One of my classes is half honors students & half regular students. Help!

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by applesnap, Aug 30, 2015.

  1. applesnap

    applesnap Rookie

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    Aug 30, 2015

    Hi everyone. Next week, I start my second year of teaching high school science.

    My grade 11 physics class is weird. It was originally supposed to be an honors class, but only 15 students registered for it. So, they ended up combining the class with a regular physics class. It now has 40 students total.

    I only found out about this a few days ago, and haven't planned for it at all.

    How do I combine the two together? I'm thinking I need to teach the class like it's a regular physics class, but then provide optional honors opportunities along the way.

    Has anyone encountered this? How did you handle it? Any advice works - doesn't have to be physics specific!
     
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  3. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    Aug 30, 2015

    One of my classes is half gifted and half special ed so I feel your pain. No advice because I haven't figured out how to adequate serve my kids and follow the curriculum at the speed I am required to.
     
  4. jadorelafrance

    jadorelafrance Cohort

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    That's too bad that they decided to combine the class. 15 students is a reasonable (and great) number IMO. It's the legal minimum in my state. I teach AP and my school tried combining advanced with AP and I would still teach it like an AP class (since only 16 registered for it). There ended up being 2 sections of the course anyways. Students and parents freaked out and then they decided to change the classes back to A and AP again like it should have been. Phew!
     
  5. jadorelafrance

    jadorelafrance Cohort

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    I would teach the class like it is advertised. If it is an honors class, teach it at the honors pace and provide support for the strugglers. It doesn't sound fair, but they need to do the work to get honors credit. It's not your fault you're in this situation. You also have a curriculum to get through.
     
  6. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    So you basically have two classes during the same period? With some getting "honors" on their transcript and some not?

    If they are in two different classes according to the transcripts, they need to have two different approaches.

    I'm in the same situation except the vast minority are regular. I do radically different things with my honors classes and I can't teach two different ways at the exact same time. I'm teaching to the majority - those that signed up for the class - and trying to give support to those that ended up there.
     
  7. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    When I was finishing my teaching license requirements, I was in a few classes that were half undergrad, half grad. The lessons were the same, but the grad students had either extra or more in-depth (which I preferred) assignments.
     
  8. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    I have two classes in one. I teach the whole thing at the enriched level, but grade the assignments using different rubrics.
     
  9. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    I agree with those saying to teach it at the Honors level, and provide support where necessary to those who need it.
     
  10. beccmo

    beccmo Comrade

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    I had this happen my 3rd year of teaching Physics (also finding out at the very last minute). My P approved my teaching the entire class as an honors course. It worked out great. The "regular" students were very successful, which made me wonder if there really needed to be an honors vs. regular track in Physics at all. This isn't an issue since AP Physics 1 replaced the honors course.
     
  11. applesnap

    applesnap Rookie

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    Yes, that's correct. The honors students signed up for an honors class, and the regular students signed up for a regular class.
     
  12. applesnap

    applesnap Rookie

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    Oh, that's really interesting! How many of the students were non-honors?
     
  13. platypusok

    platypusok Companion

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    Had this happen last year, my AP Lit class was half AP kids and half non-AP kids.

    I taught it like an AP class. I did grade "easier" (there were certain things I was looking for with the AP kids) but I did expect a lot from the non-AP kids.

    Some hated it-especially the amount of writing but it didn't kill any of them. And one parent told me that her daughter said it was the hardest she ever had to work but she enjoyed the stuff we read.
     
  14. beccmo

    beccmo Comrade

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    This involved 2 class periods. One was about 2/3 honors, the other about 1/2.
     
  15. DanielleT

    DanielleT Rookie

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    You will need to differentiate your lessons. I suggest teaching the same lesson to all and scaffolding to the struggling students and having higher ordered questions for the honors students. You will need to have 2 assignments for the students and I suggest different tests as well.
     
  16. applesnap

    applesnap Rookie

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    Sep 13, 2015

    This is sort of what I ended up doing. Every assignment has a range of questions. The questions start out quite basic, and then get gradually harder. The last few questions on the sheet are challenge questions, which I have made optional for the majority of the class. This gives the honors students something to work on when they finish all their other work quickly.
     

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