Discussion in 'General Education' started by teacherintexas, Jan 11, 2015.
Jan 15, 2015
yeah, I would be calling them out on student mastery versus a pacing "guide".
I think you sound like an amazing teacher. It was always a struggle for me to have 7 kids in my little group and successfully monitor the other 18 at their centers. I also noticed that I'd spend some of my precious group time discussing their independent work assignments (which I admit, came from the publisher).
Jan 16, 2015
I fully support mastery and am generally fully against pacing guides as anything other than a "general idea of how a typical class may progress" as a reference for teachers to use in planning. I think pacing guides are one of the biggest problems in current education.
That being said, I've yet to work in a school or district (and I've worked in about 20 schools across a number of states) that doesn't have one and make teachers stick to it. Some admins are more reasonable and lenient, but they've always had them.
My responses to your points below. Mainly, though, I don't think the strengths weaknesses are inherent to any particular form of instruction. I'll explain...
Small group lessons don't need to be rushed, don't need to be based on a publisher's idea of what a kid needs, and can be "masterfully planned." That said, so can large group instruction! So, I don't see any clear winner in this category.
This is split, in my opinion. To your point, monitoring independent work can be tough unless their are well constructed permanent products. However, on the other hand, monitoring progress toward reading group skills actually becomes easier because it's more visible in a group of 5 than 20. Still, I think monitoring and adjusting instruction can occur both in whole group and small group.
My main response here is that I don't think this has to be left out at the sacrifice of small group instruction or differentiation. Yes, full differentiation would make this tough for sure, but most teachers provide small group instruction for part of the content block, then provide whole group instruction during another part. If you wanted to create thematic and interdisciplinary units, I'd see no issue with doing that alongside small groups. But, yes - probably not at the same time, at least not without a lot of work.
Certainly could be a negative byproduct of small group instruction that would be unpleasant to deal with.
I have only worked in 1 so I have to defer to you on this one. We have a pacing GUIDE, but I find it incredibly odd to have to follow it in spite of data that would indicate mastery. In our day of testing data and data drives instruction, that you would have to do something that you could prove has already been done.
You nailed it. There are certain advantages and disadvantages to any approach.
Jan 18, 2015
I agree with so many of your points- especially the ones I bolded!
Jan 19, 2015
Separate names with a comma.