Teacher confession: I have bored kids to tears in my class because they were not challenged. In fact, who needs Ambien when you have drill and kill homework assignments on material you have already mastered?! I felt my hands were tied with a textbook, overhead projector, and traditional worksheets.
Fast forward eleven years to a classroom where we have regular access to technology and so many amazing online platforms.
I started the 2018-19 school year by telling my students “I want to meet you where you are and push you to the next level. I am challenging each and every one of you to grow, without feeling overwhelmed or underwhelmed.”
But how can I do that with such a variety of levels within the same class? (I previously felt overloaded with the variety until I helped out with the reading program in my son’s Kindergarten class. They should pay those teachers extra by the way…)
It really doesn’t take as much planning and prep as you may think.
Here are some quick ways to differentiate in your own classroom to help students achieve and surpass their learning targets:
I do not do this on a daily basis. I set a goal. Start with once a month.
Set up an extension Google Classroom! Let the first assignment be: what would you like to learn more about in regard to (the subject you teach). Students can answer right on Google Classroom. So when you are feeling drained on ideas, go there. My students are far more creative than I am!
Put the things on the Extension Class that first inspired you to pursue teaching in your field. For me, it is food, music, culture, and travel. I passionately teach these things and the kids begin to get excited and request more on the same topic.
What about the kids that are still bored?: I have them. The group who will go on and travel the world and rule it. The kids who already speak fluent Spanish. What do I do with them?!
How about you? In what way can you challenge your kids to grow from where they are to the next level tomorrow in class?
For notifications of new Ditch That Textbook content and helpful links:
Interested in having Matt present at your event or school? Contact him by e-mail!
Matt is scheduled to present at the following upcoming events:
[getnoticed-event-table scope=”upcoming” max=”15″ expanding=”false”]
Please log in again. The login page will open in a new tab. After logging in you can close it and return to this page.