Do you have IWT (Intensive Workshop Time) at your school? We just started it up this year and we are definitely still figuring out how to make it work for our very diverse students because it is a really valuable intervention for some of our struggling students. In kindergarten, we create IWT groups as our center groups and when students get to the teacher-led center, we give them their intervention time. That's not the traditional way to implement IWT, but it's an experiment we've tried the last couple of months and it's been going great. Our next round is going to be all about word problems! We have some students who are masters at word problems already and we have some students still struggling to use addition when they see + and to use subtraction when they see -. How do we help them? Differentiated instruction, of course!
I created a pre-assessment so we could appropriately place students into their IWT groupings - they had to answer addition and subtraction problems. Then, they had to do a page of mixed problems. Last, we gave them 2 word problems just to see if they knew how to do them. You can see the grouping system we used at the bottom of the rubric.
So now: the problems! I created four levels of problems so that all students can be challenged but not overwhelmed. Here is the same problem at the four different levels so that you can see how I did that.
Students in the advanced group showed an ability to already solve word problems and now I want them to solve word problems with three numbers in them.
So what about my students who are working on alternate curriculum? They get to have a fun book too! These students will be working toward IEP goals of counting to and identifying numbers. They will choose a problem like their friends, glue it into their books like their friends, and count to find the answer. Here are the modified pages for those friends:
I have to admit, I spent a lot of time cutting out all of the word problems and making little packets for each of the students to use as their bank of word problems. But the prep time was totally worth it, because all of my kids will get to feel like smart, talented mathematicians! What else can I ask for other than a class full of inspired learners? I promise to post pictures of my little solvers at work.
You can get Differentiated Word Problems in my Teachers Pay Teachers store!