Sunday, September 28, 2014

Teachers' Manual - Math Differentiation

I taught a 4th grade math lesson the other day and enjoyed it a lot.  I don't know how the particular group I had was chosen, but I suspect that they were selected on the basis of their above grade level achievement.  Since I have been on the look out for explicit instructions in the teachers' manuals for dealing with kids who have no trouble with the grade level material, I looked carefully at the teachers' manual for this lesson. 

In this particular lesson, there were instructions for how to deal with students who could readily do the types of word problems the lesson was addressing.  "Give them multi-step problems to solve."  The problem is, the teachers' manual did not include any examples of such multi-step problems.  And the question I have is, why weren't example problems included in the teachers' manual or perhaps an extension worksheet?  Why does each teacher need to re-invent the wheel for their gifted students? 

The teacher I subbed for teaches some remedial reading groups, in addition to this math class. There are huge boxes of materials for use with students with reading difficulties.  There are step-by-step goals for these kids.  Why aren't there analogous materials for kids who can do MORE than the standard curriculum?

Why is the only help for differentiating for gifted kids, "Give them multi-step problems to solve." with no indications of what such problems might look like?


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