NEVER put static labels on students…and NEVER EVER create static groups!!
Let’s compare the definitions of static and dynamic.
Static: Having no motion; being at rest; quiescent. Fixed; stationary. Social characteristic of a society that has reached a state of equilibrium so that no changes are taking place.
Wow…sound like any classroom you’ve ever seen?? Me either!! No changes taking place must also refer to growth right?? What an awful disservice to children everywhere!
Dynamic: Of or relation to energy or objects in motion. Marked by intensity and vigor. Characterized by continuous change, activity, or progress. From the Greek dunamikos meaning powerful.
Need I say more??
The performance of your students will vary continuously by skill, subject, and even by days at times. You must create a dynamic environment that is flexible and changes according to the needs of your students.
Long gone are the days of the Redbirds, Bluebirds, and Yellowbirds grouping. Flexible grouping allows your students to be appropriately challenged and reduces the chance that you may label students’ ability or potential. It is vital that you permit movement between your groups and especially across subject areas. Just because a student may be below-level in Reading, doesn’t necessarily mean the same will be true for Math or other subjects. Remember students talents or personal interests can have a huge effect on their readiness to learn something.
Even your above-level students can benefit from flexible grouping. Just as they can profit from working with their intellectual peers, they can also gain experience from acting as a leader in a mixed group. Peer tutoring is a beneficial strategy in any classroom.
So keep those definitions in mind when you are tempted to take wide path, which is definitely easier, but detrimental to those minds that rely on you to do what’s best for them!