Academic Triage

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Aliceacc, Jul 16, 2007.

  1. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jul 16, 2007

    A PM to another teacher reminded me of what I do when half the class is completely lost and the other half understands what I'm doing:

    I come in with a fun, self-explanatory assignment for the kids that "get it." It's to be done in class, quietly, and finished as homework. (They NEVER get to do homework in my class, so that's incentive enough to be good.)

    At the start of class I explain what we're doing. Those that "get it" will have an assignment and move to the back of the class to start it. For the rest of the class, it's a massive extra help session in the front. They can sit wherever, and I go through the material in the tiniest increments I can, stopping everytime someone has a question or doesn't know what to ask. We may only get through 2 or 3 questions, but it normallly helps tremendously.

    I seldom need one of these days; many years I don't use them at all. But they're a tremendous resource to have in the back of your mind, particulalry in math.

    Everyone leaves happy. The kids in the back have done their homework. The kids in the front are much more attuned to the material and able to do the homework.
     
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  3. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Jul 16, 2007

    Hooray for you, Alice! You are teaching students, not a subject. This is the kind of thing that separates out the great teachers--recognizing when the students don't "get it" and providing them with the extra support and time so that they do. I wish everyone did this and didn't just conitnue to move on because their long-range plans say they have to.
     
  4. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jul 16, 2007

    Well, the funny thing is that an Academic Triage day allows me to move a bit faster, since most or all of the kids now understand the old topic.
     
  5. eydie

    eydie Companion

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    Jul 16, 2007

    I wish my highschool Algebra teacher had done that!
    With my little ones I do the same thing. The ones who need extra come to the "teacher table" for more hands-on or small group practice, the others I let begin their activity page or move to a center.
     
  6. ayotte04

    ayotte04 Comrade

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    Jul 16, 2007

    Do the kids in the front feel inferior to those in the back?
     
  7. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Nope. They KNOW that they don't understand. And there are so many of them (I only do it when there are) that they know it's no big deal.
     
  8. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    I've told my students that the only time they should feel "stupid" (their word, not mine) for not understanding something is if they don't ask for and get extra help so that they do understand.
     
  9. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jul 16, 2007

    I have to figure out how to adapt this to MY classes (it's a bit of a challenge when class meets just two or three times).
     
  10. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    Jul 17, 2007

    I do something similar. I usually do this when I can tell by the looks on their faces that they don't get what we just did as a whole group. Usually, after a whole group lesson, they will go work independently or with partners, depending on the task. During those times I have a number who look confused, I will say, "If you feel like you are ready to do this independently, go ahead and get started at the tables. If you would like to work in a small group with me, let's sit on the rug." This works really well. Like the other poster said, they KNOW when they don't get it and want the help. They are very excited to be able to do it on their own the next time.

    Occasionally, I will do the same thing, but instead of leaving it to them, I will dismiss them in groups, and then ask a few to work with me. I just usually say something like, "Well, since we're the last ones left, we can work on this together."
     

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