As we all know extension tasks should be incorporated in lesson plans, however do the activities that are put in place for the more able learners demoralise and demotivate the less able students?
An intreging scenario, and one if you get wrong could dis-engage a learner permanently. I feel that this can be achieved but it needs to be done subtly. For example placing stronger students with weaker students in paired or group activities, but disguising the reason you have done this, is of great benefit. It will allow the stronger student to use their skills and understanding to teach the weaker student, often with great benefit.
Hope this helps, and good luck with your teaching.
Yes I believe this can lower a student's confidence, especially as there is no teacher support during this time. I know its a little off-topic, but I remember one extension given to us at school that was really good- to make a leaflet about niagara falls- it encouraged us to be creative with the information we had found about the topic, but it was great for differentiation as all learners could be included and stronger students went further with their research. I agree that you have to be subtle about this and make sure it is inclusive.
I don't know much about creating extension activities yet as I have only taught two sessions so far but how about if the extension activity is expressed in such a way that it takes account of students that are ready to progress as well as those that are struggling or on target? Something interesting with the scope for development for everyone, including those in the middle. So, the same topic but worded so that if some feel comfortable, explore such and such. Do you see what I mean? Sorry I'm vague about this but as I say, I've only ever put this into practice once before and again tomorrow.
Great point Keeley, so if the teacher can word the activities in such a way that its more of a choice for the learners to extend, however could this perhaps have a negative effect on the more able learners remembering that most of them will still be very pedadogical so will only do what is required, maybe not having the motivation to push themselves?
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