Help with how to teach a very advanced student.

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by texteacher, Sep 6, 2010.

  1. texteacher

    texteacher Companion

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    Sep 6, 2010

    So I have a first grade class of 20 kids. None of them can read at all except for one. She can read absolutely anything and understands it all. So I don't know what to do with her. I can't put her in a reading group with anybody else in the class because she is far too advanced. Do I just meet with her individually? And how often should I meet with her for? I almost feel like it's a disservice for her to be in my class. She's so far ahead of all the other kids. The rest of my class is completely behind and we're even going over all the letter sounds again as our new reading program has it. She definitely does not need this practice. During whole group reading time, should I somehow set her off by herself to do something different? I'm just not sure how to manage this at all. She could probably function just fine in a third grade reading class.
     
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  3. UVAgrl928

    UVAgrl928 Habitué

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    Are you the only teacher on the grade level? If not, I would coordinate with another teacher and try to make a small reading group of higher students. Last year I took a group of high 2nd graders, and I was able to do a lot of things with them that other groups weren't able to do. They also got to work on harder stories, and focus on higher levels of thinking. If this is the only 1st grade class, try coordinating with a 2nd grade teacher.

    Also, how is her comprehension? I know you say she understands it all, but is she using any higher level thinking? I meet with all my kids in a reading group every single day. About 3/4 of my class is typically below grade level, so I feel like this is one of my best opportunities to differentiate for those higher students. I know that other teachers meet with those high kiddos 2-3 times a week, but to me, it's just not right. I also don't think it's fair to have them doing additional projects that other students aren't having to do... but I guess that's my own personal opinion.

    I would try problem solving with your grade level team first. I know for my team, switching a student or two for reading or math is typically a little easier than having to differentiate for just that one child all the time. Also, do you have a gifted teacher? I would use her as a resource! Even if this child is not in the program, she should have a lot of great suggestions for things that you can do.
     
  4. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Sep 6, 2010

    do you have a classroom library? Instead of using your basal with her, let her read independently from the classroom library. Assess for reading level, fluency and comprehension and direct her to the appropriate leveled books. Remember that just because a first grader can read at a third grade level doesn't mean she should be. There are concepts/life issues in higher level reading that a first grader is not ready for. Better to give her good work to do in her independent reading: character study, story elements, cause and effect, theme studies, author studies.... Pairing her up with a high reader from another first grade classroom will give her someone to discuss her thoughts about her reading with.
     
  5. renmew

    renmew Rookie

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    Sep 6, 2010

    This is exactly what I was going to say.
     
  6. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    If the first grader is reading at a third grade level, what's wrong with that?
     
  7. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    I don't think the OP means additional, I think she means instead of. Instead of the child working on skills she's already mastered (letters and sounds), she can do some sort of independent study project to become an expert on a topic she wants to learn about. The kids usually love it because they are bored with sitting through lessons when they can already do them.

    texteacher-read up on compacting. I would have a reading group with just her-assign her a chapter to read with a specific reading strategy in mind and come back and discuss what she's read. I think it's great you are looking for resources to help her! :)
     
  8. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Sep 6, 2010

    Does your district have a gifted program?
     
  9. texteacher

    texteacher Companion

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    Yes, I think I'll do just that. I actually have a lot of good books in my library that I think she could read and enjoy. How often do you think I should meet with her?

    Also, do you think it appropriate for me to give her an alternate spelling list? Obviously, it's a waste of her time to practice writing words like mat and sat if she can write words like chapter and internet in her stories.
     
  10. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    Sep 6, 2010

    Is she the only one who would benefit from a different spelling list? If not, maybe you could do a small group with a different list. Otherwise, I would definitely think about it. You could find more challenging words with the same pattern as your weekly focus, as well as choose words from her writing.
     
  11. texteacher

    texteacher Companion

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    Yeah I'm pretty sure she's the only one who will benefit. Everybody else in my class is very very behind.
     
  12. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    I would meet with her 2 or 3 times a week, depending how long it would take her to independently read a chapter or a story you assign her. I would meet and go over like a reading strategy for comprehension and listen to her read modeling the strategy, then ask her to read something on her own using that as a goal, maybe recording in a reading response journal or something like that. I would check-in with her a day or 2 later and see how she's progressing. She could do a project on the story comparing 2 characters or writing a letter from the character's perspective--something to make her think more deeply about the story.

    Absolutely give her a different spelling list. You may even want to ask her for some words to add on as challenge words that she'd like to learn how to spell.
     
  13. alschoolteacher

    alschoolteacher Companion

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    Sep 6, 2010

    This might be hard to keep up with all year long, but I used this site http://www.lauracandler.com/strategies/litcirclemodels.php last year with a student. The entire 2nd grade did mixed lit circles at the end of the year and one child was so far advanced that she had her own group. It will probably happen again this year. I read the book along with her so that she had someone to discuss with. We used the literature circle packets and response journals. http://www.lauracandler.com/filecabinet/literacy/PDFLC/packet.pdf http://www.lauracandler.com/filecabinet/literacy/PDFLC/fictprompts.pdf
     
  14. texteacher

    texteacher Companion

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    Thanks so much for all the advice!
     
  15. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

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    Can she go sit in with a third grade reading class or at least a second grade class? Please don't let her start hating school because her needs aren't met.
     
  16. texteacher

    texteacher Companion

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    If I send her to third grade, she'll definitely hate school. All they do is test prep. And honestly I don't have enough faith in the second grade teachers as it is all their first years...I'm not saying a first year teacher can't help her, it's just that I think they are already overwhelmed (They all have 24 kids in their classes and adding her in to the mix probably will not help anybody). I taught second grade last year and the year before so I have a good idea of how to enrich her education. I just wanted to check and see what others would do.

    She can still benefit from a lot of the whole group instruction which I do with comprehension and modeling good reading strategies and increasing oral vocabulary etc. I will have to modify her spelling list, her reading group materials and I think I will use a lot of what I did in second grade to teach writing to her as she can already write full sentences with correct grammar.
     
  17. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Sep 7, 2010

    Sounds like a great plan texteacher! This is website I love (and I'm not saying this girl is GT, she could just be a high achiever) but he has a differentiator on there where you might be able to get some ideas for how to differentiate for her.

    http://www.byrdseed.com/
     
  18. newbie23

    newbie23 Comrade

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    Sep 7, 2010

    I use Independent Reading Contracts for a lot of my differentiation. I have a book with at least 15 levels beginning with very simple (probably 1st grade) activities and ending with close to 5th grade tasks. You can put an element of choice in by having the student "choose" which 1, 2, 3, etc. activities to do for a specific skill (like grammar, story elements, etc.) Some students will take the easier route and pick tasks they already know how to do so this is a way that you can push them towards a challenge.

    I use this with my high reading group from about October on. It doesn't take long before the middle and lower reading groups are begging for their own contracts. I love it because they can use virtually any book they like and I can conference with them on their contracts regularly.
     
  19. teacherlissa

    teacherlissa Comrade

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    Sep 7, 2010

    I would try talking to either a 2nd grade teacher or a 3rd grade teacher (whichever you think is best) and see if she can leave your classroom and work in their guided reading group. I am also thinking of doing the same thing with one of my 2nd graders...she is way above...and should be challenged. I think you are right for wanting to challenge her.
     

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