Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Reaching the whole child; beyond differentiation

It is early on this snowy morning and I am mentally going through the day ahead, what still needs to be done, how will I approach this group of learners?  I am having some real issues trying to reach the whole child while racing up the mountain of "race to the top."  Because our media centers have several purposes, reaching and supporting individual students as well as whole teaching class/grade/department standards/indicators we have multiple levels of instruction occuring often at the same time.  I can handle that, I was given my super librarian cape along with my degree, didn't you?  My struggle is in another arena, supporting those disconnected students during the all too brief time I have them in a class setting.  With one eye on the clockand the other moving that lesson along so it gets done in the alloted time, how do I quietly move to that student to find out exactly where the disconnect is?  How do I find the time to pull that student back in to find another way to provide the necessary teaching and learning for that one or two?
I am exceptionally lucky, with a flexible program, and a supportive staff.  I can usually carve out a mutually acceptable time to work with those students.  I guess my question is this: what can I do while I am teaching the FIRST time to keep that reluctant learner engaged during my teaching, so I don't need to find that time.  How do you handle the able student who is just disengaged from the whole learning thing?

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