Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Sometimes My Heart Hurts...

Welcome back to The Mysterious Gifted Society!

Well, today was a little bit difficult as I realized more and more how much differentiation my kiddos need.  After listening to my daughter's frustration with her education, I visited with one of my gifted classes.  I asked them about what they liked about our gifted class and what they would like to change.  They gave me a couple of suggestions, like having class outside sometimes, and things like that.  When I asked them about their regular classes, the conversation changed a little. 

It's funny how you wouldn't think that kids would want their school to be harder, but they do.  They really want to learn and to show their excellence, but the honest truth is, gifted students are not really a priority for America.  Of course, this makes no sense at all.  We need smart over-achievers to create jobs, change our world, and, of course, pay taxes!! :) 

But how do we do this?  Honestly, it's hard to say.  We need to differentiate, but it's difficult to know how and to find the time with all of the requirements of teaching.  This discussion has really been on my heart, and I will be doing my best to try to help everyone meet the needs of these students.  This is not a criticism of any teachers, just of the system.  And what I want most is to help teachers give an equitable education to ALL of our students.  I know how crazy busy it is and how hard teaching is.  My goal is for us to colloborate together and find some ideas, suggestions, and solutions to help these kiddos reach their goals!

One area that's been on my mind is math.  I am absolutely no mathematician, so trying to determine how to differentiate for kids is hard.  I was wondering if we could put them into math groups the way students are grouped in reading, with pre-tests to determine placement.  Older kids could possibly function in a small group learning environment with little instruction.  This would be more difficult with younger students, but I still think it might be workable.

Teachers out there, what do you think?  Do you see problems with this?  How can we better differentiate for these "smarty pants"? 


Carol Ann :)

6 comments:

  1. Carol Ann, I am so glad I ran across your blog. I taught 2nd grade for 4 years before having a couple smarty pants of my own. My daughter is 4 and could be doing most of the work I was teaching in 2nd grade. K registration is this month and all the moms have been a buzz. The idea of putting my child in a classroom where she will be out of her mind bored and potentially get in trouble -breaks my heart. I consider my husbands memories of being put in a corner with extra worksheets to keep him quiet or the frustrations of becoming the free classroom tutor. I'm now looking for ideas for her and her little sister. I'm excited about your blog! Regarding math, my mother-in-law teaches high school math and often supplements with card games. They cause kids to think quickly, keep score and its fun. She got the idea at a conference from an elementary school teacher that just modified the games. Sounds like a fun idea -sorry I don't have the specifics on the games but maybe I could ask her and report back :) Ciao!

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  2. Hi, Carol Ann. I have nominated you for the Liebster Award. Come check it out here: http://treasuresforteaching.blogspot.com/2012/01/over-moon-liebster-blog-award.html.

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  3. Wow, Monica! Thank you so much! I will check it out!

    Carol Ann :)

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  4. At my child's school they don't do any formal gifted ed until 4th grade, however the 3rd grade teachers are aware of who has been identified. A's teacher has her gifted math kids in an "enrichment" group. They still follow along with the regular math instruction, but meet as a group to do additional and often more difficult work separately. It's a start, I think! The teacher also does pre test them before each subject to understand which kids can move on and which will need more help. She also offers tutoring for the kids on the opposite end of the spectrum. Its' really nice!

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  5. Oh, also, my daughter's middle name is Carol-Ann, so I like you already. :)

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  6. Hi Angela!

    It sounds like your daughter has a great teacher! I know how hard it is to meet the needs of all the different students in a classroom, and it sounds like she has a great system in place.

    I am working on some different projects for students to work on as enrichment and differentiation materials. Maybe you could share them with her teacher if I ever get them ready to post! I'm so glad that your daughter is having a great year!

    Yes, we "Carol Ann's" are pretty awesome! :)

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