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.