It is difficult to plan lessons that recognize and meet the needs of fifteen different children. The vast gap in abilities between my highest and lowest students makes it almost impossible for me to teach them group lessons, and yet for the sake of expediency I do just that at least three times a day. Then while the majority of the group is continuing the lesson with some kind of project or activity I call my lower students to my desk one at a time for some intensive teaching. I also do this during center time when most of the class is enjoying free play, but as you might imagine I don’t get the same enthusiastic involvement. It is difficult for a child to concentrate on the alphabet when his best friend is playing with blocks.
I wish I had more time to work with individual students, but the sad fact is that I don’t. And until we have more hours in the day, more assistants in the classroom, and more money for multi-level teaching materials, I’ll just continue to do the best I can.