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Mixed ability classes - need help

 
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JustMe



Joined: 11 Oct 2009
Posts: 31

PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2009 5:16 am    Post subject: Mixed ability classes - need help Reply with quote

I'm currently teaching a group of 24 supposedly elementary students. I have three that are upper elementary and five that are unable to read or write at all. Of these, one has no English at all.

I teach reading and writing for 10 hours a week. My employer insists that I use an elementary text which is beyond the level of all but the three best students, and which is difficult for them anyway.

I would welcome any suggestions on what I can do to help all of the students to progress.
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Magus1



Joined: 06 Nov 2009
Posts: 15

PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 5:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your employer may insist on what text you use, but it is up to you "how: you use it

Folks, just because a school insists you use a certain text, you don't have to use the lesson plan within it.

This text book you are using may indeed be beyond most of the students, so what? It's your job to break it down, and present it in a way everyone can understand. It's called making a lessons plan.

Even the most complex of things should be able to be explained to the dumbest, most ignorant of people. If you lack the ability to do this, you should not be a teacher.

Would it be nice if China adopted a more western model, with each class representing roughly the same level? Of course, education would not only be easier, but more effective. however this is China, so logic flies out the window. In this country they throw in enough smart and middle level kids along with the low level dumb ones so that all their classes pass national exams. Little consideration is given to levels and the individual students needs or wants, this country is all about the whole, not the individual.

Your going to have to break down the text and explain it all in a way that that most of the students understand. Don't adopt a "no student left behind" policy like dumb ass GW Bush did in America, it's not realistic. Some students will be left behind, however your job is to reach as many as possible, and get the "majority" to understand. There will always be a minority that doesn't, that's life, and reality.

As it is now, your not empathizing enough with your students needs, or putting enough thought into your lesson plans., A good lesson plan is a large part of what makes a good teacher, that and presentation of said plan. If you can't do that part, then you're in big trouble. Think about it. If you'd like to talk further, send me a PM. Good luck.
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JustMe



Joined: 11 Oct 2009
Posts: 31

PostPosted: Sat Nov 07, 2009 11:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My problem is not adapting the text. Of course I'm doing that. My biggest problem is that I find that I'm having to teach three classes at one time. How do I divide my time evenly among the three groups? How do I ensure that my more advanced students are getting the challenges they need while still catering to the weakest students? How do I ensure that the weaker students are progressing while challenging my stronger students? How do I keep the middle level students busy while I am working with the other two groups?
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Magus1



Joined: 06 Nov 2009
Posts: 15

PostPosted: Sat Nov 07, 2009 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This post has been moderated UJ

Clearly you're not breaking the lesson down well enough, though you may think you are.

Firstly, you don't have three groups, you have one class, and you teach it as one. If the smartest kids there are not being challenged, that's life, at least they are getting a chance to practice their English.
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