Today during our grade level team meeting a discussion over a disruptive class of students and their behavioral problems prompted the teachers to look more closely at seating arraignments int he classroom. The question which is something our school is looking more closely at now is how does the seating arraignment in a heterogeneously mixed group of students look in a general education class? Are top level students dispersed throughout the class or are they grouped together to offer them more stimulating content depth? Are lower performing students encouraged to sit with students of similar skill level for teachers to have better targeted access to them?
This is a real dilemma of differentiation in a mixed ability classroom.
My question is this, are we providing enough ongoing assessment in the classroom to clearly articulate to our students that they are moving on a continuum of learning? Today they are here with this group working on this skill tomorrow they maybe moved. Or are we as educators from a traditional upbringing content with the validity of summative formal assessments that tracking students for semesters is more effective. Are the labels of High performer and low performer stagnate throughout the year? Does transitioning from ability group to ability group in a heterogeneous classroom help students and teachers see progress as ongoing? Does homogeneous grouping allow teachers to give targeted instruction easier?