So right now I'm working in a small bilingual school, trying to help some of their teachers improve classroom management and work in a multi-level classroom.
By multi-level, I mean that the classroom age-wise is, let's say, 7th grade. But the students themselves range from a couple of kids who don't speak or understand hardly any English to a couple of students who are reading at or above grade level.
I don't know if any of you can fathom how difficult it would be to orchestrate a classroom so that the needs of all of these students are being reached. Thankfully, the school has provided some resources for the teachers, so they are not confined to ONLY the grade-level book.
Basically, what I was working on the teacher with yesterday was flexible grouping. There may be moments when you can pair a high level with an average level and a low level English learner, but then eventually you need to break them out and have them accomplish different tasks depending on their skill level. The high levels need to read longer passages, write longer journal entries on more specific topics. The average learners can start forming paragraphs, while the low learners write sentences or learn new vocabulary for writing.
The poor classroom teacher ends up having to separate into groups (in a fairly small classroom), walk around checking work and making comments, make sure students aren't getting out of their chairs randomly, and basically plan three different lesson activities for one lesson! Crazy stuff!
The other options end up only helping the high level students, the average level students or the low level students but ignoring the needs of those who don't fit the criteria for the lesson.
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