I was talking to a colleague who is taking a class for her master's (and I thought I was tired :) where they talk about grouping kids this way for small group instruction-and I am in love with this idea! We do small group twice per day-once in reading and once in math. We have always brought the kids to work with us based on where they were on the academic spectrum. Are they working on letters and sounds, are they already reading fluently? We work with those kids together on the same reader or math activity. And I think I will still have to do that because I'm not sure the powers-that-be would go for an extreme makeover of our small group system. However, I think I am going to start grouping kids to work together in their stations by learning styles. There are lots of surveys out there to determine what their style is or I think I could easily create one that's early childhood friendly with happy/sad faces to circle.
We'll see if that makes any difference. Has anyone ever grouped their kids this way before? I'd be curious to hear how it worked.