I have one student whose knowledge of Earth and space exceeds the other students in class. I feel like I just keep giving him more work, more extension activities, and I think he is getting frustrated. Do you have any suggestions for how to deal with this? How do I grade this kind of assignment?
Assigning more work to an extremely bright student is not the answer, so kudos for looking for something else! Run this by your principal for approval: Ask the student to propose a project— either long- or short-term —related to the class. The possibilities are almost limitless: videos, a lesson, models, public displays, reviews, and more. Can you find a geologist, astronomer, or other professional that could act as a mentor or be interviewed? Negotiate a grading scheme with benchmarks and expectations for the final “product” or assessment.
Options to reach a fair grade:
- Have the child complete all the work the rest of the class is handing in and use the project as extra credit.
- Replace the regular work with this project—this puts the onus on the student to follow through. Align the project with your curriculum and create a rubric to share with the student and his family. If a mentor is involved, you should have a direct communication with him or her about expectations and share the assessment piece. Set the bar high, but make sure he isn’t penalized for pushing himself. If the project doesn’t meet all your expectations, ask yourself, “What grade would I record if any other student handed me this work?”
Hope this helps!
Photo Credit: By NASA, ESA and G. Bacon (STScI)