When I introduce an idea and have students practice a few problems in class to see if they are getting it, I walk around and individually help students. Neighboring students other also help each other out.
What do you do, however, when a few students who “get” things right away finish before the others? The rest of the class seems to get it, but it just is taking them a while to work out the problems. What do you do with these kids? Do you just have them sit quietly?
Sometimes I’ve had them: (1) make up their own problems for me to possibly use on a future assessment, or (2) walk around and ask if anyone else needs help. Most of the time I let them sit. I feel like I should have a good way to deal with this. But I can’t always ask them to make up their own problems or walk around. It’s a temporary solution.
Ideas? Strategies? Do we all struggle with this?
Currently, I’m thinking that each time I put problems up, I should put a couple up, and then put one “challenge problem” too — and then have the expectation that students finish the standard problems, and say that if you don’t have time to get to the challenge problem, that’s totally okay.