许多老师把小组教学作为个性化教学的一种方式来帮助每个孩子取得成功。两种主要的小组结构包括异质分组和同质分组或能力分组，通常在课堂上使用。布鲁克斯和瑟斯顿发现，孩子们在小组中比在整个小组中更积极地参与学术语言的产生。Chorzempa和Graham(2006)发现，每四个参与他们研究的教师中就有一个使用能力分组。虽然这比过去其他研究发现的要少得多，但仍然是大量的教室。许多教师采用能力分组的主要原因是为了使学生能够以相同的速度移动以达到一个共同的目标(Lou, Abrami， & Spence, 2000)。Kulik和Kulik(1992)收集了数据，发现在高水平能力组的学生往往受益最多。低分组的孩子们的自尊心没有受到任何伤害，他们实际上在这个分组计划中获得了一些学术地位。Kulik and Kulik(1992)总体上发现能力分组对儿童的影响大多是积极的，而消极的影响几乎为零。然而，Abedi et al.(2006)发现能力分组会对儿童产生负面影响。他们认为能力分组否定了孩子们学习的全部经验。这一点对于厄尔班的孩子来说会被放大，因为许多老师把他们的能力等同于他们的英语熟练程度，所以他们经常被分到较低的班级。这是许多老师不采用能力分组的一个原因，尤其是在数学课程中。许多教师在阅读中使用能力分组来将孩子们的阅读水平调整到他们的水平，这样他们的同龄人就能读到相似的文章。异质分组强调儿童在一个合作的小组中与能力水平不同的同伴一起工作。孩子们都朝着一个共同的目标努力，并互相帮助以达到那个目标。Garret和Hong指出，当儿童在异质性小的群体中工作时，低能力的学生可以将高能力的学生作为资源加以利用。能力较高的学生也可以从做家教或辅导能力较低的学生中受益。对于语言少数民族和ELL学生来说，这些好处更大。能够参与更高水平的学术讨论，获得更多的内容知识和英语语言实践。
Small groups are used by many teachers as a way to individualize instruction to help each child be successful. Two main small group configurations include heterogeneous grouping and homogeneous grouping, or ability grouping, are often used in classrooms. Brooks and Thurston found that children were more actively engaged in academic language production in small groups than they were in whole groups. Chorzempa and Graham (2006) found that one in every four teachers that participated in their study used ability grouping. While this is far less than other studies have found in the past, it is still a large number of classrooms. The main reason that many teachers use ability grouping is so that the students can move at the same pace to reach a common goal (Lou, Abrami, & Spence, 2000). Kulik and Kulik (1992) collected data and found that the students in the higher level ability groups often have the most benefits. The children in the lower group’s self-esteem is not harmed in any way, and they actually gain some academic ground in this grouping program. Overall Kulik and Kulik (1992) found that ability grouping had mostly positive effects on the children and the negative effects were almost zero. However, Abedi et al. (2006) found that ability grouping can have negative effects on children. They believe that ability grouping denies children the full experience of learning. This can be amplified for ELL children as they are often put into lower level classes because many teachers equate their abilities with their English proficiency . This is one reason many teachers do not use ability grouping, especially in mathematics courses. Many teachers use ability grouping in reading to break children into their reading level so they have peers that are reading similar texts. Heterogeneous grouping emphasizes children working with peers of varying ability levels in a cooperative group. The children all work towards one common goal and help each other to reach that goal. Garret and Hong note that when children work in small heterogeneous groups, the students of lower abilities can utilize the students of higher abilities as resources. The higher ability students can also benefit from working as a tutor or mentor to the lower ability students . These benefits become even greater for language minority and ELL students. They are able to participate in higher level academic discussions and gain more content knowledge and English language practice.