I feel embarrassed to even ask this question, as I am in my 5th year of teaching 4th grade. However, I am in a different school this year with different standards and materials. Anyway, I have about 5-6 students in my class of 29 who are in desperate need of more advanced math instruction. Most of them moved to our school this year from out of state, and obviously had very different math instruction last year than my students who were at our school. For example, I have been attempting to review multiplication. According to my standards, the students should know their facts and should also be able to multiply by one and two-digit numbers. The only students who can do this are those who are new to the system. The differences in background knowledge and ability is HUGE. I cannot even begin to wrap my mind around how to be sure that all students are challenged and working on things at their level. In the past, I have had a great deal of support from the gifted teacher (even when dealing with students not labeled as gifted...which is the case with my 5-6 students this year), and in reality, I never really had students who were so much more advanced. I use math learning stations and games to enrich, but I still do not feel it is enough. I have had parents asking me to give their child more challenging work, but with our time limits (and my class's inability to work well independently), I am having trouble providing them with the instruction they need into order to do more advanced work. If you have a great method for math differentiation, please share!! I am at a loss!

I group my students typically in 3 math groups and do rotations. One station is with me, one doing independent work and one doing a game or review.
Low-->Me, Independent, Game
Med-->Game, Me, Independent
High-->Ind, Game, Me (They start w/ independent b/c they can handle remembering my lesson from the day before and doing ind the next day)

Each station is about 15-20 mins, which gives me a few minutes at the beginning and end of class to review hw, etc.

To make this work, I:

1) Use parents! At least once a week, a parent comes in to the run the game station so I can do a more involved game.

2) Have a packet for ind work. Students cannot work ahead in the packet, but if they finish a page early one day, they can go back and work on anything in the packet already assigned that they didn't finish. By the end of the week I expect the packet to be finished. Students who finish the assigned page (s) go on the computer.

3) Let the higher kids teach each other. Since their work is harder, I let them work together to do the independent work and often at least one of them knows how to do it! Or I write out directions and examples ahead of time, and they go through it together and solve. Then when they get to me, they can ask questions and clarify.

4) Be insistent that independent and game workers do not interrupt your lesson with the other group. They have to ask each other for help.

5) Make a chart somewhere that has the station names and the group names and rotate the group names as they rotate, so that everyone knows where to be.

6) PreAssess before each unit or quarter to determine your groups. They might not always be equal sizes.

Hope this helps. I've done this with classes up to 27 kids and it worked well.

I do tiered practice and prepare prescribed math packets for each child to work on. The tiered practice allows students to work on a skill from basic to above grade level. If you would like the inserts for the math packet, pm me and I will be happy to send it your way,

facts. To enrich those that know their facts, I had them do factoriing and then prime factorization. They really enjoyed doing that. As we move on to division, I am going to have them learn all of the divisablity rules and then apply them to given numbers. I hope they will like that as well. It does become very hard to find materials to enrich--especially if the series you are using doesn't give any.

My series does given enrichment worksheets--but they aren't very good because they don't always follow the lesson. There is also a Problem Solving ws for each lesson. I will give that ws for the children who need enrichment--at least they have to apply the skill which makes it harder.

My setup is the same as daffodils! I LOVE it! My higher kids do the independent work that comes with the lesson and when they are with me we do the enrichment materials (we use EDM, so most lessons come with enrichment provided). I am also going to have my high group begin to work on projects that will take a little longer to complete (I believe there are enrichment projects from a group called AIM? google it!)

I would very much like to get your inserts for the math packets! My fourth grade team are just now breaking down each benchmark and trying to come up with differentiated instruction samples to use in class. If you don't mind, please send me your math packet as well. Thanks!

Would you please send me your math packet!!!! Thank you, I too have been teaching for years, only in second grade and have moved up to 4th, and I need to differentiate instruction...Thank you