October 05, 2005
When a handful of my students finish their work ahead of the class, I return to the idea first encountered 20 years ago as a beginning teacher: instructional centers. Varying the centers to focus more of enrichment (rather than remediation or practice) provides for differentiation of concepts I'm currently teaching, and opportunities to make connections across the curriculum. My students love to solve logic problems, which not only motivate them to finish their work quickly, but also help the students exercise their inductive and deductive reasoning skills, and sharpen their reading skills. Games of strategy like Mancala, Battleship and Guess Who? are also favorites, as are connections made between material learned in science and other content areas. Exposure to quality magazines like National Geographic or World (Jr. Nat'l Geo.) is highly coveted.