Monday, December 17, 2012

What do I do when they haven't learned it?

What do we do when they don't learn it?
We know we are supposed to do it but how often do we actually intervene when a handful of kids don't learn what is old material? Sharon Kramer recently spoke at our staff meeting and suggested having a 4+1 or 9+1 model in the classroom and using the +1 day for reviewing or interventions. This is a direction I've been moving toward this year--calling those +1 days "workdays" with my students. Today I had a question up on the board of something I thought all students should be able to answer based on what we've learned up to this point:
How were my students identified for intervention?
Students submitted their answers using my student response system on their iPods. I looked at who answered incorrectly and then assigned the students that got the question wrong to a table and worked with them on some additional practice while the rest of the room worked or reviewed for our test tomorrow. If there was only one student that got it wrong I worked with them at my desk.
I had additional practice ready to go for those students and it was all electronic--it really didn't take more than 15 minutes to put it together. I used the projector for the class that had 8 kids and my computer screen for the classes with just 1 or 2 students. 
Why make our own tools for teaching?
I'm in the process of reworking my student response system to more closely match the needs in my classroom--one definite advantage of learning how to make our own tools as educators. Our classrooms are ever changing and we cannot wait for 'the perfect tool' to be dropped into our laps. Here are some charts of one class that I used to determine who I would be working with:


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  2. "What do we do when they haven't learned it?" In Colorado, that's a MUST ANSWER interview question for teachers. I like your solution. Also like your iPod response systems. Any value in asking 2, 4-option MC questions that must *both* be answered correctly? Should theoretically decrease the likelihood of a student guessing his way to 1/4 of just the single question.

    1. Craig--sounds like a good idea going for two correct to ensure they know it. My wife and I always tease that we are moving to Colorado when we need a change--good to know a sample of the interview questions if we ever follow through on it :)