One of the benefits of ZONES is the ability to pull flexible small groups based on students' needs. You don't have to worry about what the other students are doing while you are working with a small group, since everyone else is working in one of the zones.
In our fifth grade class, we frequently use informal assessments - such as whole group whiteboard responses, exit tickets, and quick quizzes - to determine which students to pull into a small group. These groups can change from day to day, just depending on how the individual students are doing. Sometimes all they need is one small group lesson order to understand a concept and be on their way.
This week we are working with division. Yesterday, we gave the students an exit ticket at the end of our math time to see where they were at. As I looked through the exit tickets, I saw that students had varying levels of understanding. I grouped students by what they needed in order to improve: more practice, subtraction (number sense), estimating the quotient, and basic understanding.
As you can see by my notes, you do not need a fancy grouping form, small group tracking form, or any type of form. You can easily use anecdotal notes, exit tickets, or other formative assessments to quickly respond to students and pull small groups to pinpoint and address specific needs.
We would love to hear how you form small groups in your classroom!
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