day of school...I love that!
The pencils can be grouped in a few simple ways. Cooperative groups can be grouped together by color, shape or number. It is simple and I especially love that at the beginning of the year. You can determine how the groups will be grouped or you can also allow the class to determine the grouping.
These pencils are made of think plastic and are very durable. These will last a long time and will survive Kindergarten. You will be able to use these again next year for sure. Additionally, you could use these if you happen to change grade levels. They could be used as call sticks for random calling but you would need to put a sticker on them and then write the name of the student. The sticker could be peeled off at the end of the year. I like keeping them as is and not marking them because I know I will be able to use these for years to come!

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