My focus today was to have the students take a pretest on Extending Whole Number Operations. The purpose of a pretest is to get an idea of where my students are in a curriculum topic. I use the information to guide my teaching. For example, if I do not have any students who "test-out" on a topic, then I know that I need to teach the entire curriculum unit. If I have a topic within the curriculum that everyone does well on, I can skip that part. However, I usually have a few students who do very well on the pretest. These students do not need to be retaught and are usually bored out of their minds by sitting in the classroom relearning something they already know.... this is when I differentiate.
Differentiation is a fancy word for doing something different. Students who pretest out of Extending Whole Number Operations WILL work with whole number operations, however the activity they do will be different from what we do in class. This DOES NOT mean more work for those students. They will work on their differentiation (usually in Mrs. Anglin's room so that they have an adult monitor) while I am teaching. They will have the same homework assignment as the other students and will be given the same amount of time to work on it!
I pretest at the beginning of each unit, so this will become very familiar to my students! It is also possible that students who pretest out this time won't next time and vice versa. I find that my students like this, because they may be strong in something, but not in everything!
If you have any questions regarding this policy, please do not hesitate to contact me!