kitchen table math, the sequel: 60 lessons a week

Thursday, January 7, 2010

60 lessons a week

Have I mentioned lately that I am not a fan of differentiated instruction?

I've just this moment discovered Miss Brave, by the way. She's wonderful, but her school is a dystopian futureworld of guided reading, "strategies," goals, literacy coaches, and "APs." And paperwork. And more, more paperwork. Your tax dollars at work.

Lucy Calkins has a lot to answer for.

The good news: at least they're using phonics.


le radical galoisien said...

APs....? As in Advanced Placement?

Exo said...

As in Assistant Principals...


Catherine Johnson said...

what's that fantastic Elaine McEwan quote??

Something about, a lot of activity but no progress??

It was something a coach or a sports commentator said.

I'll have to find it.

Niels Henrik Abel said...

What I always say: Some people talk a lot, but never say anything.

Kind of the same. Maybe. Sort of.

Dickey45 said...

What does Lucy Calkins have to do with differentiated instruction or either of Miss Brave's posts you refer to? Isn't Lucy the writers workshop person?

Anonymous said...

You don't like differentiated instruction because you think all students ought to be taught the same way at the same rate?

Yeah. Because, you know, it's so obvious from looking at adults that we all have the same intellectual level and needs.

I'm for losing ALL pullout GT/TAG programs and transforming them into self-contained, but what about the kids who are several deviations above their peers in a TAG class? In a decent-sized school, you can put together a multi-grade classroom of truly gifted kids, but they'll still be at radically different levels. An elementary with 100 kids per grade level would be huge, but that would still make a, *cough,* "gifted" class of maybe 16 kids, and of those, two would actually really be gifted. So you put all the actually gifted kids together, and then you'd have 12 kids who are operating on substantially different trajectories needing, yes, individualized instruction if they are actually to learn anything in school.

A uniform, one-size-fits-all solution is nice for someone with average kids. Not nice if your kids aren't even approximating average--and the not-average kids are as deserving of an appropriate education as the average ones.