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What do you think… Separated Or Combined?

In the Reading Workshop Mr. McGuire wrote this post and wanted us to comment on it. Here is the his post:

The current read aloud in Reading Workshop is Freak the Mighty written by Rodman Philbrick.  Max, a struggling reader is placed with the “smart” kids so that he can be with Kevin, his disabled friend.  Although the placement is based on the needs of Kevin, it brings to question the decision about placing students in classes.

Ability grouping is the practice of sorting students, mostly in elementary and middle school, into classes based on their ability level.  Those for ability grouping claim it increases student achievement because teachers can provide instruction at the appropriate level that is neither too easy nor too hard for most students.
One of the main arguments against ability grouping is that it creates classes of low achievers who miss out on stimulating discussions with higher achievers.  Labeling students may also communicate self-fulfilling low expectations.
Will Max benefit from being placed in the class with higher achievers?  Would you prefer to be in a class that is ability grouped?  Why or why not?

I think that Max is going to have a terrible time being in a higher class. I think he is going to be humiliated, and embarrassed. He probably won’t have any confidence while being in this class. I think that when a big test comes up and Max won’t know what to do then he will ask Freak to help him cheat.

I honestly think that the higher class men and the lower class men should be separated. If you put the lower class men in a different class and you are trying to have a discussion then some of the kids are going to have to speak up. If the lower class men are in a smarter class then the lower class men are just going to sit around and wait for someone to answer for them.

If you separate the kids then the lower class men are not going to be made fun of. If you keep them together then the higher class men might make fun of the lower class men just because they can’t answer a question.

I really think that the kids should be separated so then they can learn better. If you keep them separated then the kids can learn it through their mind more accurately.

Image from: http://kidsvoting.dreamhosters.com/index.php?page=hot-topic

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