One thing I have struggled with this year is leveling my content or “differentiating”. With students working such vastly different paces in each class, it’s hard to know how much to plan. I’ve been doing a lot of ‘research’ on math workshop or guided math. These are typically used at the elementary levels but I have been wanting to implement this kind of program in my class since it could help me differentiate. I’ve come to the conclusion that it won’t be easy because students like their routine but it’ll be worth it! I’ve done similar things in the past but I think I’m ready to give it a whorl on a regular basis. May be not daily since something’s can be better at the whole group level.
I thought I’d share an example of something that I’ve done to create ‘levels’ of instruction (you can get it here for free!). It’s great because all students can be doing the same activity, but at their level. These are scavenger hunts (I’ve become a pro in creating scavenger hunts fast!) but students can go to choose which level they felt most comfortable. For some students, I purposely challenged them to do the harder one because I didn’t want them to take the easy way out. I originally created the two different levels for my two different types of classes, pre-algebra and advanced pre-algebra. But I figured why not use both in both classes? I have high flyers in the regular class and students that are struggling in the advanced class. The students love the scavenger hunts and they really bought into the leveling and ‘leveling up’ if they did well on the easier one. It made them feel super confident. I think if I include more activities like these in my math workshop, then they will totally be more agreeable to the ‘math workshop’ idea. I’m thinking that I could make my math workshop have a game theme for the levels. ..wheels are spinning! I do realize that not everything needs to be blatantly obvious that it is leveled, being top-secret about it is fun! 🙂 I don’t want them to feel like they are being tracked or stuck in a particular level.
Here are some pictures of the activities:
Get my activity here for free! 🙂