How to handle a hetrogeneous class?

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How to handle a hetrogeneous class?

Unread postby anabelee » 19 Mar 2013, 14:18

I'm a new teacher. I teach the 3rd grade (which is their 2nd year of English).
The class is very hetrogeneous - from non readers to native speakers. I use 10 minutes of greetings and introduction to the lesson topic, 10 minutes to summary and homework explanation (at the end of the lesson ) and 25 minutes the class works in groups and I try to move from group to group.
The problem is that I have the feeling that the strong students are "neglected" and sometimes even get board.
I would like to have some idead how (is it possible at all) to teach differential teaching and yet getting to each student...
I feel it's for me the one million $ question...
Thank you,
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Re: How to handle a hetrogeneous class?

Unread postby Susan » 20 Mar 2013, 18:17


you could do a search in the forums (using the search box) for "mixed ability classes". There have been lots of posts on that topic.

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Re: How to handle a hetrogeneous class?

Unread postby Charlmoon » 22 Mar 2013, 22:28

Hi Anabelee,
You're right, this is the multi-million dollar question! Dealing with differentiation is one of the hardest things about teaching in my opinion, and you're not going to be able to get a magic answer from a forum.

However, you might get some good ideas of where to start.
I've dealt with mixed ability classes and the best advice I can think of is to work thematically with them on a project that enables them all to work at their own level. So for example pick a broad topic like 'animals' or 'my family' and have them make posters/books/presentations/youtube movies/blogs about their topic. You can have them all working on their projects and rotate around the class working with a group at a time. So you might say to a more advanced group that you are looking for them to use the present simple to give factual statements (e.g 'Spiders are not insects, they are arachnids') or you want them to use the past simple to describe family histories (e.g 'My mother was born in...she grew up in....), or that you want them to use persuasive language (e.g 'Although some people believe that we should resurrect dinosaurs, I believe that would be very dangerous because...'). For less proficient students, you could focus on vocabulary and very simple sentence structures. If they are just beginning to write you could just have them label pictures. If students are working on a topic they chose themselves, they are much less likely to get bored.

Good luck!
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