Sometimes, I focus my teaching brainpower on a single student. Trying to problem solve a tricky kid can make my job a lot easier if the student can change the dynamic in the class or help a group be more productive. Also, when I think about a single student, it can sometimes change the way I think about many students. I had such an epiphany this morning when I was thinking and writing about Remi.

Remi is a student who seemed to be doing great in his ELA practices.

By all accounts, Remi is doing great across the board!
By all accounts, Remi seemed to be doing great across the board!

However, when I looked at how he was doing concept-by-concept, I found some areas of glaring weakness.

Looking closely, there are a number of areas where Remi struggles
Looking closely, there are a number of areas where Remi struggles

To address this, I assigned Remi a number of concept improvement practices. Somewhat to my surprise, he showed no struggle at all with them. Despite being red in virtually all of the questions given on the improvement practices, he was getting them almost all right!

Seems like Remi has taken on the challenge!
Remi is rocking these improvement practices!

In fact, when I drilled down even more, I could see that on most of the questions, he’s been getting them right on the first attempt!

Remi is getting most of them right on the first try!
Remi is getting most of them right on the first try!

So now I am wondering, are these concepts truly hard for him, or are they simply ones he needs to take more time to read and consider as he rushes through what must be very easy questions for him in general?  Might his apparent “weakness” and “struggle” really be a sign that he’s ready for more challenge??

What do you think?

Cheers!

Dr. Michelle Anthony