What methods do you use to ensure every student is learning? A conversation with Eddie Woo
This video was originally published 2 August 2017.
Eddie Woo chats to CESE about maths, teaching and what works best. Listen to the full conversation.
So there’s this huge challenge presented by the need for curriculum differentiation in the context of the classroom. Something I’ve adopted, which I’ve found has been really helpful over the last few years, has been saying okay, I have 24 students in my class and I’m going to really struggle to have a really meaningful conversation with all 24 of them every single lesson. That’s going to be immensely challenging, so what I do, it’s so simple and yet it’s changed the way that I’ve known my students so much, is that I’ll say every lesson I’m going to pick out three particular kids. I’ll just go alphabetically down the roll, that will be fine, and I’m going to say no matter what happens today, no matter how quiet or reserved or what kind of activity we’re doing in the classroom, I’m going to make sure I have a decent conversation where I ask questions, where there’s real interaction with those three kids. And what that does is, obviously it gives me the opportunity to interact with the whole range of kids, but also pushes me as a teacher. A teacher’s job, you’ve got spinning plates constantly, all the time. Something’s always happening, there’s all these processes you’ve got to manage in the classroom, and so you’re a human being, it’s difficult to remember, okay I’ve got to try and hit that kid, and the one who hasn’t really said anything for a couple of weeks, and are they late again for the seventh time in the last fortnight. Doing something like this and making sure you have a regular, systematic way of getting to every single kid, knowing them well and having a deep knowledge of where they’re at and what they need to move forward, I’ve found has been enormously helpful for getting across the bulk of kids, many of whom need help but you wouldn’t know otherwise, because they want to fly under the radar. They don’t want to draw attention to themselves.