I always get so excited when my classes and I begin this book. I know what’s coming, but they don’t. That’s good and bad of course. I teach this book to two pretty sharp sixth-grade classes.
Truth #1: OK, they’re pretty sharp overall, but I have a group of low kids in each class (special ed kids-slow processors, poor memory, difficulty with integrating concepts and content, etc.) who are much lower than the rest of the kids. Much lower. Sometimes, I find myself avoiding asking them questions and putting them on the spot because it is so hard for all parties: for them, for the rest of the class, and for me. I remind myself over and over (reading Ben’s blog yesterday reminded me AGAIN) about the power and necessity of SLOW when delivering comprehensible input to students. It goes for “print” input also. I have to remember that NOTHING bad will happen to my fast processors if I make class and text comprehensible to my low kids. (More on this and differentiating for the “fasties” later.)