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Differentiated objects in maths planning - how to approach this?

Discussion in 'Primary' started by Ronson, Jan 4, 2011.

  1. Ronson

    Ronson New commenter

    I'm a student teacher and I'm shortly to begin my final block placement. One of the targets that came from my last placement was to focus more on differentiation, and I was wondered how teachers approached this in terms of the lesson objectives. I've had conflicting information on this - some people have suggested setting whole class objectives, other plans I've seen have had completely different objectives for different groups.

    Our course leader suggested another approach - which was also mentioned on teachers TV - is to use 'all pupils, some pupils, most pupils'. For example, to get myself into the swing of things, I've been producing a theoretical lesson plan - not for any actual class, though I've assumed a variety of differing ability levels, and my objectives so far are:

    ALL: To be able to count up to at least twenty objects.

    MOST: To be able to group objects into twos and count back and forth in twos, and fives.

    SOME: To be able to use grouping to count up to a hundred in jumps of five or ten.

    Does anyone have any thoughts on this? Granted, this is plan for an imaginary class since I haven't started the placement yet. Should I be taking this approach when it comes to differentiation, or am I barking up the wrong tree? Does anyone have any advice? I know the teacher I was with at one of my previous placements was critcised for coming up with lessons that were essentially three lessons in one.
  2. Ronson

    Ronson New commenter

    I mean differentiated objectives, not objects.
  3. It really is going to depend on the makeup of your class and whether you have any TA support. I would tend to have one objective (or two) and then your outcomes would be different. It might be that some will only deal with two-digit number, whilst others are dealing with four-digit. Problem-solving might be one-step or two-step.
    Having said that, I have one very low-level child with TA support. We've decided that what the whole class is doing is now too difficult and he goes off with her to work on simple number work. Sometimes he is in with us for numeracy but it depends on the topic.
  4. To be honest, that does depend on your class, on your teaching style and sometimes on the topic.
    I sometimes use differentiated objectives in English (and have so particularly when I had Year 6 during SATs preparation), but in maths it makes no sense for my group. We've got sets, so giving them different objectives would be silly. They are all working towards very similar target levels.
    I have one objective for the class. The differentiation then happens through tasks and support (I don't have a TA, so there's just me). So I might have the objective: "I can use the grid method for multiplication and explain the different steps."
    The "easy" task would then be to multiply TUxU, slowly moving into HTUxU. My "ok" task would be calculations involving HTUxU and HTUxTU, including 0s (which tends to throw them). My more able ones can cope with that without problems, so they do multiplications involving decimals.
    However, I don't "differentiate" by child or set groups within my class. My pupils individually choose which tasks they are completing, based on their confidence level with a certain topic area.

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