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Math Workshop: Creating Developmental Student Groups

By Beth Newingham on April 24, 2013
  • Grades: 3–5

Before each unit of Math Workshop, my teaching partner and I pre-test the students to determine their prior knowledge about the concepts in the unit we are about to teach. Using that information, we create three groups (high, medium, low).

The students obviously are not told what group they are in, and the groups do change throughout the year as we move through each new unit. Students are assigned to a group with a name that goes along with our theme. We are careful to make sure that the group names change after each unit so that, for example, the low group was not always "The Titanic" when doing math workshop in our nautical-themed classroom.

Comments (3)

Hi Beth!
I'm a teacher just east of you...in Armada. It's my 2nd year teaching 3rd grade, but have taught k-2 for the last 8 years. It's my first time commenting on one of your posts, but you might see more from me now that I am fully implementing all three workshops, math, reading and writing this year. I'm curious about your pre-tests. Do you use the "Part B" portion from the previous unit's test? Or have you created your own pre-test for each unit? If you have, I'd love to see what you've created.

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