Showing posts with label differentiation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label differentiation. Show all posts

Friday, September 10, 2021

Support vs intervention

Mainstream and extension classes are able to access the  year level curriculum as set by the Curriculum and Standards Authority (SCSA).  Some students for a range of reasons are unable to access this curriculum.  To assist them requires a level of differentiation either through ongoing additional support or intervention.

Reasons for requiring differentiation are extensive.  Gaps in conceptual understanding happen for many reasons - illness, teaching quality, taking holidays during term, sporting commitments, lack of ability, mental health, lack of cultural support, lack of confidence, peer conflict, family conflict.  

Whether a child requires ongoing additional support or intervention requires careful analysis to see if it is feasible to bridge the student back to the year level curriculum or if they will require ongoing additional support throughout schooling.

Support classes acknowledge that students are unlikely to access the year level curriculum and are typically assessed against what they can do through procedures such as SEN reporting.  This allows the  student to achieve success in the classroom and promotes engagement.  Parents need to be informed and on board with the decision if students are moved to supported environments.  It is not a decision that can be made lightly.

Intervention is different, is less frequently done during normal classroom time and typically done through tutoring and outside of the classroom.  When done in the classroom, interventions are measures introduced that assist students learn the behaviours and techniques known by mainstream students whilst preventing the student from falling further behind.  This means that students that are behind, have to work harder in class than students on syllabus, to catch up, something difficult to achieve with struggling students.  EALD students and highly motivated students are groups where catchup is possible, particularly where literacy is the inhibitor.

Streams encounter the issues solved through intervention frequently as behaviours required in higher streams need to be taught to students in lower streams to increase the chances of success prior to transition.  Where this is not done effectively, students are less likely to find success in classes that they are moved to and transition takes longer to achieve.  Typically intervention during transition is required in the form of encouragement, academic assistance and peer alignment to bridge students to the requirements of the new stream.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Being proud of those making a difference

I'm the first one to say, teachers have a pretty good wicket to play on. The pay is getting better, the holidays aren't bad and when you have a supportive administration, teaching is a lot of fun. There are a lot of teachers taking advantage of this, it's true.. but there are also many going way past what is required, doing what is necessary.

I'm one of those that is very proud of what my school is and does; and I refuse to be negative about what we achieve. Our kids do not come to high school ready with all the skills they require. They have parents that work 2 jobs, many are abused or neglected, have poor nutrition and health, have few positive role models outside of school, have strong negative peer influences, have access to little help outside of the classroom, have few aspirations, no career guidance, already work long hours to help families make ends meet, have low expectations of their own ability and performance, limited access to resources, few options for subject selection.

Yet every year, up to half of our year twelve cohort goes to university. Not just goes, but are ready and skilled to perform at the highest level. Another group enters TAFE, starts apprenticeships and pre-apprenticeships. Another enters the workforce and starts the gradual climb to owning their own home and financial independence.

There's also the hidden statistics, the kids that are the first in their families to get to year 10 for the first time. The kids that raise their attendance from sporadic to regular. The parents that gain an interest in their children's performance. The kids that succeed despite low expectations (or ability) through the intervention of a teacher or two. The kids that get that positive work ethic and attitude that will carry them through hard times. Those that conquer substance abuse in their homes and turn their backs on criminal activities. Those that succeed despite physical and mental handicaps.

As a teacher, I look at the results of year 12 and take pleasure being a part of an education equation. If my kids get opportunities as a result of finishing school, staff at all levels of the organisation should take pleasure, no one teacher made the difference. We as a school have achieved something.

The Aussie battler is not just a person in the bush, it's kids and organisations that do things despite the odds, with limited resources and where others are trying to take advantage of them (yes I'm looking at you IPS staffing!). Our principal, administration and teaching staff are giving it a good go, and for my mind last year succeeded in many areas. If we keep our eye on the ball and support each other, we'll do it again.. and again...

Cheers to that!

Oh, and DoE take note.. support your low socio-economic schools or you will end up with these kids unsupported in large mid socio-economic schools with teachers that cannot cope nor want them. If you create a permanent underclass be prepared to be named as the cause when it happens.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Issues with classroom differentiation

In my top year 10 class, although basically ability streamed (with a few exceptions in the class for social reasons), I have thirty students. Behaviourally there are few problems but as the year has progressed I have 8-10 3AB MAS/MAT bound, 3-4 3AB MAT, 8 2CD bound and 10 2A bound.

This means that as the course continues, student goals are different for each block of students. For some it is so important that they master content now (such as 3D trig and bearings) to leave time for new content introduced in 3AB MAS and 3AB MAT. For those entering 2CD next year, they have a few bites at the cherry, the content is seen for the first time this year, consolidated next year and mastered in the following year. For the 2A crew they do not ever have to master some of the content, but by spending extra time on the basic concepts of more difficult areas of mathematics (especially algebra), they have a higher chance for success as they need to learn very little new content over the next two years.

With such broad groupings though, students are feeling frustrated that they cannot reach the 3A MAS bound students and some have asked to be moved to lower classes (better to be a big frog in a little pond, than a little frog in a big pond). Yet I have resisted this as there are transition issues this late in the year moving students between classes and no guarantees of success in lower ability classes. I have tried to redirect them to before and after class tutoring sessions.

I just thank my lucky stars that we streamed at the start of the year (thanks to one of my colleagues pushing for it). If there were 1B students in the class as well as behavioural issues the class would have had no 3A students at all.