The first key to success with flexible grouping is to have clear Learning Goals for the lesson.
In a Learning-Focused Lesson the Learning Goals are determined by unpacking standards to identify what students will know and be able to do as a result of the lesson. Below is an example of Learning Goals for a lesson on Westward Expansion. Notice that the standards selected for the lesson have been analyzed and clear learning goals have been written in terms of knowledge (Students Will Know) and skills (Students Will Be Able to).
Without a clear picture of these learning outcomes, grouping can be for the sake of grouping, not for learning. Everything that happens during instruction will be based on assisting students in meeting these goals:
- Whole group lesson
- Small, flexible group instruction
- Learning Stations