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Q&A #11798


"One-room schoolhouse" in a classroom

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From: Alice (for Teacher2Teacher Service)
Date: Jul 22, 2003 at 08:52:04
Subject: Re: "One-room schoolhouse" in a classroom

Hi Tom,

I have been trying to do the same thing for years, with similar frustrations
as you have had. (I have not had so many different courses in the same
classroom, but have been trying to accomplish what individual tutoring would
do with each different learner.)

My students usually increase more than one grade elevel each year on
average, and their standardized test score rise considerably because of some
of the following methods:

First:
Here is a site on differentiated instruction (new words for the one-room
schoolhouse idea)

http://www.ascd.org/educationnews/eric/differinstructionres.html

Note: Carol Ann Tomlinson's book is phenomenal. She is big in gifted
education, and I think the methods used for teaching gifted should be used
for all students. Wait till you read and try some of the ASCD books!

Second:
You may want to see my (perpetually under construction) website. It has
projects, contests, and applets for the courses you and I now teach. You are
welcome to use it for your students. It will help you differentiate your
students' learning.

http://mathexploratorium.com

I have taken a lot from what I believe is the best on the web and linked,
with permission, to those sites.


Third:
Projects work best for me to develop a class camaraderie. With a well-
orchestrated project, students learn the required material on their own
level, and are kept interested while so doing.
There are many sites for project-based learning that are already well done,
so you don't have to reinvent the wheel!

One surprise when I began my first project, which was "write a short fiction
story to teach a math standard", resulted in students learning more in less
time. That's what projects seem to do.

We use peer evaluation with rubrics, where students critique what others
have done. Then students have a chance to redo their project and present it
again for critiquing. I don't accept them until they are perfected (or the
school year ends).

What's also beautiful about this is that all students repeatedly see and
learn from each project. In your class, they'll learn three courses!

I'm not completely satisfied with the results as yet, but until all improve
tremendously, I won't be.  :)

Fourth:
Here is an interesting site from China that will lead you through the steps
you might want to take:

http://www.tistschool.org/EARCOS_Institute.htm


Hope this helps, and good luck!

 -Alice, for the T2T service


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