That was my fault. I wasn't good at structuring activities and putting them in groups that was function. Yes, you're going to get kids or combinations of kids that don't work well together. That can be controlled for. I did an activity today that was simple, but functional. Identifying and placing in a graphic organizer changes and advancements made during the Renaissance. I allowed them to use class readings and the internet.
I gave them half the class and they did it. They shared with each other with a little facilitation from me and they completed their task. In the past I was giving too much and making myself frustrated. I had to adjust to their level to create a foundation for them to build from. If I got observed, would that have been considered "rigorous?" For their grade level, probably not, but for them as people and individuals, it was. Now we have something to work with.