A space for asking general questions and getting answers.
How do you get those students that are struggling caught up on these activities? What about those that are thriving and how to get them to keep learning while at a pace for the average learners? Still struggling with that one.
I really like your question because it something we hear a lot as a concern in PD. It would be great if other teachers shared their ideas as well. I would love to hear ideas or techniques used in your classroom.
Some ideas I’ve heard presented by teachers during PD
- Pair the stronger students with the ones that may have missed class or are struggling. Have them get the person who is behind up to speed.
- Give extension activities to the students who are ahead of pace. Have them investigate the topic from class even more in-depth. For example Binary - students could dive deeper into understanding why this important to computers and how it is used.
I also think the ideas will be different depending on the Unit you are in. The programming units tend to have students in very different stages. I would just always remember the goals of the class. If the focus is more on inquiry than as long as students are discovering things they are probably doing what they should be even if they aren’t all at the same level.
With regard to your two suggestions, what do you do when the students won’t cooperate? I find the students who are stronger get annoyed with those that are not or they simply don’t want to stop what they are doing to help the other student. As far as giving extension activities, on rare occasions I’ll have a student willing to do this, but most see it as more work and feel that they shouldn’t have to do more work than the others, even if I offer extra credit for it. It’s the more advance students this falls on and typically, they don’t need the extra credit and know it. I’ve tried (in the past) to allow students to move ahead to the next topic/lessons but this becomes a nightmare for me to manage.