I have 4 sections of Algebra 2. My smallest section has 17 students, but it also has the largest gap. I have the brightest students in there - students who want to learn math, are enthusiastic about it, and do well with mathematics. They are extremely motivated. I also have students who are not very motivated, who complain I am going too fast (even though I am actually going at a much slower rate that I probably should be), and who are not as strong as other math students. The students who aren't as motivated actually seem to resent the students who do well and are motivated.
Although I do try to do grouping with them, unlike most of the students in my other classes, when the groups are of mixed ability, the students who struggle don't necessarily want help from the students who know what they are doing. We did a relay in class to review this week and I said that all students had to have the problem worked out before I would check their boards (and that I would be checking all of the boards) and I had students who would not even copy down what was on the other boards. Now, as a veteran teacher, I do recognize that is a two fold issue - not only is it an issue of not learning, it is now a discipline issue. I would like to deal with it from the not learning aspect rather than the discipline side first, with the hope that I can avoid the discipline issue.
Any suggestions? Please leave them in the comments. Thanks. :-)