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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

More on Differentiation

In an earlier post, I talked about how I try to help the crew understand that we are all different and that we learn at different rates and times. We will continue this discussion for the rest of the year because it is an important topic to the children. It came up again recently when two students went to work in a small group with a parent volunteer. The other students wanted to know why they got to do that and everyone else didn't. This also comes up when any other teacher comes in to work with a student or small group of students. This time I answered by taking off my glasses and handing them to one little boy and asking him to wear them. I choose the little boy carefully knowing that this little boy wouldn't just grab my glasses and put them on. He looked at me with a confused look and said that he wasn't sure he should. I asked him why not and he said because they are for you and I couldn't see out of them and if you don't have them then you can't see either. This allowed me to introduce the idea that we all need different things at different times. (It also totally grabbed their attention to see me without my glasses.) It wouldn't be "fair" for me to make all of the students wear glasses just because I wear them. Most of the them don't need glasses. We then talked about how different students learn things at different time and in different ways and that sometimes they will need to be in different groups within our whole class group. They seemed to understand this at least for the moment. I know the subject will come up again, though.

I also told them that another way the I try to make sure that they each get what they need is that I teach lots of different things even when we are in a whole group. I told them that I try to make sure that everyone will learn something from every discussion we have. That is why it sometimes seems like we get off topic or that I ask different students different types of questions. I want to make sure that everyone is challenged in some way every time we gather together as a large group. Sometimes when I am offering more challenging topics to those students who need it many other students chime in. It ends up raising the level of all of our learning in all areas.

Reading ~ Read a good book or two.
Math ~ Home Link 5.2 Frames and Arrows Diagrams

We have library tomorrow. Please help your child remember to return his or her books.

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