In my class I do divide students by academic reading levels. I have two different groups in my class. The two groups work with me at different times. They are reading in two different books. I have never once called the two groups a high group or a low group. However, I know that some of the wiser students have quickly figured it out.
I am opposed to the labeling of the two groups because I do not want the division of my students. I like for my class to work as a united team. I do not want the lower group to feel bad because they are not in the higher group. I do not want the higher group to feel as if they are better than the lower group. Therefore when I refer to the groups to the class I refer to them by the title of the book that they are reading.
I really never thought that the students knew any different until one of my students made a comment one day. One of my students questioned why the two groups were not reading the same book. A girl quickly spoke up and stated aloud, “That’s because we are ahead of them.”
I was caught off guard and questioned her on why she thought that she was ahead of the other group. She stated that her mother had told her so. I tried to let the comment go. However she was very adamant to continue to let the class know that she was in the group that was ahead and that the other group could not read as well.
I reassured her that she was not ahead of anybody in the class and that we were just reading in different books.
I suppose in a way I may have not been completely truthful with her. However it greatly upset me that she felt so strongly about being ahead of the other students.