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    Research STRONGLY supports
    By maryteach

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    proficiency grouping in core subjects. That is not the same as tracking. With tracking, you are in the track you're in for life. No one ever moves up or down. I was also raised in a district that tracked, and my graduating class was over 500. I also never met many of my classmates, but I'm not sure if it was due to tracking or the fact that there were 500 kids in the class! I understand the drawbacks to tracking.

    Anyway, research supports differentiation, which is giving all students work at their level. The difference between proficency grouping/differentiation and tracking is that with the former, groups are supposed to be FLUID. Kids should always have the opportunity to move up. And occasionally, I've had a kid that the testing missed, and I've had to move them down. But no one is automatically stuck in their group for life.

    I think differentiated groups are especially important with reading instruction, and it's really quite easy to manage. Whole class reading instruction really, really makes me cringe. I was one of the very good readers and I HATED reading time, because I had to put up with such poor, slow readers. We would take all this time to read a story from the basal (yuck!) and I could have read the stupid thing in ten minutes. I was at a higher reading level. That sounds snotty, but I don't think teachers realize how badly they're torturing their high readers with whole class reading instruction. Those kids should be reading something higher and more challenging. It's very easy to manage, and is the best for the kids.

    View the original thread this idea was posted on



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