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Old 02-05-2013, 01:37 PM
ktdclark ktdclark is offline
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 199
2nd Grade Teacher
^^good idea^^
Perhaps I will have a little group discussion with my top kids and remind them about their role as mentors. Even though we are using the GRR model, in a class of 32, it is VERY difficult to guide and monitor team building skills and interpersonal relationships effectively....this particular cohort are well-known throughout the school as well as being impulsive and LOUD so we spend time every day reviewing expectations and behaviours that will make their school day successful. Somedays, I feel like I am reliving the same day over and over again!
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Old 02-05-2013, 01:47 PM
ktdclark ktdclark is offline
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 199
2nd Grade Teacher
No, they are not "snotty"...in fact, I am amazed at the patience that some of them demonstrate when working with lower students. I do give them frequent breaks though, and use other students as well as mentors. I reminded my top group today that they are absolutely entitled to feel good when they accomplish something really great in school, but they also need to recognize that when someone else accomplishes something that may seem easy to them, that they need to recognize that that triumph is just as exciting and note-worthy!

I have been to trainings where they suggest that high students are paired with medium kids and medium kids are paired with low kids for that very reason mentioned above. I find it depends on the personality of the child--some can handle the high-low pairings while others cannot.
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Old 02-05-2013, 06:39 PM
waterfall waterfall is offline
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 4,434
Western USA
K-3 Sped Resource Teacher
Originally Posted by ktdclark View Post

I find it depends on the personality of the child--some can handle the high-low pairings while others cannot.
I agree with this. I'm not following that same program, but it sounds like my class is set up similiarly. My desks are in pairs so everyone has a partner that they work with (sometimes, of course there is independent work too) and do turn and talks with. I have two girls that are just ions above everyone else. One of them sits next to the lowest student in the class and actually enjoys it. She likes "teaching" him the material and reviewing it (she has told me this). I think it keeps her from being bored with whole group instruction, honestly. I'm very glad because I know this student woudln't get half as much out of the lesson if he sat next to someone else who would just give him answers or simply ignore him. My other really high student is paired with a middle-high student because she is NOT good with the lower kids and I can tell it drives her nuts.

One of the things I've done in class is little "skits" showing how to be a good partner. I start with "how to be a terrible partner" and they think this is absolutely hilarious. I ask for a volunteer who won't be easily embarrassed to come up and pretend to be my partner. I'll ask them to start reading and I'll do things like jump in after .5 seconds to give him a word, start talking over him, start talking to someone else, play with my book/look around the room, say "Just let me do it!" etc. Then we act out how to do it the right way. I feel it gets the point across without having to lecture.
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Old 02-05-2013, 07:09 PM
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czacza czacza is offline
Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 20,895
New Jersey
Grade 3
Ktd...sounds like you have created a kind and caring classroom built on respect for all learners. Please consider also allowing some time for your high kids to work together. There is research evidence that supports the idea that homogeneous partnerships and groupings of high learners results in accelerated learning as they push each others' thinking.
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Old 02-05-2013, 07:48 PM
msufan msufan is offline
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 258
Elementary Teacher
A little bit of alone time for the students couldn't hurt, either.
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Old 02-06-2013, 12:42 PM
ktdclark ktdclark is offline
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 199
2nd Grade Teacher
Thanks for all your responses!!!! Truly helpful to hear other opinions and experiences.
Fortunately, my highs do work together often on research projects and book discussions--I do not want them spending their whole day "reteaching" and guiding others. Of course, i would love for them to have more time to work as a group on higher level activities and will continue to try and implement them.

I agree about the alone time! I need lots of that as well...hahaha!

I like the skits idea--at the beginning of the year, we played a few games but have not done it in a while...we do the FOUR Ls of Being a Good Partner: LEAN, LOOK, LOWER your voice and LISTEN...perhaps some role playing is in order as well!!!
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Old 02-06-2013, 07:26 PM
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brigidy brigidy is offline
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 354
I couldn't imagine having thirty-two second graders!!!! I don't usually pair high/low students. When doing partner work, I will usually pair high with medium high then I pair the medium with low. The high-med. high group can move on with more advanced or independent work while the med-low groups can sometimes figure out the concept together, and I can work more one on one with these pairings if needed.
I find the high-low partnership is usually too drastic.

Last edited by brigidy; 02-06-2013 at 07:28 PM. Reason: forgot a word
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