Author(s)

Jennifer Cady

Date Approved

9-2-2011

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.S.T. Teaching

Department

Teacher Education

College

College of Education

First Advisor

Browne, Susan

Subject(s)

Composition (Language arts);Mixed ability grouping in education

Disciplines

Elementary Education and Teaching

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine how heterogeneous grouping, particularly in writing, would impact the learning and social community in a fifth grade inclusion classroom. The students were given writing prompts that enforced the use of collaborative writing. Qualitative data was collected through the use of student artifacts, student surveys, student interviews, and a teacher researcher journal. After analyzing this data, it was revealed that heterogeneous writing groups can lead to improved writing amongst all students. It was also revealed that working collaboratively with peers led to a correlation with positive social interactions and constructive revelations from the students. Collaborative peer groups, particularly grouping students who are of mixed abilities, can also help teachers to develop a positive learning community for the students. It was also identified, that in this particular study, student surveys became a major focus in identifying the students' needs in the classroom, which could help teachers to aid the students. Using this type of teaching approach, which targeted students of all abilities, can change the dynamic in a teacher's classroom. Using heterogeneous writing groups in the elementary school setting has tremendous amounts of implications for new teachers who are attempting to identify ways to motivate all students to better their writing.

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