Q: I like the idea of having an RA or rent-a-tutors come into my classes before final exams, but I don’t know what to do with the kids who do not need remediation. What is the best way to structure my class when I have such great diversity of ability levels and needs?
A from an administrator’s perspective: This is a great opportunity for student ownership. For students who are making great progress, my advice would be to ask them how they would use this time. I have found that simply giving them more work can feel like a punishment, but when asking them I have found they have actually taken more ownership in seeking out ways to enrich their learning or are open with adults about wanting to use the time to focus on other classes (and don’t worry, I know that some students will simply reply with “sleep” or “watch a movie”). By creating student choice in this setting, it provides certain rewards for students who did do all of those things we value in questions 1 and 2 (see last 2 blog posts), and provides a model for their peers in the class who need additional support to see and potentially strive for moving forward. In the future, this sounds like a great model for blended learning – something I would envision will continue to grow quickly here at Wheeling.
A from a fellow teacher: Well, that is what WIN time is for! The awesome thing about WIN time is that it allows for both remediation and enrichment. But, as a teacher, I need to be comfortable with not having complete control over my classroom. They will not all be working on the same thing at the same time. I will have to create lots of different things for them to be working on. And, in class, I will need to make sure that there is a good working environment for the kids. But having extra hands in the room, either those of an RA or a couple of rent-a-tutors, allows for me to both remediate and enrich simultaneously. #winning