As part of my role within the GROW Team (a team of teachers who support staff with their professional development) we facilitate in-house themed CPD sessions. My session focused upon developing differentiated strategies to promote stretch and challenge. My aim was to discuss a variety of strategies that could be used with different students/ subjects, which meant that stretching all students in a lesson was less challenging on the teacher.
I started the session with a mix and match worksheet where staff had to link the key words to the online definitions:
This opened up a lot of initial discussions over the terms and their meanings. What I found surprising when researching for this session, was that most of the definitions on a general Google search for Stretch and Challenge, focused upon the students stretching and challenging themselves not the teacher. This flipped how I saw stretch and challenge in my mind: it is not the teacher driving it but the students recognising what they want to achieve, taking ownership over their success by stretching themselves.
I then moved on to a short ppt which highlighted three main problems with differentiated tasks for stretch and challenge with possible solutions:
After discussing each one, what we would like to try/ have already tried etc. we finished with a plan of action sheet – basically a check list of what are you going to do: