Forming heterogeneous teams

Questions or discussion about Kagan theory, research, or implementing Kagan in your classroom.
sandy0312
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed May 22, 2019 11:53 am

Forming heterogeneous teams

Post by sandy0312 » Wed May 22, 2019 11:55 am

Hello! I am new to Kagan! As an elementary teacher teaching all subjects, when forming heterogeneous teams with my students what test scores (math, reading or both) am I going off of to categorize each students ability levels? I am trying to get a jump on my *potential* seating chart for next school year.

rickduvall
Posts: 38
Joined: Fri Nov 22, 2013 8:41 am

Re: Forming heterogeneous teams

Post by rickduvall » Thu May 23, 2019 7:14 am

Great question! Many elementary teachers use reading skills in forming their teams, as reading is a necessary skill in all content areas. Other teachers in self-contained elementary classrooms that have the same students for all subject areas often don’t use an exact score from one subject, as much as a “gut” instinct, as they know their students so well from spending so many hours every day with the same students.

One word of caution: while I commend your efforts in trying to be on top of things for next school year, I urge you to not form true base teams for at least the first couple of weeks of the school year. Some students may backslide this summer and not possess the same skills and abilities that they do at the end of the school year, while other students may work hard during the summer and make great progress. Also, you probably won’t know the personalities of the students yet. I urge you to start the first day of school with your students seated in teams of four in a way that makes sense to you (alphabetical order? student choice?). Move students into new teams every day or two as you get to know the students and their skill sets. After you begin to see how the students are performing in your class (usually two to three weeks into the school year), begin the four-step process of creating base teams for about six weeks.

Good luck!

sandy0312
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed May 22, 2019 11:53 am

Re: Forming heterogeneous teams

Post by sandy0312 » Fri May 24, 2019 7:58 am

Thank you for your reply! This is so helpful! :)

rcdanio
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Jul 22, 2015 8:32 pm
Location: Shanghai, China

Re: Forming heterogeneous teams

Post by rcdanio » Thu Jun 13, 2019 5:23 am

Hello from Shanghai,
I too allow for the first two weeks of class to be flexible. I observe student behavior, and assess their overall engagement in class. I teach them sports, English, science, art, etc. I need to know who can jump right into a task, follow spoken or written instructions, carry out a task and possible lead. I assign highest "grades" to those who meet these criteria, then follow the procedure outlined in the CL tome (with a little help from TeamTools software). I reassess at the 6-six team switch, as I get to know them better, and dynamics evolve.

Does anyone else use this approach? Would someone happen to have a rubric for class engagement, so that I could better formalize my process?