Diversity of Learners in Math

The flip is working better this week. Or I’m working smarter. Probably both.

I finally have allowed myself to also use other people’s resources. So instead of creating my own explanation of Pythagorean Theorem, I embedded one from Khan Academy. It explained exactly the concept I wanted  and pretty much in the same way I would have recorded it. I didn’t even tie a google form questionnaire to it this time because I didn’t require the viewing – just made it available for extra help.

I found that helped a lot – it takes the pressure off me to produce every class. Which is a very good thing – because, as I recently have discovered, there’s a lot, a lot, more things demanding my attention in the math classroom. One of the most significant being the diverse learning needs.

It’s not like I’m a new teacher. I have 12 years in this profession and I’ve taught everything from math to drama. Plus, I’ve always believed that every teacher of every subject has his/her own challenges to face. But none of that compares to what I’ve seen this week in math.

I know that students learn at different rates and in different styles. I’ve read the research and applied techniques in my other classes. But nothing prepared me for the breadth I face in this math classroom. From the student who finishes every problem as soon as I assign it to the student who can only complete an equation as I sit next to her. The disparity is actually shocking.

I don’t have an answer to how to meet all these needs (nor do I expect a magic one to appear), but I’m definitely going to have to spend some time on some solutions this weekend. Any thoughts?

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