Spiraling or lack of accountability?

I’m struggling with spiraling.  I taught Algebra 1 for 13 years, and we did very little in the way of review of pre-Algebra.  That was what you learned last year.  We were on to applying that knowledge in new ways.

Now I teach 6th and 7th grade.  I think 80% of what I have “taught” my 6th graders this year, they were taught by a teacher in 4th or 5th grade.  Some of them remember it.  Some do not.  This has the unfortunate effect of making my classroom so heterogeneous that even if I teach to the middle, I’m not being fair to the majority of the students.

Should we spend more time doing less, so they actually remember?  Is remembering from one year to the next not something I can expect from an 11 year old?  How do I address this incredible disparity of students that all come to me in one group?

One again, I have many questions, and few answers.

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