In the era of differentiation, let's break an assumption: that all students should consume and memorize facts at the same speed.
There could be more than one reason why this could apply to, say, Affix Instruction:
- Perhaps, as with most things, you've got a mix of students with some, no, or a lot of knowledge on roots and affixes already.
- Maybe your students are learning at different (enough) paces that teaching them all at once would be holding some students back and dragging others along.
- Do you teach more than one grade? I work in a smaller building and have often the same students two years in a row. For a while, I was both their 7th and 8th grade Language Arts teacher; now, I'm mostly teaching 8th but work closely with the 7th grade teacher. Though this is mostly an enormous blessing, it does add a new level of complexity to routines. Which things stay routine each year, and what needs to change along with the grade level?
But affixes are still in the CCSS Language standards for 8th grade, too.
- With the same class again, how would I make that different enough in 8th grade if they showed mastery of those affixes on a pretest? (I could teach them new affixes with the same system, but I feared they might get bored doing too-similar tasks for two years in a row.)
- And what if some of the class maintained mastery, but others forgot the roots and needed review?
Step 1: Pretest
Students took a self-grading pretest (using the quiz features on Edmodo). A paper copy of this pretest is available in my Greek & Latin Affixes Learning Bundle.
Note that students only took one quarter's worth of pretest at a time, and not all of the ones included in the year.
Step 2: Introduce the Program & Pick an Option
The program essentially allows students to pick one of three plans for learning for that quarter (but their choice needs to be grounded in logic and their pretest score, and I had veto power if they weren't making the right choice for them, such as taking on too much or being too lazy for what they were capable of.)
The three options were:
- Relearn the affixes on the pretest (if mastery wasn't shown), using Quizlet and other materials I had available.
- Review and/or Practice the affixes on the pretest, doing a combination of activities to relearn AND move on to the application level.
- Move on to new affixes (if sufficient mastery had been shown), using Quizlet sets I'd made of new affixes not taught in 7th grade.
SEE a copy of that plan HERE in Google Doc form!
(*NOTE: This doc is currently set to view-only. If you want to keep/use/modify it, then make a copy in your Drive and proceed from there.)
Step 3: Menu and Choice
As you can tell on page three of the above plan, I made a LOT of resources available to them... basically, all of the resources in my Learning Bundle (Quizlet, etc.) and Activity Bundle. I had all of the paper copies of activities in a tote in my classroom (see the blog post picture above).
Want to see one of the activities? It's called Invent-a-Word, and it's FREE in my TpT store:
Step 4: Assess
Students had two options for letting me assess them:
- Grade as you go: I could grade activities and initial on their plans/rubrics as they were gradually completed, or...
- End of the quarter: They could turn in everything at once at the end.
Both have their pros and cons, but it always ended fine one way or another.
Want to do this yourself?
You can, and at a discount! My Learning and Activity sets are available in ONE combined download, and at a reduced bundle price of 15% off (all the time).