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Unread 01-24-2009, 09:49 PM
 
Location: New Jersey
2,510 posts, read 1,110,902 times
Reputation: 621
Quote:
Originally Posted by prhottie1 View Post
Does anyone have experience with an elementary school in New Jersey that groups students by ability (reading, math, writing, etc...)?

Looking for a school with a curriculum that will keep a very bright kid busy and that is also good at working with the child on social development. In other words, the kids is bright, but resources to disruptive behavior when bored.

I have heard great things about NJ school and would like to know which counties or which schools do you recommend, even if they do not group by ability, but they individualize learning for the children.

Thanks...
I'm not sure you can find that anywhere. My daughter is a 3rd grade teacher and has used groups of 4 at times.....but in each group of 4 you have students of 4 different capabilities.......often the brightest student will find enjoyment in helping the student in the group with the least capabilities thats struggling. I'm not sure in a class of 20 students that any teacher has the time to provide "individualized" attention to one student ? What teacher has time to prepare 20 different lesson plans every day ?
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Unread 01-27-2009, 08:24 PM
 
53 posts, read 90,486 times
Reputation: 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyersFan View Post
I'm not sure you can find that anywhere. My daughter is a 3rd grade teacher and has used groups of 4 at times.....but in each group of 4 you have students of 4 different capabilities.......often the brightest student will find enjoyment in helping the student in the group with the least capabilities thats struggling. I'm not sure in a class of 20 students that any teacher has the time to provide "individualized" attention to one student ? What teacher has time to prepare 20 different lesson plans every day ?

My son loved to help the kids that were struggling. He was like a little helper at his last school, however, the teacher was not consistent and there were days that she wouldn't let him do that, which would spark his "disruptive" episodes...

Sounds like at least I can start with a school with less students per teacher and with an understanding teacher that would work with him and keep it consistent.. Haven't found that yet!
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Unread 01-27-2009, 08:32 PM
 
53 posts, read 90,486 times
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Thank you all for your inputs... I agree that it is hard for a teacher to teach around 20 kids if they're all at different levels... I wonder why would they take away the grouping by abilities from the schools...

The term "no child left behind" leaves a lot to be desired...
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Unread 01-27-2009, 08:38 PM
 
Location: New Jersey
2,510 posts, read 1,110,902 times
Reputation: 621
Quote:
Originally Posted by prhottie1 View Post
My son loved to help the kids that were struggling. He was like a little helper at his last school, however, the teacher was not consistent and there were days that she wouldn't let him do that, which would spark his "disruptive" episodes...

Sounds like at least I can start with a school with less students per teacher and with an understanding teacher that would work with him and keep it consistent.. Haven't found that yet!
"Disruptive Episodes" ? Lets be realistic......the classrom can't revolve around what a particular child would like to do ? It sounds like he needs to be evaluated by the child study team for special needs ?
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Unread 01-27-2009, 08:45 PM
 
Location: Central NJ
517 posts, read 1,163,098 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bdpop View Post
I have a child in a similar situation. He is in second grade, is gifted, and can become very disruptive in class. He also has ADHD. I also have a sixteen year old daughter, who is in some special ed classses and some mainstream classes. We used to live in South Brunswick and currently live in the Orlando area in Florida. We are planning to move back to NJ (if I can find a job up there) in the summer. I feel the schools here in Florida are not adequate for my children. They only seem concerned with the FCAT, a standardized test which has become very political here.
This isn't the first time that I've heard about Florida schools. In general, they don't have a good reputation.

As far as testing, you will find the same with the NJASK3, NJASK4, etc. It seems that kids are now tested (state testing) almost yearly. The pressure is great for the teachers and the kids. Teaching to the test is true- but we don't have much of a choice. Those tests are very important to all the adminstrators and the school district. Too much depends on it. Unfortunately, the teachers don't teach the way we'd like and the kids are not able to be kids anymore. Too much work and we're putting more and more on their plate. I wonder where this is all going.

Individualizing? what's that?

I have special ed. kids and I have so much to cover in the year that they are not getting what they really should be getting. Way above their heads- but I have to teach the SAME curriculum as the "reg. ed". It's a shame.
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Unread 01-27-2009, 09:07 PM
 
9 posts, read 17,924 times
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If you want smaller class size, private school might be the way to go. There are great public schools to be found in NJ, but most of them are going to have at least 20 students per class.
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Unread 01-27-2009, 10:43 PM
 
Location: Cherry Hill, New Jersey
1,368 posts, read 2,881,252 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ccnj View Post
They told the teachers that the low kids were actually the higher level and I guess the teachers expected more and treated the kids as such. I don't buy that though. I teach 2 classes. One is a lot higher than the other. If someone had told me on the first day of school that the lower class was the higher and vice versa, I would have wondered what they were smokin'. It doesn't take a teacher long to see what level kids are at.
I swear I am not lying about being taught this.
My professer's name was Dr. Marietta Segal, chair
Gavilan College, CA
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Unread 01-29-2009, 09:14 PM
 
Location: New Jersey
249 posts, read 408,889 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyersFan View Post
I'm not sure you can find that anywhere. My daughter is a 3rd grade teacher and has used groups of 4 at times.....but in each group of 4 you have students of 4 different capabilities.......often the brightest student will find enjoyment in helping the student in the group with the least capabilities thats struggling. I'm not sure in a class of 20 students that any teacher has the time to provide "individualized" attention to one student ? What teacher has time to prepare 20 different lesson plans every day ?
Some do, but many get frustrated that the lower students do not "get it" as fast as they do. What happens a lot is that the higher level students end up telling the lower ones how to do the work (ie: the answers) so that they don't have to waste their time explaining.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shannybannany View Post
I swear I am not lying about being taught this.
My professer's name was Dr. Marietta Segal, chair
Gavilan College, CA
Sorry, I didn't mean that I don't believe you. I meant that I don't believe that what they found in the study could really be true and work. I learned about that study in college too.

This is my 9th year in the classroom and regardless of what anyone tells me about students, by the end of the first week, you can already get a pretty good idea about ability levels. Someone telling me that kids were brighter than they really are doesn't seem realistic.
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Unread 01-30-2009, 10:04 AM
 
482 posts, read 480,277 times
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Differentiated instruction is the way it's being done these days, but this is the "new" way...and not being done effectively in many (most?) districts/classrooms.

I think going with a top school district is going to give the greatest chance of differentiation. It's hard to find out this information -- they will all say they are doing it -- but many don't do it WELL especially with all the pressures re: standardized testing.

One indicator is whether the district has a good gifted/talented program to meet the needs of the gifted children. But often those are once-a-week (at best) pullout programs...ideally you'd want the daily needs met in the classroom, but many teachers are not good at this,and there are other needs (ie special needs) or large classroom sizes that make it harder.
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Unread 01-30-2009, 11:17 AM
 
2,312 posts, read 4,325,312 times
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I think most schools hold off on tracking until high school. Unless there's an aide or an intern in the classroom it will be super hard to "differentiate" during normal classroom hours. I know that in my kids' public elementary (in MA) there is differentiation through homework and grouping, but the school system is really well funded and has lots of aides, interns and specialists that make it happen.
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