As suggested in Beverly Falk's, The Power of Questions, I decided to keep a journal of some of the issues that I experience in my classroom. This week I struggled with the following: Competitive students(particularly advanced boys) rushing and racing each other to finish their work before the rest of the class then becoming a behavior problem, i.e.- playing around/joking/visiting around the classroom. I wondered what can be done about this? The easy fix is just to give them additional or busy work but what can I do that would be meaningful? In most cases I can't just stop teaching or helping the rest of the class to show them the next concept, so if they are not being challenged(bored), what can I do to keep them out of trouble? Another interesting thing that I documented was the difficulties I had managing instructing the rest of my class when my special needs (SPED) student needs so much of my attention. Very often the entire class has to completely stop whatever we are doing until the situation is resolved with this student. I've asked myself what strategies can I put in place so that learning is still happening instead of me throwing a worksheet at them?
Need to know: I need to know what is going to keep these advanced learners wanting to keep learning even after they think the learning is done. What is going to motivate them to challenge themselves and put more into their assignments. How to change their thinking so that they understand it is not important to be the first one done.
What I already know: That when there is challenging rigor taking place in the classroom students are less likely to be a behavior issue.