Do you have them too? Those students who are so discrete, quiet, shy or just self contained (and well-behaved!) that they simply pass completely under radar.
Every year I have a few, often they have a level way above that of the rest of the class, so they don’t want to show off, or take class/teacher time away from the others. They work well in groups, I know they’ve got it right so they aren’t on the priority check list. They never complain, ask very few questions.
Sometimes I get to report time and think “OM, what do I actually know about this kid?”
Here are some ideas to avoid this dilemma:
– Every week I look through the register and make a quick mental calculation, anyone whose participation is under par gets “picked on” (in the nicest way of course!) the following week.
– I differentiate homework and oral presentations so excellent students still have to work, and they enjoy being pushed more too.
– I change groups for oral and project work regularly, grouping by friendship groups, alphabetic order, or random dice throwing sometimes to try and get everyone working with each other at some point of the year.
– I try to ask as many BIG questions as possible, to encourage critical thinking in class. To be sure this gets done I write at least three questions on every lesson plan and write them on the board as we come to them – they are great to come back to in order to check learning at the end of the lesson.
What about you? What do you do? All ideas are welcome!