on education

thoughts from a graduate student at the university of mary washington

Compacting: Reflection (for March 11)

March15

I had never heard of compacting curriculum before. Some of the other service delivery options I was more familiar with, though. My own brother was accelerated in elementary school. While I was in school, I remember having friends in a pull-out gifted program. I didn’t know it at the time, but they were also cluster-grouped in some of my classes. I didn’t know that this was purposeful, I just thought that’s how their schedules were made and it was happenstance. Maybe that’s what they want the average students to think??

I really like the idea of compacting. I’ve often wondered what I’m supposed to do with these kids once they’re in my classroom. Differentiate, yeah, fine, but there’s only so much you can do if they know it inside and out already. It never occurred to me to let them skip over the things they already know and either heavily enrich that content knowledge or move on to something else.

The most difficult first strategy makes sense and it seems very effective. I can think of a few children in the practicum I just finished who would have benefitted greatly from compacting. What they were doing was so boring I wanted to bang my own head on the desk. It was more of the same, just more of it. What they really needed was to move past what they already knew.

This is definitely something I see myself using regularly in my classroom. To me, it makes it easier on everyone and makes the classroom more dynamic and fun.

posted under EDCI 540
One Comment to

“Compacting: Reflection (for March 11)”

  1. Avatar April 20th, 2014 at 5:09 pm Laurie Abeel Says:

    “I didn’t know it at the time, but they were also cluster-grouped in some of my classes. I didn’t know that this was purposeful, I just thought that’s how their schedules were made and it was happenstance. Maybe that’s what they want the average students to think??”
    — Well… they don’t typically advertise how they group students. But it’s not a secret either if asked.

    I’m glad you appreciated the most difficult first strategy. it really does help the students… adn teacher too.


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