What to do with my advanced students?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by ca86108, Jun 28, 2012.

  1. ca86108

    ca86108 Rookie

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    Jun 28, 2012

    I am currently teaching 6th grade in my first teaching position. I have two really, really smart/advanced students. The rest of of class (31) are behind. Whenever I give a test, these two students score perfectly. They are finished in 20 min, the other students take close to an hour. My instruction is at a slow place to reach the 90% of the classroom. My materials that I am using are very outdated. The math in general is like baby stuff to these advanced students. However, it is really hard for the majority of my students. I give early finisher work to these two students all the time. I also have them read when they finish classwork/tests early. They complain to their parents that the class is too "easy."What should I do. I know the "strategies" to use, but these students are are finished with their work 10 times a day. I don't want to keep feeding them work assignments over and over again.
     
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  3. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    Jun 28, 2012

    How about creating a long term project on something they enjoy?
     
  4. ca86108

    ca86108 Rookie

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    Jun 28, 2012

    I gave them the option of finding all the pronouns,verbs,nouns,adverbs,etc on 4 pages of a book.

    I also gave them the option of reading a whole book and writing a summary.

    They are not interested in doing these.
     
  5. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    Jun 28, 2012

    Those are not at all fun, exciting, or interesting. I'd also have found those tedious, bordering on punishment.

    By 6th grade, I bet you could turn them loose and let them work on a multi-tiered project or science experiment. In my 4th grade gifted class, we had units and could pick our projects. I did stuff like write short stories about the day in the life of a Medieval serf, built a diorama of Macchu Picchu, etc. Perhaps your media center staff would help. Or you could find them a science teacher mentor (we had a HS bio teacher work on botany with us).

    Please don't give them dreary book work! That stuff made me shut down and despise school.
     
  6. CFClassroom

    CFClassroom Connoisseur

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    Jun 29, 2012

    I agree with Mollydoll 100%.

    Do you teach all subjects?

    I would start with an interest survey to find out what topics they want to learn more about. At that age/level they could produce amazing projects on their own.
     
  7. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Jun 29, 2012

    I have to agree with that idea as well. You can find all kinds of independent study projects online. Maybe even use the idea of compacting, where you give them a pre-test and if they score high on that test, they can use the class time to work on their other projects. Not more work, but deeper work.

    I love this site and he teaches middle school so maybe there are some project ideas on there for you to use:

    http://www.byrdseed.com/
     
  8. MsG

    MsG Companion

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    Jun 29, 2012

    What are some of the things you are teaching? I create an "I Can" board. I let all of my kids do these activities, but it allows for a variety of learning to take place and lets those who are higher to do some different things. (I teach fourth grade.)

    For example, if we are working on animal studies in science/reading/writing, the I Can board would include some of the following activities:
    - Create a nonfiction book about an animal of your choice. Include all of the features of nonfiction text.
    - Research and create a Glogster poster about an animal of your choice. (www.edu.glogster.com)
    - Make an ABC book about an animal of your choice.
    - Create a Venn Diagram and compare a living thing and a nonliving thing of your choice.
    - Create an animal. Describe the environment it would live in and the things it would need to survive.
    - Write a children's book about something you have learned in animal studies.
    - Create math problems using animals in some way.
    - Come up with your own idea!

    You could have them write a "Create Your Own Adventure" story. Some of my authors love to write those.
     
  9. geoteacher

    geoteacher Habitué

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    Jun 29, 2012

    This is where differentiation comes in. Are you doing lots of whole-group instruction? If so, why not break things up into small groups. Groups can work on the same type of work but at different levels of understanding. Start small. Try this with one activity and see how it goes!
     
  10. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    Jun 29, 2012

    I am already contemplating project based learning for a couple of students next year.

    I only realized this was possible without getting in trouble with admin when I was told in an interview once by a principal that she had 4 kids in one class work on projects for the whole year because they were so much more advanced than their peers. They entered a big science competition.
     
  11. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Jun 29, 2012

    For math especially, I would start the unit by giving them a pretest. See what skills they need to work on and then bump them up on the skills they have mastered.

    So, if you are teaching adding fractions and these two know how to do this, have them work with equations that involve adding fractions to solve them. Give them more challenging word problems that involve adding fractions to solve problems.
     
  12. Tyler B.

    Tyler B. Groupie

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    Jun 29, 2012

    I had two like this. Both girls. I handed them a stack of American Girl Magazines and told them that it prints some stories by girls. Every story printed by a girl author have 10 things in common. Their job was to figure out the commonalities of the girl-written stories and compose a piece to be published. They loved the assignment and so did their parents. One got a story published.





    Favorite Teacher Blog:
    http://ed-is-life.blogspot.com/
     
  13. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    Jul 1, 2012

    I am going to be in the same predicament this coming year. I will have a handful of advanced students in my homeroom, and I am thinking of how I will get them engaged in my reading class. Seeing I've had an entire group before along these lines, I know I can have them write and record reading skills podcasts, create reading games, use my iPad apps (like Scholastic Storia and National Geographic magazine apps), read Scholastic Storyworks magazine, and even write scripts to bring their chapter books to life, which is better than the typical bookwork assignments. I can also have them create anchor charts for the mini-lessons I am teaching with a little coaching and guidance. Of course I will confer with them about the books they are reading and ask higher-order questions about figurative language usage, shades of meaning, theme, etc. They can possibly use Mixbook.com as well to make printable books (which can be an invigorating project for them).

    Going back to a heterogeneous setting after four school years will be a challenge, but I know I will continue to challenge them with interesting projects that will capture their interest.
     
  14. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    Jul 1, 2012

    If your district has a gifted ed dept, they should bee able to meet with younand come up with some great ideas.
     

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