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This is a worked example on a lesson about Native Americans in the Indiana region. The lesson is for 4th graders.


I am handling grouping heterogeneously.  I strongly support Vygotsky's idea that grouping students heterogeneously can help accelerate the cognitive level of some students.  I have taken notes on the students' cognitive abilities and when I group them, I will make sure that the distribution is equal and that each group is heterogenous. 

If we want our students to accelerate to their potential we need to begin grouping our students heterogeneously by cognitive ability.  If we keep them grouped with children at the same levels, the development will be much slower and our children will be restrained from the vital social interaction they need to develop skills.  Here is an example: if a group of 5 kids, none of whom have ever put together a computer are asked to do so, it will take a very long time. On the other hand, if you have 3 Students who haven’t and 2 students who have, the 2 students that have the knowledge can guide the other students through the project, accelerating their knowledge about building computers.

Those, like myself, who are in favor of heterogeneous grouping have probably based their ideas on the reasoning of constructivism theorists, one specifically being Lev Vygotsky.  Vygotsky’s studies, as well as studies modeled by his own, suggested that through heterogeneous grouping, students at higher levels of cognitive thinking could guide other students to their potential cognitive ability.  He introduced the Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) as a metaphor for this idea.  The ZPD includes all of the skills that a student needs to develop through social interaction with other students at higher cognitive levels in order to reach their potential development. 

I feel confident in Vygotsky's reasoning because it almost seems like a way to subtly tutor students that need help.  By grouping heterogeneously, it's almost like having at least one tutor, or student that is advanced in the skill at hand, working with other students that need the help of that peer to fully understand the concept. I feel like grouping students homogeneously would make my classroom unbalanced and I would have trouble finding a lesson plan that is comfortable for all groups.  

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  • @ 04/26/11 20:52 EST on Page: Overview - Flag(0)
    This is a great site! I love that you put the pictures for your topic on the tabs!
  • @ 04/26/11 21:54 EST on Page: Overview - Flag(0)
    I really liked your choice of topic and I thought that adding the pictures on the tabs really added to your page!
  • @ 04/26/11 22:21 EST on Page: Assessment - Flag(0)
    Great pictures. I really liked the creativity and originality of your work. Your assessment methods seem really effective.
  • @ 04/27/11 22:46 EST on Page: Assessment - Flag(0)

    I really like the overall layout of the website the pictures all flow very well and like how you tied the tab pictures in with your lesson. I didn't read through  everything i would just suggest going back through and making sure you meet all the requirements

  • @ 04/28/11 20:03 EST on Page: Overview - Flag(0)

    I love your layout already!  I haven't even moved on to any other part of your worked example yet and it is very appealing from the first page only!  The pictures are great and I love that you picked a standard to base your lesson off of as well.

  • @ 04/29/11 19:04 EST on Page: My Theory of Learning - Flag(0)
    I think it is really great how much thought you put into each activity for your lesson on Native Americans.  I also think that it great that you are having the students use resources from the library. This is something important for them to learn to use for the future.
  • @ 05/04/11 04:15 EST on Page: Grouping - Flag(0)
    We have the same views on grouping students, I think heterogeneous group is great model to use for your classroom. This is very interesting topic as well, nice pictures too.