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During SACRED WRITING TIME
, I allow my students to sit with their friends--provided they stay on task, of course; when those ten minutes are up, I quite often move my students into random small groups (of 3 or 4) so they aren't always just hearing the perspective of their friends during my lessons that require them to think as group.
One crazy year, I had six different classes, and no two classes had the same number of students: I had a group of 19 in one class, a group of 24 in another, then four more classes of 26, 27, 29 and 32. That was the year, I began creating these grouping cards.
As you will see in this preview (by watching the introduction PPT), I crafted the cards as a means to differentiate for my students with learning styles that were more at risk in school based on the research. In the safety of a group of 3 or 4, I know I can push my students a little harder because they have the safety of a group to bounce ideas off of and to create evidence of learning together.
Each set of cards comes with 6-8 different transitional activities that can be clicked on when the PowerPoint is in "slideshow mode." The 5-10 minute transition activities introduce and reinforce skills of vocabulary and grammar, and the student groups compete those transitional activities while I am prepping the real lesson of the day that will follow. Because the cards are randomly dealt out while students are doing their sacred writing time, we can usually repeat the same transitional activity 4-5 times before a student ends up with the same challenge, but the challenges are all worth repeating.
In this preview, you'll be able to explore:
1) My introduction/rationale to the grouping cards and the way they are used.
2) Access the the 29-student card set, which you use when you have 29 students. There are 29 cards that you cut up and distribute randomly to each student, and then you put the 29-card PowerPoint up on the Active or Smartboard. Click on the transition activity you wish to do that day, and there will be one, two or three slides that will move your students through a 5-10 minute challenge.
3) Each card set also comes with the Excel spreadsheet I created before making the cards, and you will be able to know ahead of time which cards will make a group of three and which ones will make a group of four--if you want to "stack the deck" to ensure some students are in groups that will be better for them. I'e included the Excel spreadsheet for the 29-card set.
If you purchase the whole set of these grouping/transition cards, you will have completely different cards and activities for groups of 16-32. Between 2016 and 2018, we plan to expand the number of card sets so that they can be used with groups of 10-36. If you buy them now, you will receive the updated sets of cards for free.
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