How would you address a wide range of skills in your classroom?

Question:I am a new teacher and I am interested in any other teachers who have some insight to this question! Thanks in advance! :)




Answers:
A lot of planning! The easiest thing to do is pull small groups. If your school uses 3 group rotation it is easy to implement. If your school uses another method of instruction you can pull groups during any independent work time. When some students are completing an independent assignment you pull another group to work with you (on that same activity or anther lesson all together.) When the students need to complete the same activity you can differentiate by setting different goals for different students.

In writing assignments you can alter the number of sentences that need to be written, how much sentences need to be extended, or how many details need to be included. Some students may edit on their own, some with a partner, or some in a small group with you.

For reading assignments you may need to give different leveled books to different kids. You can find many books on the same topic at different levels. Most times your teacher manual will list alternative book options for more advanced or struggling readers. For reading assignments that all students need to complete try choral, echo, or partner reading for those who need it.

Math is the easiest to differentiate. Some kids can use manipulatives and some might be able to use mental math. Additionally, you can do an introduction and guided practice to the whole class. Whoever can complete the independent assignment on their own can do that and you can pull a small group for those students who still need guided practice or more scaffolding.

I hope this helps. Good luck!
This sounds like a typical question on an employment application. I came across it several times when filling out applications last year. I think you need to answer this question yourself, not use others ideas. What happens when you go to the interview and don't know what your answer was?
Very tough one and pretty political as well. I am a high school atmh teacher in an urban district that does not "allow" tracking. Although there have been clever ways around that in the big schools. I teach in a small HS, 200 students. I am the only math teacher and end up with a big range of skills in every class.

How I deal/t with it is pretty much in lesson plans and on an individual basis. In my plans I always try to write a bunch of questions that addresses many skill levels. Then I try to make it look random as to who I call on. For the most part, that's pretty easy. I also have different homework assignments. That is difficult because the low level will try to do the "shorter" assignment, thinking they are getting a break. That is hard to explain to them. Lastly, if someone is really bored to tears, I talk to them to see if we can have an agreement about alternate work.

It is not easy at all and I will be working on that for the rest of my career.
I pretest my units and group kids according to their needs. This could mean that on any given day I could have from one to like four groups going at once. It takes a lot of planning and a lot of flexibility and patience. It also takes a person who doesn't mind a little noise/caios in the classroom.

First day activity (I teach 5th grade-not sure what grade you have)- I like to do Buddy Venns. Either 2 or 3 circle Venn Diagrams (depending on their group size) where they interview each other as to their favorites (I usually give them a list of ideas to start with and then they create their own questions) Of course if they have something in common in goes in the part of the Venn Diagram where they cross. They really seem to enjoy it.
I use differentiated instruction in my classroom. You can research this on the net or if you want to email me, I'd be glad to tell you what I do.

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