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Mixed ability or ability groups in maths

Discussion in 'Primary' started by summlard, Feb 2, 2016.

  1. summlard

    summlard New commenter

    which do you use in the majority of lessons and how do you manage different ability levels in mathematics?
  2. Studyzonetv

    Studyzonetv Occasional commenter

    I generally do ability groups, but it very much depends upon the task.
  3. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Whereas I prefer mixed ability groups.
    Helps the HA, who have to try explaining their reasoning, demonstarting they really have understood and the LA get a'child-friendly' explanation.
  4. Senco84

    Senco84 New commenter

    I have done both in a three form entry school. I found ability groups much easier to plan for and teach. When teaching a mixed ability group I did a lot of group teaching but the number of differentiated activities made it very hard work.
  5. missied

    missied New commenter

    Previously always done ability groups, moved to mixed October time so children can 'teach' each other - show application of skills etc. In some ways it's been successful and other ways not. I've found it quite difficult to manage a spread of abilities dotted around the classroom and give support where it's needed (I was directed to mixed ability grouping and wouldn't have chosen it). Also children didn't label themselves, which impacted on confidence.

    I'm planning to do a mixture during the week now because I now have a TA & SLT have changed their minds & directed it!
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  6. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    For me that is the biggest 'plus' of mixed ability- the impact of non-labelling and improving self-confidence. Especially when a 'usually slower child' suddenly 'gets something and can 'teach' the more confident child.
  7. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Chop and change day to day, depending on the activity.
    But even the ability group days don't always have the same children as top, middle, bottom.
    Just depends on what each child needs that day.
    frustum and lardylady like this.
  8. lmnop

    lmnop Occasional commenter

    Although there is a limited place for HA chn to 'coach' LA chn, I think this can be overplayed, particularly if we're trying to convince ourselves of the benefits for the HA. In reality i think it probably benefits us more as it's like having an extra TA. Maybe it's more beneficial if the HA is 'coaching' a child in the group just below theirs, so they have to really think about their explanation rather than, say, just helping an LA child to count on a number line accurately.
  9. sunshineneeded

    sunshineneeded Star commenter

    Mixed ability for most subjects, but generally ability groups for maths - does depend on the task though. The downside of mixed ability in maths for me is that I find it almost impossible to extend the HA - and (in Y6) we seem to have to extend them almost to GCSE level now in order to get ready for the new SATS!

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