I think we have had more storms this fall than last spring!
Why did I pick this title? Because this week my students bombed a test that I thought was easy. Let me say first that my students in my resource class learn the same curriculum has the general ed students and take the same test with a few modifications. I am sure this happens to every teacher! But the question is what to do when I don't get what they get.
What I Do When They Don't Get It and I Don't Get What they Don't Get
First, I reflect on my teaching. How could I have taught the material better? Did I make the material as concrete as possible? Should I have spent more time on a concept? Should I have given them more practice? With common core, I seem to be asking these questions a lot more. 8th grade math is pretty much Algebra 1 first semester concepts. (I'm screaming inside "Whose idea was this?") I love common core do not get me wrong but this first year has been difficult and challenging.
This is exactly something my students would say.
Second, I take a long look at their homework papers to determine where their mistakes or misconceptions are. Sometimes I can find them and sometimes I cannot. For example we have been studying how to find slope from a line I taught the change in y over change in x and rise over run, the majority did perfectly one their homework! On the test, it was like it all slipped out of their head and only 1 person got it right. We went over it again after the test, they still acted clueless on their second review b. So we practiced again and again and again and again! So hopefully Monday, they will get it on the test. (Whose idea was it to put a test on a Monday? That would be me! Not very smart!)
Third, I ask for help! High school special education teachers are a great resource to go to because they have been teaching this material for years. I also ask my students what they are seeing that I don't see.
What do you do when you don't get what they don't get???