Wow! I thought I would write a follow-up to all of the comments on my last post. Thank you all so much for taking the time to share your thoughts. Because of confidentiality issues, I can’t tell “the whole story,” but I will try to touch on as much as I can. :o)
I do have a very positive relationship with this student. He has told me I am the best teacher he has ever had and that he loves talking to me. He tells me more things than I care to know (you know, middle-school boy stuff like socks and girlfriends and bloody video games). We’ve had lots of talks about how smart I KNOW he is.
My students and I have taken learning-style inventories, most recently about two weeks ago. I have a wide range of learning styles in my room and try to incorporate them as much as possible. This particular student scores high in the areas of visual and kinesthetic learning.
Students have lots of choices when it comes to showing me what they know. For example, right now in language arts we are doing a lesson I call “Choose Your Own Literary Adventure.” Each student read the book of his choice and then selected a related project from a menu of options. They could write a letter to a character, develop a test on the book, write an imaginary interview with a character, make posters to advertise the book or the genre, design new book covers, or write fortune cookie fortunes to characters based on what happened to them. So there’s lots of cool stuff going on with this project.