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Friday, November 21, 2014

Students Who Challenge You, Teach You

I've been trying to design learning experiences to meet the needs of all students. As any teacher knows, that's not an easy task.

The more I know this group of students, the more the design fits their needs and interests.

As I think about my outliers today, the students who aren't the easiest to serve, I recognize that these students are my greatest teachers. They're the ones pushing me to read more, think more, and try more new ideas.

So today, as I tried a strategy that mostly worked, I realized that it's important to reuse this strategy often in the days ahead so that those students begin to have a sense of routine and expectation about math class. There's comfort in knowing what to expect particularly if you're a student whose challenging to teach.

Therefore I'll follow today's template, a template that began with a video followed by a short lesson and then tiered activities including a short and targeted exercise and followed-up practice and enrichment activities. At the end we had a wrap-up that included an engaging video which tied the exercise to other disciplines and real-world events.

I hope this model will help some of my outliers relax a bit more and avail themselves to learning with greater confidence and comfort. Let's see.