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Different Kids, Same Classroom

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Different Kids, Same Classroom

Making Mixed Ability Classrooms Really Work!

Helen McGrath & Toni Noble

One of the greatest challenges in teaching today is to cater for all the different students in the one class. This book is a guide to mixed ability teaching that successfully includes students with disabilities and special needs as well as those who are highly able. It focuses on teaching social skills using co-operative learning, adapting roles to suit the level of ability of the student, using educational games, strategies for helping students complete work, and strategies for modifying classroom tasks/units of work to suit different levels of ability. Ways to provide support networks are outlined through practical ideas on setting up peer tutoring, team teaching and working with parents.

 

Part A: Building a Supportive Classroom

  • Lots of ideas for the whole class to share together and so learn to value and respect each other's differences, feel good about themselves and enjoy working together, thus creating a supportive and caring classroom environment.

 

Part B: Using Co-Operative Learning

  • The best way to teach children to work together is to first teach students specific co-operative social skills for working in groups. Twenty-five co-operative skills are treated in addition to enjoyable ways to select groups, different roles for group members and twelve co-operative games.

 


Part C: Working on the Same Topic but at Different Levels

  • Units of work integrating different curriculum areas that tap into students' basic factual knowledge to tasks provoking higher order thinking.
  • Basic skills checklist and how to create your own units of work for mixed ability classrooms.
  • How to implement units of work to cater for student differences.
  • Running independent learning contracts and fostering research skills.

     


Part D: Building School Support Teams

  • Ways to link up support people in the school and community to help students succeed at their own level through the setting up of a peer tutoring programme (cross-age and the same age), working parents, team teaching and creating a mentor programme.

 

Part E: Strategies for Helping Students Get on with Their Work

 

  • Enjoyable activities and visual memory joggers provide many ideas to encourage students to stay on task.