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8 Lessons Learned on Differentiating Instruction

8 Lessons Learned on Differentiating Instruction
My differentiation journey began in 2004 when my principal asked me to attend a weeklong summer conference on differentiated instruction. I was eager to please my principal so I quickly accepted her offer. I was also extremely curious about how I, one person, could possibly address the individual needs of 100 students. By the end of the conference, I was totally overwhelmed with information: flexible grouping, assessment, inventories, tiered lessons, Carol Ann Tomlinson. My real work, though, didn't begin until after the conference, when I was expected to start using the training I'd received. I was expected to create four differentiated lessons that school year. Throughout that year, I utilized a variety of management pointers for a differentiated classroom that had been presented during the conference. Lesson 1 Differentiation does not take place overnight; think of it as a wonderful work in progress. Lesson 2 Like students themselves, differentiation can take on many forms. Lesson 3

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Are Teachers of Tomorrow Prepared to Use Innovative Tech? Getty Images With a new generation of teachers coming into the work force, there’s a discrepancy between what principals expect of teachers-in-training and what they’re actually learning in school. A new Project Tomorrow report surveying principals concluded that they want to hire new teachers with creative ideas about how technology can be leveraged to create authentic and differentiated learning experiences. But student-teachers report that their tech training focuses only on simple management tools. At the same time, the report concludes that those who have the biggest influence on new teachers — veteran educators — don’t always embrace new ways of using technology to engage students.

The 7 Most Common Learning Types Education had a remarkable epiphany long ago. Simply put, there are a whole lot of learners in our classrooms and they don’t all learn the same way. This recognition of diversity in learning types has transformed teaching for the better in every way. Consequently, we can tailor instruction and assessment to meet the needs of individual learners, and help them make the most meanngful connections to what we teach. 15+ Readiness Resources for Driving Student Success Learning how to drive is an exhilarating experience, unless you're the parent sitting in the passenger seat. My son passed driver's ed, and he needs to clock hours driving with a parent -- that would be me. I plan those driving experiences based on his readiness, such as empty parking lots, neighborhood streets, light and heavy traffic, highway, and night driving. (The latter two may be more an issue of my comfort level.) With each planned experience, his confidence grows toward passing his driving exam.

8 Classroom EdTech Strategies That Develop Critical Thinking Skills Educational technology, or edtech, has revolutionized the classroom by improving learning efficiency and efficacy. Used wisely, edtech strategies help students develop vital critical thinking skills, and can change the paradigms of education. Here are eight specific ways classroom tech can help students develop their critical thinking. 1. Staying Tuned In Learner Interest Matters: Strategies for Empowering Student Choice A parent shared with me that she struggled motivating her son to build a model of a Frank Lloyd Wright home for a presentation. This was part of a social studies unit in which he studied the architect. Her son had no interest in building the model or researching Frank Lloyd Wright. I asked what her son liked to do outside of school.

Using “unlock the chest!” puzzles to develop out-of-class learning Overview Obtain a date padlock (day / month / year), and set it to the exact date of a particular historical event. Use this to lock a chest, inside of which should be placed an illustrated sheet of information about the event in question. Helping Diverse Learners Succeed My career got off to a bad start when I was hired to teach in a Minneapolis Ojibwe Survival School. That was the year that Prince's Sign O the Times dropped -- the year most of my lesson plans failed. More terrifying was the fact that I had no backup plan. I'm embarrassed now to admit that I sent over 15 kids to in-school suspension in a single morning. A chair was thrown at my head and later a waterfowl-sized stone. At a school event, a masked student threatened me with a hunting knife while I stood at a public urinal.

Using a “Mysterious Moment” lesson starter to develop questioning skills Overview The ‘mysterious moment’ approach is a great way to engage students at the beginning of a lesson and to generate some interesting questions. It involves giving students an intriguing, mysterious and deliberately incomplete story based on a study topic by taking away key details, and then challenging teams to ask yes/no questions of the teacher to fill the gaps and deduce what is going on.

Put students in charge of their learning On a Monday morning at a junior high school just outside of Cleveland, Ohio, a student teacher enters Room 120 for the first time. Looking to his left, he sees students discussing how to write an appropriate description of a picture they’ve just embedded in the online poster they’ve created for a project. To the right sit two students engrossed in reading novels on handheld devices — one a Kindle, the other an iPod. Using “relationship webs” to map change and continuity over time Overview Charting the changing relationship between nations and individuals over time is an important part of identifying key turning points as well as highlighting essential continuities. A relationship web is an accessible and visually engaging way of doing so. Case study: the causes of World War One

Resources and Downloads for Differentiated Instruction Tips for downloading: PDF files can be viewed on a wide variety of platforms -- both as a browser plug-in or a stand-alone application -- with Adobe's free Acrobat Reader program. Click here to download the latest version of Adobe Reader. Click on any title link below to view or download that file. “Which One Doesn’t Belong?”: a starter activity to highlight connections, contrasts and comparisons Overview Students are presented with four simple images (or statements) and challenged to give a reasoned answer to the question “Which one doesn’t belong?”. There isn’t any single “correct” answer. As such, any student or group of students can gain points for any valid reason given. From obvious surface differences, students should be encouraged to draw out their existing knowledge to keep on spotting increasingly sophisticated connections, contrasts and comparisons.

There's No Time to Differentiate: Myth-Busting DI, Part 2 The microwave oven is a great timesaver for getting any food on the table. Yet it's a taste killer. The more I use the grill and oven to cook meals for my family, the more I experience the diversity of tastes that come from grilled or baked salmon, chicken, and burgers, plus sautéed vegetables. A microwave oven dries everything out, and thus limits the tastes.

Educational Escape Rooms: Case Study 1 – Larger groups / younger students For an introduction to the Escape Room format and how it can be used in the classroom, please consult this earlier blogpost. This post is designed to be read alongside its partner post: “Educational Escape Rooms: Case Study 2 – smaller groups / older students“ Escape Room case study 1: larger groups / younger students In the following case study, to successfully “escape”, students have to complete two main stages: Stage 1.

The Scholastic website details different lessons learned about differentiated instruction, including strategies that can be used for differentiating assessment. by carolinewilson Mar 29