Saturday, May 7, 2016

Differentiated Grouping Cards: An Easy Way To Mix It Up

Differentiated Grouping Cards
I am always looking for ways to change up my groups. I really believe that flexible grouping can be a powerful way to help students learn and to make their thinking visible. One easy way to implement flexible grouping is with grouping cards.

I started by making thirty-two cards with different numbers, letters, shapes, and colors. This means that you can group them at least FOUR different ways with ONE card.

30 Different Grouping Cards

The different ways that students can be grouped:
1. Numbers: The numbers can give you class groups of odd and even. You can also do groups like numbers 1-4, 5-8, etc.

2. Shapes: The shapes give you groups of four students. This works nicely for student projects, math tasks, presentations, and more.

3. Colors: The colors give you a DIFFERENT group of four. Meaning that this group of four will be different than the shape group of four. This group arrangement can work well for jigsaws or other group projects.

4. Letters: The letters give you pairs. This is great for think-pair-shares, partner reading, and more.

Grouping Cards

These groups can be strategically arranged to ensure that you have high, medium, and low kids in each grouping of four. You can also adjust the pairs to have a high/low, high/medium, high/high, etc. This helps you really meet the needs of your individual students in SO many ways.

I laminated each card on cardstock because lamination is my life. It also makes the cards durable so they can be used from year to year. Then I attached a Velcro dot on the corner of each desk and on the back of each card. This helped me secure the cards in a visible way so students wouldn't lose them in the black hole that is their desk. It also helped me easily switch students around.

Velcro Dots on Grouping Cards

The only challenge I ever had with these was the year I had 32 students and 13 of those were students with IEP's. They left the room frequently at different times for different services and that would mess up my groups. Make sure you have a back-up plan if your room is similar.

You can download my FREE grouping cards for you room here or by clicking on any picture.


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