This is a professional development blog for Nottingham Elementary. We'll be discussing books we have read as a group. Our discussions will be focused on gifted children.
In Chapter Two, the idea I would like to explore more in compacting. On page 32, it talks about how compacting results in more actively engaged in learning instead of “just going through the motions.” How can we determine what the students have already mastered in order to create a “compacting choice” for them? Pre-assessment?
I agree with Annie Mitchell on June 3rd about learning more on how compacting results in effective learning rather than "just going through the motions." Pre-assessment might be a good start to see where they are at and start building the skills from there.
I agree with Annie on June 3 about compacting to keep students actively engaged. If teaching starts where learning is needed, students will be engaged. When I was in the classroom, I pre-assessed or used what I called "diagnostic" tests the first week(s) of school. Then I taught, where learning was needed. Because my students were learning "new material" they were engaged. I am a strong of advocate of pretesting because it works and does not waste my time or the students.
I liked the compactor from chapter 2 (pg.36). I think the compactor is effective because if gives the student choice. As a teacher, we want to students to get the work done, so we can assess whether or not they get it. This is still accomplishing the same goal. I like the record keeping form. This is great documentation to show parents if needed.
I agree with JChoy on June 6. I like how the compactor gets kids choice. Choice gets students freedom to make their own path in learning.
I agree with JCHOY on June 6th, when the students have a choice they take more pride and interest in their work/learning. Students don't like being told what to do and when they are given a choice they feel they have a say in their learning.
I agree with Jchoy on June 6. Compactor would be a great strategy to try as the start of school appears. Students are more engaged and willing when they have choice.
In Chapter 2, I liked the compacting strategy: giving the most difficult first on pages 33-35. Teacher understand that the highly capable learners do work and complete assignments faster than others of their peers. It's not about quantity but the quality of mastery of the skills.
I agree with Sarah on June 13. The "most difficult first" strategy would help teachers provide more challenging work for the highly capable students. Hence, slowing them down because of the critical thinking necessary. It's wonderful that it's a pretesting strategy as well. It would give the "know-it-all" students and parent's who complain "my child is not being challenged, a new perspective.
@Sarah, I appreciated his Three Magic Rules having to do with The Most Difficult First. #2 Don't call attention to yourself or you won't be eligible tomorrow. hahaI did have some students show me less work, but it wasn't the advanced students so much as the plodding students, who got it right the first time, but took so long. They showed they didn't need the extra practice and couldn't keep up the pace if they had too much to do. I need to consider it for the advanced....
I highlighted several things in this chapter.1. Never use the time students buy back from strength areas to remediate learning weaknesses. p332. You may need to re-educate some parents so they understand the importance of having their children experience frustration and struggle. p333. The Most Difficult First must be neat and legible. p334. All extension activities should be self-checking. p38
@ Melanie- I really liked how all the extension activities are self-checking and that expectations are set at the beginning.
Melanie, I highlighted those same areas! I listed my reactions below.1. Never use the time students buy back from strength areas to remediate learning weaknesses. p33 - I think I would have done this instinctively then inadvertently created a situation when the student looked at this as a punishment and would not want to compact.2. You may need to re-educate some parents so they understand the importance of having their children experience frustration and struggle. p33 - I can see this happening in the future.3. The Most Difficult First must be neat and legible. p33 - Something I have struggled with GT students in the past.4. All extension activities should be self-checking. p38 - Why create more work for ourselves!
I really want to do a better job on flexible grouping. I always start out strong on this and mix my groups up, but it tends to always fall back to their reading levels and what they are able to read. I love how they talked about grouping them according to their interests, strengths and weaknesses. I also like how they talked about now matter what level they are on they can all add to the conversations because they see things differently and they all have different interests/views. (pg.33) I also like the idea that their choice time is their time to do what they would like, not to improve on a weaker area.
I like the strategy "Most Difficult First" pg 35. I find that most of the students tend to go for the "easier" questions first. When they reach the hard ones, they tend to lose focus and give up. I see this as a motivator I can use especially with GT students. As the harder ones should require more critical thinking and skills, they will feel relief when they get to the easier questions at the end.
I would like to try Compacting the Curriculum. I think this really addresses the needs of gifted students who have already mastered certain curriculum. “It doesn’t become their work until it represents true learning for them… Compacting helps students deal with the part of the curriculum that represents trash to them because it is expendable… they can throw it away because they already have enough of it to demonstrate mastery.” (p 32) I think the 5 steps to Successful Compacting on page 32 are an excellent guide to achieving proof of student mastery, extension activities and record keeping. I will definitely implement this in my classroom.
I noted the same quote that Ms. Blanchard noted in her July 19th post, that work does not truly belong to the student until there is true learning involved. I like how the chapter continued the theme from chapter one on how people can confuse teaching and learning. When provided with strategies, and practical implementations for the classroom, I am more confident in trying compacting in my own class.
While I liked the sections on compacting, flexible grouping, the most difficult first and pretesting strategies, the point made about grades on p. 33 was interesting. Students need to be challenged and made to really work for their grades. I have heard many parents lament that is a lack of study skills but I believe it is this along with making good grades "with little to no effort" as well. I have experienced this with college kids. It is hard for some of them to make the adjustment and get a degree. So I agree with "eliminating the trash"- compacting, differentiating and extending with learning that is more difficult and challenging.
The most difficult questions first strategy is one that I would like to explore more and test out in the classroom. I liked the question asked on pg. 37, "What will students do with the time that they have left over after successfully completing the most difficult problems". I like the idea of limiting practice time, and making students more accountable for their work. Regardless of ability, I like the way that this strategy produces a response from students, that have may seen the task before as a route chore that they have to complete. The strategy gives more choice and control to the students.