I’ve switched from standard grouping to situational groupings. In situational group, the students are regrouped based on the frequent formative assessments done in the classroom. Therefore, the students in each group and the purpose of each small group differs. These groupings change frequently. This week’s “lack of transitions”group disappears based on the next formative assessment but a new grouping of “run on sentence” students appears based on the assessment of their papers and may last several classes.
The situational grouping is facilitated by the use of a spreadsheet in which I score/rate student’s performance and specific skills so that I can have the computer sort for those who scored in the low 2 and 1 range in the 4 point scale (4 = above proficient). A quick sort and I know the students in my next grouping. The harder part is to find focused instructional materials that help those students overcome that learning gap.