Saturday, November 14, 2015

Guided Groups: A Co-Teaching Strategy

My third period class is made up of advanced English language learners and general education students.  In an effort to meet our students' diverse needs (as well as more effectively co-teach), my co-teacher and I have turned to guided groups.  In a nutshell, we conduct a whole group mini-lesson and then ask students to select the level of support they think they'll need to complete a related assignment.  One teacher works with the group that selects the most intensive level of support while the other teacher works with the remainder of the class.  We switch off roles and it gives the students a chance to get comfortable with both of us regardless of their ESOL status.  The video below will give you an idea of what this strategy looks like in action.  Enjoy!


  1. I absolutely love the idea of having students rank themselves in terms of how well they think they understand.

    I have one question: How do you let students answer this question in your class? Have any of them been hesitant or embarrassed to label themselves in the lower-level of understanding? What do you do if a student thinks they need to move to a different group (as in they choose to work independently, but then discover they didn't understand as well as they thought)?

    1. Students group themselves by moving to designated areas of the room. We've built a classroom culture where it is acceptable to ask for help, so the students are able to be honest without stigma. The most important thing is to hold students accountable for the assignment. I feel that teaching students how to take responsibility for their own learning by seeking assistance when needed is good preparation for high school, college and life.

      If students discover that they need additional (or less) assistance, they are free to move to the area of the room that most suits their needs.