The school that I work at runs fluid groupings for reading and maths, and we have now just started it for writing (I will keep you posted on how that goes!). For those who aren't familiar with fluid grouping, students are divided into groups based on their academic ability in that subject and more specifically the topic being studied. So, as an example, all grade 5 and 6 students are grouped initially based on start up tests on, let's say, maths. There are six grade 5/6 teachers, so there will be six groups. Then, if the topic being studied is multiplication, and some students need more help or others need more extension, students can move between the group based on the teachers discretion. Although there are some negatives to this system, I think that from a teachers point of view, it is very helpful to have students in closer ability ranges as it is easier to teach to a more targeted group. It also allows the students to receive more targeted instruction at their level.
So, after all of that, this year I have been given the lowest reading group. These students are in grade 5/6 but are working at a much lower level. This has been a challenging few weeks for myself as I am needing to re-evaluate my teaching practice. I have been working a lot with the grade 1/2 teachers to get ideas and direction of how to run my reading lessons.
This week, we are working on recalling details from a story/text. Although the rest of the grade 5/6 teachers are working at a higher level, I have modified this topic to focus on the 5W's (who, what, when, where, why). Hopefully this works for my students. I have created a 5W anchor chart for this week and it includes our learning goal and success criteria.
I have created some very scaffolded activities for the students this week on the 5Ws with their guided reading books. Essentially, like the anchor chart says, I just want the students to understand the 5Ws and how to find them in a text.