My last article detailed my frustrations with teachers not raising the bar and taking the students beyond what is expected. By staying on level, teachers are not meeting the needs of the above average students.
Many teachers feel that it takes extra work or extra planning to meet the needs of every level of the class. This does not always hold true.
In my classroom, I have three phases that occur each day. I call these phases, reinforcement, teaching, and exposure.
During reinforcement, I review skills that have previously been taught. In this phase, struggling students are given the extra review that they need.
During the teaching phase, I teach a new skill to the students. This skill is taught to all of the students. All of the students are expected to master the skill at some point in time during the year. The skill is a kindergarten skill and is outlined by my state standards.
The final phase of my teaching is called exposure. During exposure, I offer information to the students that is not required by my standards or considered to be on their grade level. I do not test the students over the material nor do I expect them to master it. I offer it as an FYI type of learning. Some of my higher-level students will absorb what I say, learn it, use it, and apply it. My average and even lower students will hear it and remember it when it is brought up in higher-grade levels. Some of my students will let it pass in one ear and out of the other. All of these are perfectly okay and normal. However, the higher students are being taken a level beyond where they normally would be without the exposure to the new information.
Examples of my exposure information will be discussed in future articles.