Grouping for Rapid Advancement in Reading

In Success for All schools, all teachers teach reading for ninety minutes at the same time each day. During this time, students move to reading classes in which every student is reading at one instructional level. Students are grouped across grades and across classes because increased teacher-led instructional time and reduced seatwork increases students’ progress in developing reading skills. Each grading period, students are placed in reading classes at their instructional levels. Most students move to new reading levels every quarter, and many students who start at low reading levels catch up to grade-level performance within a year.

Success for All Regrouping Highlights:

  • Success for All’s grouping is based on the Joplin Plan, developed in 1954 by Cecil Floyd, the assistant superintendent of schools in Joplin, Missouri.
  • A common ninety-minute reading block (a sixty-minute period in middle school) allows for effective regrouping and sets a positive tone that emphasizes the importance of reading. Whole-group instruction is targeted and supports team practice and increased student engagement.
  • After using multiple measures to determine each student's individual reading mastery level, students in grade one and above are regrouped by reading level.
  • Regrouping crosses both homeroom class lines and grade levels. This allows teachers to address the entire reading class, allowing for targeted instruction and increased student engagement throughout the reading period.
  • These reading groups are homogeneous for reading level, yet heterogeneous in terms of other factors, such as learning styles and writing levels.
  • All teachers participate during the reading block, which results in more instructional levels and reduces class size. At the elementary level, this may include music, art, physical education, or other special-area certified teachers. In middle schools, content-area teachers can teach reading classes.
  • Student mastery and reading group levels are reviewed at least once each grading period, at which time students are regrouped appropriately. Because students learn at different rates, they are not locked into one reading group for the entire school year (thus issues with ability grouping and tracking are avoided).