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helping above average kids
Old 07-31-2010, 03:13 AM
 
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This is my 5th year teaching. My first year doesn't count- I was in survival mode (I hadn't even finished my degree that year ). But the last 3 years I've taught kids who were mostly below average of not performing up to their ability. All of them made some sort of gains.

I've looked at the scores of my kids coming to me this year. Most of them I've had before (I taught them in 3rd and they are now in 5th/6th) Of the 16, only 3 tested low or below average. The vast majority are a stanine 6 or above in reading and math. This is new to me.

So, what is my focus? How do you help kids who don't have a lot of room for improvement to improve?


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Old 07-31-2010, 03:50 AM
 
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I'm intersted in other's results because I'm not sure I have this right... but

When I taught 8th grade academic/behavior mod, the purpose was to teach them something and keep them out of trouble. They were big kids and knew lots of stuff (some didn't know some of the basics, but they still knew a lot). I figured it was my job to teach them more. As long as they ended up knowing more than they knew now, they were good.

I've kept the same idea going into a "regular" inclusion classroom. Every child can grow. Go more in depth with what you are doing... add more vocab terms... add more upper level thinking and projects. Encourage them to ask questions and figure out the solutions/answers with you - or on their own.

Every kid has room to improve. They might not be able to underline the nouns any better than they already do, but what about gerunds?
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Old 07-31-2010, 05:05 AM
 
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How about starting with a pretest before you start a new topic and then putting out a list of enrichment topics for the kids to work on independently or in small groups which will allow you to work with the kids who don't get the topic.
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new concepts
Old 07-31-2010, 10:04 AM
 
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They might be performing well on concepts they've been taught, but there will still be new concepts for them. For example, in math operations with fractions or negative numbers might still be new. Symbolism or foreshadowing might be a new concept in literature. Try to have open-ended assignments that will allow them to produce advanced products. Another thing I've noticed with some of my higher level students is that they know the answers, but sometimes have a hard time explaining. It seems so intuitive to them that they seem to have trouble providing details about how they figured it out or how they know it's the right answer. Push them in this area as well.
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