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When teachers want to have students practice academic language and build understanding, they can form groups that bring students of varying language and academic proficiency. One way to determine these groups is to create a list of all the students in one class, putting them in rank order by language proficiency or by academic skill. The teacher can form groups by taking the first student and the last student and two from the middle to form the first group. In the next group the teacher can place the second student, the student second to last and the two left closest to the middle. The teacher can continue to take students from the top, bottom and middle until all of the groups are formed. Teachers can then adjust the groups based on what students work well with one another. Teachers need to remember however, that students who are at an early level of language proficiency may not have a weak level of academic skills and or little understanding of the content.When teachers plan for differentiated instruction, they need to keep in mind the three principles which are; meaningful task, flexible grouping and ongoing assessment and adjustment. Considering students interests helps to ensure that tasks are meaningful. Knowing your students, proficiency levels in English, background knowledge related to the lesson, and reading levels or their readiness, as well as their interest and learning styles help to determine appropriate grouping configurations. Also on going assessment is what provides the information for planning and helps the teacher know how to adjust the lessons accordingly.


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