While chatting to the Academic Director recently he said something that stuck me about the early months of grade 11. He said (and I am paraphrasing slightly) ... Around thanksgiving I am certain of two things, the first being I'll have turkey and the second being I will field calls about the grade 11 math course...
As I have come to realize in my career, the transition for students between grade 10 and grade 11 is a challenging one. The curriculum is denser, expectations increase, all of the sudden kids are wondering why their work habits from grade 10 are no longer getting them the same marks. Students who were pretty good math students get marks back 10-15% lower than they are used to and really struggle with this.
I started to wonder if this was just me and reached out to colleagues at my school and others to gain their perspectives and embrace the strategies they use, but the feedback was similar to my experience, students often struggle with their transition into their grade 11 year. In math in particular it is not uncommon for students to see their marks drop (especially at the very beginning).
While it's nice to know I am not the only teacher seeing this phenomenon, the question remains, how do we support students through this? What are the skills they are lacking in order to make this transition successful? What is different about the students who are not phased by the increased work/cognitive load of these courses? What skills and tools do these students have that others do not?
These are all ideas I hope to dive into further.