Contextualised lessons/ assessment
Students learn at very different speeds. To cope with students needing to be extended, first by signalling that they are expected to work ahead of my teaching and second by having marks allocated in assessments for unspecified extensions.
To quote from an ITWD6.400 Assessment:
While developing your Web page building skills you will come across an interesting feature that you could incorporate into this site. Add this feature and document on the extension page. Marks will be awarded for level of difficulty.
One of my favourite lessons is teaching hardware basics to non computer specialists, in this case a group of Diploma in Design Technology students. At the end of each year I ask for some working but redundant PCs from IT Services. The first lesson (3 1/2 hours I take stuents through Computer Hardware basics) The second lesson I bing in the Old PCs with a set of Screwdrivers. Their task is basically to dismantle the PCs as far as they possibly can. What I have found is that usually in the group are at least one student who has built or added hardware to their PCs and usually they take a lead. However, even for them it is unusual that they have dismantled a computer to this extent. I have found that after doing this exercise students are much more confident with the hardware and are able to discuss components more easily.