Q&A #282

Teachers' Lounge Discussion: Math curriculum for gifted middle school students

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From: Janey Watkins

To: Teacher2Teacher Public Discussion
Date: 1998102719:01:35
Subject: My student is years ahead of class. How do I deal with this?

Hello All! I was wondering what any experienced math and science teachers (even homeschoolers) etc. have to say about this quandary of mine. I myself have been teaching for quite a long time now, but up until now, I haven't run into this difficulty: I have a 13 year old boy in my 8th grade math/science class this year, previously homeschooled, who finds the pre-algebra level class this year quite boring. He ignores the text-books, but scores well on exams, tests, and quizes. I was wondering how this was happening (frankly, I expected him to be BEHIND the rest of the class, not ahead) when I caught him reading a college level physics book during class (when he was supposed to be working on pre-algebra) and he says he's been taking pre-calculus level courses in his free time. I don't doubt it--he is now helping highschool kids with their homework, as well. His brain must be somewhere along an 11th grade level, it seems, and although everything else seems fine (he gets along with all the other kids well) I am quite perturbed. He tells me he's tired of not learning anything new in school, but I'm not trained for teaching high-school/college level math and science. Has anyone else dealt with this type of problem? Should I have the school move him up a few grades or will that do any good? Sincerely, Janey

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