This year's challenge

Avatar for coloradomom2b
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
This year's challenge
Wed, 09-07-2005 - 10:46pm

This is my third year teaching 4th grade at a private school. Every year I say that I have a new challenge. My first year at this school, 1/3 of the class was special ed with no special ed team. Most of the needs were sensory integration or Aspbergers, etc. No real big learning disabilities that hampered the students from learning with the rest of the class. Last year the challenge was discipline, and I'm a better, more organized teacher this year because of it.

This year my challenge is a *wide* range of kids. I have 2 kids who tested at a 1st grade reading level on the STAR reading test, and several others tested below grade level. Most of my students fell in the 5th grade range for reading. I do have about 5 who tested in the 9th and 10th grade reading levels. So, we are ability grouping Reading, and it is working out very well.

The next big problem to conquer: Math. I am finding the same range of abilities in Math as I did in Reading. Unfortunately, neither my teaching partner nor I are able to put Math in the same time frame in order to ablity group. I only have an hour a day in which to do Math. Any tips on how to help those who are really low and still keep the ones who 'get it' interested? I've never ability grouped in a single classroom/one teacher setting. Any advice or tips at all that you could give would be appreciated.


Feb 09 Siggy

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-24-2003
Thu, 09-08-2005 - 8:07pm

You do have a challenge. Well, let's see....I think I'd try to work out independent study activities and learning centers so that you can group them by achievement/ability and work with separate groups on a rotating schedule.



iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Sat, 09-17-2005 - 2:05am

My cooperating teacher did not ability group math, but she did teach math in small groups. There were three groups and they rotated through centers, seatwork and small group with the teacher. This would be a lot of work but probably could work for ability grouping. You could assign different seatwork and work on different skills with them. Her center for math was mainly "free exploration" with manipulatives - so that wouldn't be too hard to set up.

Or you could teach a whole group/grade level lesson then assing independent work to the on grade level and above and work with the below level in small group.

I'm having similar problems in reading. I have 1/3 of my class that is below and 3 of those students are so far behind that it is depressing. There just doesn't seem to be enough time in the day to give them all the attention they probably need. Stephanie