I like my students to progress and learn at their own level, which works as I teach a 2-3 math class and a 4-5 math class. But even if they weren’t combined, most classes have a wide range of learners. I didn’t want my “advanced” kids to be bored or my “needs improvement” kids to feel bad, so I set up this system so kids could learn basic math skills at their own level.
In my previous post, I explained how each student has a math folder that I “stuff” at the beginning of the week. I put in worksheets that are at the appropriate level for each and every student. Our class activities and discussions are the same for everyone. For example, this week we are learning about probability. Each student moves through different probability activities, but they also have individual math skill work in their folder that they need to do as well. I have a “folder” station for that.
When I sit down at the beginning of the week, I gather all the folders, staple and send home finished work, and then get new work. I have a hanging file folder for each student. At the beginning of the year I did a basic math skill assessment (adding and subtracting, 1 to 3 digits as well as regrouping, etc). Using worksheets from a basic workbook, I made the appropriate copies and filed them into their hanging folder. For example, if the workbook starts at single digit addition, to double digit, to regrouping, to triple digit, and “Sara” needs to work on double digit, I will copy work starting at double digit and onward. I try to keep about 10-15 worksheets available at a time. Sara would probably be at the same level as 4-5 other kids, so I make them all the same set. I keep track of what copies I have made, as well as a “Master” binder, so it’s easy for me to grab and send to the copy center. When it comes time to stuff Sara’s folder, I just take a couple of worksheets from her hanging file folder and put it in the “To Do” side of her math folder. Also, if Sara wants homework or if she finishes her work early, she knows where to get more work, which surprisingly a lot of students want to do.