Every day, Billy dreaded going to school. School was his sad place. No one understood him. Teachers gave him boring work that he already knew how to do. For Billy, school was pointless and a waste of time, so he didn't put forth much effort. Teachers thought Billy was lazy, but Billy wasn't lazy. When he had free time he designed and built skateboards and dreamed of opening his own skatepark one day.
Agenda: Flexible Grouping Today! Homework: Study for the Test!
Homework time was not fun for Billy or his mom, who wanted him to make better grades. Billy resented being made to do boring work and mom frequently got angry. But then, one night at the table his mom surprised him. Billy had been tested for gifted classes at school and despite his poor grades, his IQ showed that he was capable of much more and tomorrow he'd have new classes.
Agenda: Review Stations - Complete 5 Stations. Be sure to turn in your Comprehension Check when Finished! Homework: Test Tomorrow!
At first, Billy was unsure about his new schedule. In Mrs. Ritzel's class, they did an activity with different hats. During a discussion on possible solutions to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Billy got to wear the black hat and explain the difficulties and potential problems of why certain solutions might not work. While his classmate in the yellow hat had to explain the values, benefits, and why certain solutions would work. Billy had so much fun; he loved to debate!
The next day, Billy and a classmate were put in a group by themselves and given a task that was different from some of the other students. Billy was used to everyone always doing the same old boring thing at the same time, so he was pleasantly surprised and eager to see what Mrs. Ritzel wanted him to do. She said because he understood the lesson so well yesterday she wanted his group to either write a news article or make a video presentation about it. A choice? Unheard of!
The day of the review for the test, Billy was able to get up and move from station to station. He loved being able to move around! He had to complete a certain number of stations so he chose the two game centers, a reading center (where he picked the hardest reading passage), a Chromebook activity and a writing center. Before he knew it, class was over. School couldn't get boring when it went by so fast and there were so many things for him to do!
Big changes happened for Billy; he began to see school as purposeful & challenging. He no longer hated going to school or doing his homework. His teachers praised his efforts & work ethic. His grades improved because he wanted to succeed (mom was happy about that). Each day he wondered what he'd be doing in class (secretly hoping it would be 6 Hats and he'd be the black hat or that today would be the day they started Genius Hour and he could design his skatepark!)