Thought starters

  1. What can you learn from Mr. Yager about grouping students?
  2. How does Mr. Yager leverage the social nature of middle school students during group work?
  3. How does having a growth mindset help Mr. Yager embrace this style of student collaboration?
He does a good job of grouping his students.
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To empower students in tutoring themselves builds success over time and gives them the sense of responsibility they need to have.
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In this video, I appreciated how he allowed the scholars to take ownership of their work in the classroom. He was not telling the scholars the answers or even scaffolding a lot of the skills, but simply instructing them to push forward with the skills they already knew for themselves and the help from their partner. I also liked the idea of him grouping scholars with their friends. I have used this strategy in my classroom, and it usually works just as he said with the friend being a real friend and wanting academic success for their partner and friend. It works more as an equal communication system rather than one friend taking ownership and leaving the other person silent in solving a problem in a particular subject or practice of a skill. In summary, I will use this strategy more in my classroom when grouping students especially in instances of independent practice where it is needed much more.
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Mr. Yager’s strategy on “Assess and Group” leverage strong relationships in the classroom. It involved strong Collaborative Learning Groups where scholars’ focus is on learning from each other. Collaborative learning is based on the view that knowledge is a social construct, and peer-to-peer teaching and learning can be very effective in all classrooms if we are tracking the assessment data and building trust in our scholars. It was clearly demonstrated that through peer-to-peer teaching and learning scholars were effectively teaching each other by addressing misunderstandings and clarifying misconceptions. It is my goal to use this strategy in my classroom.
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Watch the video "Assess and Group" and answer the following questions as an overall comment: -How does he group students? What was his rationale in doing so? -What does Mr. Yager do well that ensures the success of the lesson? -Reviewing all three strategies, which video do you find most applicable to your classroom? Explain.
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  • Assess and Group Transcript

    Speaker 1: So, finish part B. All right. This is good. Horns up. When you finish your

    Assess and Group Transcript

    Speaker 1: So, finish part B. All right. This is good. Horns up. When you finish your horns go up so that I can come around to check your work. You may work with your partner. You can.

    Speaker 2: Okay.

    Speaker 1: I have learned how to begin harnessing the energy that kid must apply to having a conversation with their friends about what they're going to do after school to having a conversation with their friend about how to solve a problem. I want you to try out problem number one with your partner right now for the next two minutes. Go. So, we do Y2. The groups that I build throughout the year are based on data that I have one in kids essentially, several some of the assessments. They're benchmarks, they're quarterly assessments. They're a measure of academic progress and also based on someone that flies contrary to what a lot of people would want to do, I will intentionally group a kid with a friend.

    Speaker 2: [crosstalk] today we can go two more [crosstalk]

    Speaker 1: I've learned to leverage the fact that a scholar in a classroom really cares about their best friends and they want them to be successful that when that one of them is experiencing some difficulty but the other one is starting to understand, it really builds into that sense of team and collective responsibility and wanting everyone in the class to be successful. All right. So, I'm going to put you in charge of getting on the Sammy through independent back. And when I see that three of my scholars who sit fairly close to each other having the exact same problem, but one of them is not necessarily having that problem, I would not hesitate like I did today in pulling the scholar who's being extremely successful up to work with another group thatΓÇÖs having a separate set of difficulties and kind of pushing those three scholars from different groups together into one group.

    Speaker 3: And then, so it's the same thing with the bottom two. It's just adding one instead of subtracting.

    Speaker 1: By grouping those kids together instead of jumping from one group to the next and moving all over the classroom in order to accomplish essentially the same thing with several different groups of kids. I kind of put them together into one group and was able to deal with them. I want you to talk to each other. I want to see if you can explain back to each other how we end up with 11, how we know to get there. I'll be back to check on this.

    Speaker 3: And this is why we're here and then you got to get one, but then you got the second one first and you subtract by two.

    Speaker 4: So you subtracted by the opposite like here and same side?

    Speaker 3: Yeah.

    Speaker 4: Same side.

    Speaker 3: But you just switch them that.

    Speaker 1: It's really, really important like when you're establishing the sort of culture of freneticism and constant group work that the expectation be on getting the work done. Okay. Beautiful. So [?] I want you all to continue in this group into the end of practice. I want you to make sure that we're doing it correctly, okay?

    Speaker 4: Okay.

    Speaker 1: You're doing fine? I want you to do each other. I believe that when we're talking about strong classroom management, what we're really talking about is being able to leverage strong relationships into building intrinsic motivation for kids to want to do the right thing eventually without needing like my calling or my assistance to get them on the right track.

    Speaker 4: We got something different. We got like 9 and 12 and it didn't work out.

    Speaker 3: These are really interesting thoughts. Okay. So, I'm going to show you exactly how to solve this from. I want you to compare the work that you were just doing to the work that I'm going to do.

    Speaker 1: You want to teach your kid not to be afraid of failure or getting a question wrong. You want to teach your kid that areas of weakness are really just areas in which we haven't grown yet and that we still need to improve. Being able to recognize that for yourself and for your classroom I think is really important to, not only your sanity, but your ability to continually improve your practice. When I start doing stuff like this last year, it was a hot mess and a half for a lot of the time that we taught kids would be kind of all over the place and I had difficulty ensuring and entrusting that kids would be doing what was expected of them. So, what I want you to do here is I want you to explain what you did so that you actually didn't need to look at that. But what I found the more and more that I get into this, it was if I start the year out with strong relationships, then it's easier to take risks throughout the year and to do things that at first glance might seem like managerial disasters waiting to happen.

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