[partly inspired by the 'Back to Basics' thread] Can I share some evolving thoughts to see if others concur, or see major problems?.... I think I'm being rather ineffective in helping students 'catch up' in their areas of weakness, and am looking for ways to improve this next year. Currently (especially say with new Yr7 classes, and in common with other local colleagues), I've just followed the 'topic' based SoW and discovered students varying degrees of strength/weakness in the topic at the beginning by some AfL. And have then tried to differentiate the work according to each students ability. But each student has spent basically the same amount of time (say 3 or 5 lessons) studying each topic, and progressed as well as they could in that time. Sometimes I've identified particular areas of weakness for a student, and put it as a 'target' for them to improve (e.g. times tables, or a written multiplication methods, or...). But I'm aware that over the coming months I've then given the student almost no personalised time to actually pursue their own target. I sort of expect them to improve by magic, or by self-study at home, or... I've realised that by setting these sort of targets, but then giving them no real priority, I'm actually undermining the whole process of target setting. No wonder some students don't take them too seriously. Clearly I want to improve things. So I'm looking to provide increasingly personalised lessons by allowing /requiring students to study (their own, targetted) different topics at the same time. For example, and as a minimum, rather than giving everyone being given (albeit differentiated) homework on the topic of 'simplifying expressions', I might ask each student to work on their own 'target' area for improvement. I might also be able to do this in some lessons too - say 30 mins a week where students work on a wide range of very different topics - addressing their own particular weaknesses. If there's a few students in the class who (essentially) have no such weaknesses, then I can give them enrichment or non-SoW mathematics work to pursue. This obviously requires some degree of 'independent working' by the students - but (arguably) that's to be encouraged more in any case. It also might cause me more work in 'lesson planning', becuase I'll need to find resources/activities for several (or many) different activities in the space of a single lesson. [But, given that I'd only be setting catch-up work on the absolutely core concepts and methods, it's easy to find such resources and I use them frequently in any case]. I've realised that the main reason I haven't done this before isn't because of (potentially) 'more work', but because of a strong desire to 'conform' to the SoW and others methods of teaching. Another key aspect of this 'plan' is for students' success (in catching up) to be very visible to them. I want them to be positively motivated to address their areas of weakness rather than (what I feel many do at the moment) is 'cover them up' through fear that they are one of the few in their class that can't do that particular skill. To help with this, I'm thinking of using the 'ThatQuiz' website that has highly-configurable, self-marking online tests (with opportunity to show some very good 'workings out') so that students can dramatically see their improvement in scores [either in their accuracy of results, or in their speed of calculating results - either of which IMO are good indicators of learning]. One other aspect of this that I like is that it encourages all students to focus on attaining their own targets (and thus improving), rather than incessantly comparing themselves to other students (and becoming enthusiastic about the topics in which they are 'good', and unenthusiastic in topics in which they are 'weak'). [I've some other thoughts about how to keep electronic, personalised 'APP-type' records for each student, so that areas of weakness are extremely visible. But this is only worth pursuing if I actually implement some strategies to help students 'fill their gaps' in knowledge]. With further advances in ICT in the coming years, I feel this is great way forward. It seems *so* much better than the simple assignation of levels (e.g. 4b) and the near meaningless 'target' for a student to achieve '5c' or whatever by the year end. Thoughts? I'm sure it's being tried, or has been tried, by someone already.