Teaching since Fall 2001 – 3rd year in 2nd grade

iPad with on display keyboard

Image via Wikipedia

In order to differentiate more, I’m replacing centers in my classroom with menus of activities. I’m using the series Differentiating Instruction with Menus by Laurie E. Westphal to create the menus. I also found the wiki Dare to Differentiate to be very helpful.

The Good

  • I’m tapping into the different strengths of my students
  • I’m getting good thoughtful projects from most of my students
The Bad
  • Accountability for 2nd graders. I had one boy do very little last week. A 2nd boy threw away all his projects when we cleaned out our desks on Friday. We were able to rescue them.
  • The pull of the tech. I include both  tech and low tech projects. The Tech ones are still new and shiny and the kids gravitate to them even when a low tech project would be a better fit. I’m also getting some nonsense projects because they want to play with the tech.
The solutions
  • Meet more frequently with the kids. Daily check ins with the kids who are having trouble with focus.
  • Take up projects more frequently.
  • Students must submit a plan for tech projects before they get to touch the tech. Then a schedule is set up for the next day. Child A and B have use of the Ipad 2 from Time to time. Then they must give the Ipad 2 to Child C and D.
  • Teaching the kids to video themselves using the front camera.
  • Using the Original Ipads for gathering information. I have to see if the mobile part of Discovery Streaming allows student user names and passwords to be used yet. (Saving the clips on the Ipad doesn’t always work – often there is a problem with the volume on the clip being very low even when the volume on the Ipad is turned up.
If you would like to see some of the menus from last week or this week check the links below
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Comments on: "Replacing Centers with Menus" (1)

  1. Wow, you seem deep into this. I am a newby. We are using Burst/Wireless Generation and Raz-Kids on broken down computers. I look forward to following your blog, which is rich in design and thought. CF

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