At this point, I want to emphasize that flexible grouping is a strategy for personalizing learning. Flexible grouping is not a goal in itself. It never makes sense to group and regroup just for the sake of doing it. Flexible groups must have a purpose for being together, and the purpose will drive the rest of the “hows” about the group: how long, how often, how much, and even who. Here are some potential purposes for groups:
- To address individual learning targets
- To address a group, or series, of targets that fit together
- To explore an interest
Here are some example week schedules that could be use to structure flexible groupings with one teacher, or a team:
- Set-up a groups based on a flow of chunks of targets and topics spread across a few teachers. The groups meet everyday and learners progress through the groups as they are ready. When a group is no longer needed, that instructor picks up the next group in the flow.
- Set up groups based on interest in projects or inquiry. The groups meet every day until the project or inquiry is completed and presented.
- Set up one day a week for just-in-time groups, and place learners in groups based on evidence from the prior days
- Set up groups based on foundational knowledge within a target. The groups may only need to meet once or twice.