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• # Keeping the fast kids busy

Posted by on April 4, 2020 at 8:44 am

One of my biggest struggles in math class is addressing the needs of struggling students while the rest of the class is working. This is partly a classroom management issue – I find that if I’m not actively circulating the room, my grade 8’s are quick to get off task.

So I guess my question is, how do I make time for students working on remedial math, such as revisiting the foundations of multiplication?

2 Members · 2 Replies
• 2 Replies
• ### Garret schneider

Member
April 5, 2020 at 9:50 pm

How is your math class structured? I know that Jon and Kyle have (essentially) a review day, where students work back on standards that they struggle with…

But if you have 8th graders that you need to loop back and do remedial multiplication with, that’s a little trickier. If they are struggling with that, then they’re probably having issues with current content, too?

One thing that I do to help kids that are struggling over fundamental concepts, is I give the whole class to work on them, but maybe in a different way: maybe the issues the kids are having is that they don’t remember a lower-number multiplication fact, and so have no tactics to fix it. And everyone gets stuck, so everyone can benefit from common tools.

The multiplication example could be solved by showing how to mutliply with either the area model (which can tie in nicely to multiplication of bi and trinomials, or you could circle back and show how ratio tables can be used when you get stick with multiplication.

Does that make sense?

I guess maybe do you have more information for me to go off of?

• ### Maggie Moor

Member
April 6, 2020 at 9:43 am

Hi Garret,

Thanks for the advice! You’re right that their struggles with multiplication/division are making current content pretty tough for them. Some students zip along without a problem, while others have trouble understanding that dividing and multiplying are effectively opposites, and can be used to cancel a number out in algebra.

My math class (until quarantine) has been a hybrid of three-act structure and traditional math lessons. This is my first year of teaching math, so I’m working on finding my footing. We start a typical lesson with a notice/wonder and prediction task, a short (5 minute) open ended task, consolidation looking at student examples, and then I assign homework questions from the textbook. This is typically the time I spend with struggling students, but I would rather avoid the repetitive textbook work if I can.

Next year, I would like to start off the semester building up fundamental math skills. I haven’t made it to the spiraling portion of the workshop yet… I’m interested in it as a means of reviewing important ideas, but nervous about the planning.

â€‹Thanks for sticking around for the long read!

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