… so little time.
One of the biggest challenges for me in transitioning from lower grades to upper grades is filling in gaps.
I spent years in 2nd grade. I feel like I got pretty good at differentiating and filling in gaps. If I started a unit and it was clear they didn’t know their Kinder or 1st grade standards, I was able to go back and catch them up.
In 5th grade, I’m finding that challenging, especially with fractions and decimals. Our curriculum assessments for fractions start with adding subtractions and ask them to simplify the answer. The kids can add. That is easy. Unfortunately, there are a lot of students completely stumped by simplifying and the don’t have the background understanding needed to get it with a quick review or a short intervention.
I’ve spent some time thinking about what I can do and I feel like the best thing for them is to start at the beginning and work their way forward. I don’t have time to do that through direct instruction so I’ve decided to make some early finisher task cards. I can tell students which task cards I want them to practice. I can have a mini lesson with them when they come to one they don’t understand and fill in the gaps.
I hope this task card plan works because I’ve been working on creating them for a while now. Sometime this week I’ll upload and share a bit more about them.
This is one of the pages I’ve come up with. I’m thinking they can record what they’ve worked on AND I can write in tasks for them if I notice a gap.
With my little guys, I could pin point a few things, have resources for them, and have them practice those skills. I feel like there are so many little gaps to fill with upper grade students.
I’d love to hear from upper grade teachers. How do you deal with filling in 5 years of background skills? Did you have a system for differentiation and gap filling? Do you think task cards could be helpful for that? Other suggestions?