I have 4 students who are extremely high in math. We're currently doing a unit on addition/subtraction up to 10,000 with regrouping. The majorty of my class is quite low and could definitely use the practice, however, these four others already know it backwards and forwards. I'm also using the extra time in class to review concepts we've already done this year, which these kids already know as well. I have differentiated things for them to do while we're doing independent practice, but what do I do with them during whole group? It's almost 20 kids that need what I'm doing in whole group, so I can't just pull a small group or something to work on this one skill. What do you do? Have them doing something separately in another part of the room?

You can write two problems on the board. One that is for all students to solve and one that is a challenge (and let your few high students know that you want them to try the challenge problems). You could also teach two lessons. Consider your math to be two groups: one for most students and one for the high students. Then teach your whole group lesson while the high students work on independent work. When you are done teaching your lesson and ready for practice, assign the class their independent practice and teach a lesson to the high students.

Do you have computers? There are a number of great math websites.... Also, I agree with the math-related puzzles, sudoku & such. Could you get the 4th grade math book? How about word problems with constructed response? I have ONE student who is significantly higher than the rest of my first graders, and I am giving him math riddles & puzzles currently (after he completes his work, of course, lol). Actually, my new P loves the puzzle/riddle angle - it's higher level thinking, AND incorporating literacy into math!

Absolutely; chess, sudoku, kakuro, problemsolving are good ideas! Don't just give them more exercises with the same.. Even helping other students might get boring after a while. Give them the books for the class above or even two classes above. If you're afraid of how time consuming it will be, they can have homework like "choose three exercises from the next two pages" or something in that area. There are also some good websites with problemsolving exercises for high or gifted kids, like nrich: http://nrich.maths.org/frontpage

Thanks for the ideas! I got a book of some problem solving from one of my teammates that I'm going to try tomorrow. Originally, during guided practice I was posting a "challenge problem" on the board too for each "regular problem" we did to give those kids something else to do. My higher kids liked it, but the problem was that my lowest kids were also trying to do it every time, getting way confused and messing themselves up even more. I don't make any fuss over who is or isn't doing the "challenge" problems, so I don't think it's a social issue...I don't know if they're just trying to prove something or really do think they're capable of doing it. I'm glad they have a high self-efficacy, but kids who weren't yet able to do the most basic steps were wrapping themselves up in all this above grade level stuff that they don't really need. I hate having to tell a kid that he shouldn't really be doing those problems...I am happy to have something that I can just give to the individual kids who I want to do it.