By keeping appointment calendars, teachers can easily instruct students to work in partners with minimal management required. Students do not meet at specified times, it's simply an organizational tool. At any time during the day, the teacher may instruct for students to work with their 8 o'clock appointments.
Make one copy of the daily appointment calendar for each student in your class. Have students stand up, take their appointment calendars and find other students with whom to make appointments. Explain that each time an appointment is made, the student should write the appropriate name in the agreed-upon time. The calendars must agree. If Johnny is my(student in class) 8:00 appointment, I(student in class) must be his 8:00 appointment.
Students are responsible for keeping up with their appointment calendars, but the teacher may want to make a copy to be on the safe side.
It’s easy to differentiate the appointment calendars by only allowing student to self-select a specific number of appointments. The rest are made by the teacher. Students only have names written by their appointments but the teacher has a ‘key’ as to how the partners were made [see example below].
Appointments are made gradually throughout the year. The teacher may instruct students to self-select 8, 10, 12 and 2 o’clock appointments. This gives the teacher a ‘skeleton’ from which to work. As the teacher becomes acquainted with learning profiles, additional appointments will be made by the teacher. The teacher may simply instruct the class to write down 9:00 appointments by telling (or displaying on the SMARTBoard) who the partners are. When doing this, the teacher does not specify that 9:00 partners are peer tutors.
With a differentiated seating chart and differentiated appointment calendars, think of the flexible grouping arrangement possibilities. If the teacher calls for 3:00 appointments to work together, he automatically knows that he needs to work with the four-six early readiness students.
Possible Teacher’s Key
8:00: Student Selected Partner (Heterogeneous)
9:00: Peer Tutor (ER paired with R; R paired with AR)
10:00: Student Selected Partner (Heterogeneous)
11:00: Similar Abilities Paired Together (ER paired with ER, R with R, AR with AR – Homogeneous)
12:00: Student Selected Partner (Heterogeneous)
1:00: Similar Abilities Paired Together (Homogeneous)
2:00: Student Selected Partner (Heterogeneous)
3:00: Math (Homogeneous – Similar Abilities Paired)
4:00: Reading (Homogeneous – Similar Abilities Paired)
5:00: Science Peer Tutor
6:00: Similar Abilities Paired Together (Homogeneous)
7:00 Student Selected Partner (Heterogeneous)
Appointment Calendar for Susie Q.