Shelley Moore and the Bowling Analogy: Don’t Teach to the Middle

I was at a meeting where someone brought up educator Shelley Moore and her bowling analogy. She compares the classroom to the pins in 10-pin bowling: the pins that are hardest to reach are the ones on each side. When we aim for the middle in bowling (as teachers are often encouraged to do to “reach the most students”), it results in a 7/10 split, with one pin left on each side.

"7-10-split", by Interiot, used under <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en">a CC BY-SA 3.0 license</a>.

“7-10-split”, by Interiot, used under a CC BY-SA 3.0 license.

Those pins are the students who need the most support, and the ones who need the most challenge. How do we teach in classrooms with a range of needs? You can hear Shelley Moore’s talk here:

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