This article is brimming with excellent advice for differentiating with groups. If there is any one task I find hardest as a teacher, it is differentiation. With the suggestions of this article, I have seen a lot of improvement in even my weakest students! The suggestion of using a color-coded system has been especially helpful.
I find this article helpful when I am struggling with what type of groups I should make for an activity. It clearly defines what a homogeneous group looks like versus a heterogeneous group, and suitable applications for both. I especially like the bullet points at the end of the article, which gives the elements each group must have, no matter what method is employed.
Grouping by ability has gained supporters as a good way to make learning happen for all students, from remedial to gifted. This article discusses the positive uses of grouping by ability and interviews several teachers who use this method.
This article has useful information about grouping factors that are often overlooked, including prior knowledge and personality. One piece of advice I actively use in my classroom is to let a student's personality drive what group role I assign to him/her.
This list of Do's and Dont's is something I reference every time I plan a group activity. The article has several excellent suggestions for picking a grouping strategy depending upon what is being focused on. My favorite piece of advice is the last one, which stresses the need to be flexible and accept that not all groups are going to work!
This tool is very handy when I want to make some quick groups for a small assignment such as the closure for the day. After you create a class, you just have input the size of the groups or the number of groups desired. The site can also create a seating chart and has a random name generator for calling on students.
This video illustrates how a carefully structured group should perform. The process goes smoothly because everyone knows what is expected of them. For me, he most helpful aspect of this video was seeing how taking the time to prepare the students before beginning a group activity helps the students to be successful.