But the world is far from perfect and you have 25 other students, all with their own styles of learning. So, here are some minimal-prep ideas of what to do with those bright kids to keep them challenged:
- Have an extra challenge ready that allows the student to go deeper into the subject, learn a little more, or apply a skill he has just learned in a new way.
- Beforehand, help the child to create an ongoing individual project. Perhaps a report on something she is interested in, a PowerPoint presentation, or a creative writing project – anything that is motivating, educationally sound and can be worked on here and there.
- Critical thinking activities – logic puzzles, brain teasers and the like. Have them ready for whenever they are needed. Better yet, make a packet of a bunch of them that the student can get out and work on whenever he has some extra time.
- Journal writing – ideally with some focus or prompts, possibly related to what you are studying
- Silent reading – again, ideally with some focus – perhaps exploring a genra or subject with some kind of associated project or review, even if it is minimal.
- Give the child more of the same. Or give the child something different, but equally easy.
- Have the child help you by correcting papers, taking down bulletin board items, cleaning white boards etc.
- Have the child help a struggling student. I know, everyone loves peer teaching, but I don’t. I believe it puts both the student teacher and the learner in difficult situations. A bright child is not necessarily a sensitive child, or a good teacher. Further, it isn’t a good use of that child’s learning time. “Teaching is learning twice” is true for sure, but odds are, your bright student doesn’t need to learn it again. He already knows it, really well. As for the learner, that kid is struggling already. How much does it help that child’s self-esteem to be paired with a student who gets it without even trying? Worse yet if the bright child is impatient, condescending, or just plain mean little learning is going to take place.
This post is part of TBA’s Smart Teaching Link Up: