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A is for Advanced

April 9, 2014 by Mrs Hurley   

I am not completing the AtoZ April Challenge as I was too late to join. I hadn’t even heard of the Challenge until a day or two ago. But I like the idea of posting every day (except Sundays) with an alphabet theme. You can read more about it here.

This blog post is part of a series of posts following an A-Z theme, as adapted from the A to Z April Challenge.

A is for Advanced

More specifically, advanced students.

I have always had such a large spread of abilities in my classes. I know at my school, classes are formed based on a number of requirements; friendships, parent requests, gender and general capabilities. We try to spread across the classes as much as possible.

Somehow, though, I always end up getting a class where a majority of the students require intervention in literacy, maths or both! Very rarely do I get to teach students who are quite advanced. I’m talking a year or more ahead of their peers in any area. Once, I taught a boy who had literacy intervention but could complete complex maths equations in his head in a matter of seconds. He was a brilliant kid who just blossomed in the 2 years that I taught him.

But I digress.

This year, I have a Year 3 student who is working at Year 4-5 level for both Maths and English. He is very similar to the Maths Whiz boy I once taught. So the challenge is, how do I cater appropriately for this child in my classroom? (Where I also have a students working at Year 1 level). I know this is the struggle that teachers have daily because differentiation is essential.

I also have a Year 4 boy who, according to his December report, is working a year or two ahead in most areas as well. That being said, I can’t say I’ve seen enough to actually believe his previous teacher’s judgement. That sounds awful doesn’t it?

I know I can pair these two boys up together to complete tasks, but I find that there is always more emphasis on “at-risk” students and that we, as teachers, have to be doing everything in our power to get these “at-risk” students up to scratch. Quite often, these advanced students get ignored as they are not the priority.

I am planning on creating a rubric type thing for these boys for those times where I feel they are way above what is being covered by their Maths/Reading group so that they can go and complete an investigation or other task.

Does anyone already do this in their class? Any resources or tips you can share to get me started?


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