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Best Fit Grouping

February 9, 2013
Activity for students to detail information about characters from a story.

Activity for students to detail information about characters from a story.

Last week I had the opportunity to watch our 2nd grade students and staff during “Best Fit” time at Pleasant Ridge.  During this time all 2nd graders are “regrouped” based on reading levels. They are then given specific instruction to help them improve.  It’s an “all hands on deck” model with classroom teachers, special education teachers and reading tutors all taking groups of students.  This allows for small group instruction on important literacy strategies.  Needless to say, this takes a great deal of coordination, flexibility and collaboration on the part of the staff.  We are doing “Best Fit” groups for literacy at all of our elementary buildings this year.

After watching it in action on Thursday, I came away extremely impressed by the impact this is having on our students and on the level of collaboration between the staff.  It was a team approach with the students’ needs at the center of the conversation.

The process reminded me of the quote from Charles Darwin,

In the long history of humankind it is those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively that have prevailed.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. February 9, 2013 8:35 pm

    This reading intervention and extension approach has dramatically improved the collaboration and creativity of our grade level teachers, special education teachers, reading intervention specialists, and most important, our students. Additionally, student progress monitoring results show improvements in the areas of literacy development that they were struggling with. Powerful stuff!

  2. February 11, 2013 9:43 pm

    Can you explain how it works a little bit more?

  3. Caroline Stout, RtI Coordinator for SAS permalink
    February 12, 2013 2:24 pm

    The “Best Fit” groups are the new way we’ve found to implement a Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS), otherwise known as the Response to Intervention (RtI) model, in kindergarten through third grade to give all students the opportunity to make adequate gains in reading while maximizing the time and expertise of the staff. In addition to the regular literacy instruction happening in the classroom, all students are regrouped into homogenous “Best Fit” groups based on skill level in order to meet their reading needs. These groups meet four to five times per week for 30 minutes per day. In this fluid model, students are closely monitored and regrouped about every 6-8 weeks based on their changing needs. For more information on the use of this model in Saline and all it’s components, check out our elementary RtI website at:–saline/
    Although this type of model where all students regroup for intervention, enrichment, or extension is used by many school districts across the country, we owe the “Best Fit” term to teachers at Cornell Elementary in Okemos, MI. In partnership with MiBLSi (Michigan’s Integrated Behavior and Learning Support Initiative), they came to this model for implementing Response to Intervention as it “best fit” their needs and the individual needs of students at various stages of learning – we agreed 🙂

  4. February 14, 2013 12:54 pm

    Here is a link to a post about BFG at Harvest Elementary

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