Our school district is collecting data on the idea of removing all honors classes from the junior and senior high schools. The theory is that teachers can differentiate instruction in the classroom to challenge the students at their different abilities.
I have done this in the past by offering extra credit assignments to students who want to push themselves beyond the curriculum. For example, while studying oral traditions (folk tales, mythology, etc.) students can research mythologies from other cultures other than Greek/Roman. According to the picture above, this seems to be ok.
I have to admit, though, that I am a neophyte on differentiated instruction. Offering extra credit to challenge students does not seem to be true differentiated instruction. Some kids prefer to challenge themselves in a different manner than completing extra work in English / Language Arts class. For example, Tina has an A in class and is the lead in the school musical. She would rather challenge herself with theater, which is her passion. She wants to be an actress.
I think I should be grouping the students and assigning them different projects based on previous grades or standardized test scores. I have begun to research and ideas are bouncing around my brain like popcorn in the microwave bag.
I could use some feedback from folks in education and those of you who have other life experiences.
1. What do you think about eliminating honors classes?
2. Do you have any ideas how I may incorporate differentiated instruction in my classroom?
- Your High School Record – What You Do in High School can influence College Acceptance (bigfuture.collegeboard.org)
- Get Your Bluff In: 5 Scams Used By High School Students (writingishardwork.com)