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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. 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. Content: What the students learn Process: Activities used to assist the learning Products: Demonstration of learning The methods you use should be based on the student's needs: Lesson 3 Lesson 4 Lesson 5 Lesson 6 Related:  Teaching Tools

Differentiating Instruction Whether you teach first grade or AP Calculus, your class is certain to have a variety of learners. Perhaps you have some ESL/ELL students, some learning support, some emotional support, some gifted, and some very “average.” TeachersFirst has resources to help you understand and adapt for student differences, including general ideas for any and all students and for specific student needs. For Any and All Students: Browse examples Many TeachersFirst resource reviews include differentiation suggestions and practical ways a resource can help you meet individual needs. For Specific Student Needs: Autism and Aspergers Find resources and information to help you understand and work with this increasing population. Adapt-a-Strategy for ESL/ELL Adapt your existing lesson plans using these simple strategies to help ESL students. Gifted Special Ed Special Ed regulations change frequently, and many are specific to your state.

From Blacksmiths to Blackboards elcome to a virtual village modelled after those found throughout Quebec's countryside during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. At the end of the 19th century, thousands of villages dot the countryside of Quebec, principally along the St Lawrence River and in the Eastern Townships. Large or small, these villages have many of the same basic characteristics that are shown in this virtual village. The general storekeeper, the priest, the school teacher and the various craftsmen represented here provide essential goods and services that help bind their communities together. To explore this village and discover more about how some of its inhabitants work and live during this period, simply click on a building. For each building you can choose between two texts: The first explains the context in which a person makes his or her living and the second examines what that work involves. Quebec villages, 1890-1910

6 Scaffolding Strategies to Use with Your Students What’s the opposite of scaffolding a lesson? Saying to students, “Read this nine-page science article, write a detailed essay on the topic it explores, and turn it in by Wednesday.” Yikes! No safety net, no parachute—they’re just left to their own devices. Let’s start by agreeing that scaffolding a lesson and differentiating instruction are two different things. Simply put, scaffolding is what you do first with kids. Scaffolding and differentiation do have something in common, though. So let’s get to some scaffolding strategies you may or may not have tried yet. 1. How many of us say that we learn best by seeing something rather than hearing about it? Try a fishbowl activity, where a small group in the center is circled by the rest of the class; the group in the middle, or fishbowl, engages in an activity, modeling how it’s done for the larger group.Always show students the outcome or product before they do it. 2. 3. All learners need time to process new ideas and information. 4. 5. 6.

Technology Articles The teacher's role has changed in recent years. There has been a shift of emphasis from instructional techniques to developing learning techniques. Our role is no longer that of the "sage on the stage". Today our role leans more towards facilitator or "guide on the side". Our role is to increase student motivation and develop the skills or strategies that make a student more competent and to structure the learning environment so that students are able to take ownership of their own learning. Fortunately, many of the strategies that "empower" and "engage" students also lead to increased motivation. Motivation and achievement have long been recognized to have a close cause-effect relationship, as of course have ability and achievement. Joanne Rand Whitmore's Giftedness, Conflict and Underachievement (1980) and Sylvia Rimm's Underachievement Syndrome (1986) both deal with this concept in some depth. There are many strategies for motivating students. Strategies For Enhancing Motivation 1.

50+ Tools for Differentiating Instruction Through Social Media Imagine a world where resources were limited to what was found in the classroom or the school closet known as the "Curriculum Materials Room." Picture a world where students wrote letters with pen and paper to communicate with other students and adults outside of the building. Due to postage costs, the teacher either sent the letters in bulk or paid for stamps out of his or her own pocket. Can you recall a time when student interests like skateboarding or video were never used as part of learning curriculum because the tools needed were either too expensive or not yet conceptualized? Do you remember a time when non-traditional learners struggled, and absenteeism meant a high likelihood of students doing poorly in school, and possibly having to retake the course? If you experienced none of these scenarios, then you live in a world of possibility because you grew up with the many social media tools available to support all learners. Selecting the Right Tool Readiness Interests

Assessment Assessment "Assessment is the process of collecting information on student achievement and performance. Assessment information provides the basis for sound decision making regarding teaching and learning." "The assessment process reveals what a student understands, knows and can do What is Assessment? Evaluation "Evaluation is a judgment regarding the quality, value or worth of a response, product, or performance, based on established criteria and curriculum standards" "The evaluation process indicates the quality of performance based on the curriculum (learner outcomes)." What is Evaluation? Reporting "According to McTighe, reporting documents should distinguish between the following factors: "... each of these factors should be reported separately. Source- A Framework for Communicating Student Learning, (AAC) 1999. p.21" Reporting How are assessment and evaluation related?

Six Strategies for Differentiated Instruction in Project-Based Learning Project-based learning (PBL) naturally lends itself to differentiated instruction. By design, it is student-centered, student-driven, and gives space for teachers to meet the needs of students in a variety of ways. PBL can allow for effective differentiation in assessment as well as daily management and instruction. PBL experts will tell you this, but I often hear teachers ask for real examples, specifics to help them contextualize what it "looks like" in the classroom. 1. We all know that heterogeneous grouping works, but sometimes homogenous grouping can be an effective way to differentiate in a project. 2. Reflection is an essential component of PBL. 3. This is probably one of my favorites. 4. Another essential component of PBL is student voice and choice, both in terms of what students produce and how they use their time. 5. Formative assessments can look the same for all students. 6. Teamwork and collaboration occur regularly in a PBL project.

Rubrics to the Rescue By Melissa D. Henning, M.Ed. Read this teacher-friendly article for an overview of the rationale for using rubrics and tools and tips for implementing rubrics as an assessment tool in your classroom. You will be able to create and start using rubrics for student assessment within an hour. What Are RubricsWhy Use Rubrics? Technology Articles Within the four ways for differentiating instruction there are embedded several other learning strategies which are used in conjunction with each other. The Strategies: Readiness / Ability Teachers can use a variety of assessments to determine a student's ability or readiness. However, readiness is constantly changing and as readiness changes it is important that students be permitted to move between different groups (see flexible grouping). Varying the level of questioning (and consequent thinking skills) and compacting the curriculum and are useful strategies for accommodating differences in ability or readiness. Adjusting Questions During large group discussion activities, teachers direct the higher level questions to the students who can handle them and adjust questions accordingly for student with greater needs. An easy tool for accomplishing this is to put posters on the classroom walls with key words that identify the varying levels of thinking. Compacting Curriculum Reading Buddies

s Study Skills Resources Create an online bulletin board (much like Padlet reviewed here or Lino reviewed here) for brainstorming and VOTING on any topic. The voting is what makes this tool different. Create an account. There is no waiting for email approval. Add a board, title, select how many votes the participants will have (up to 10), and start adding posts with text, images, and video. tag(s): bulletin boards (17), gamification (53), images (258) In the Classroom Share your board with a projector or interactive whiteboard. Use Dotstorming to collect WebQuest links and information to share with students. Use Dotstorming as an "idea bin" where students can collect ideas, images, quotes, and more for a project.

Educational Videos and Games for Kids about Science, Math, Social Studies and English 48 Ultra-Cool Summer Sites for Kids and Teachers | Ed Tech Ideas A good majority of northern hemisphere and international schools are winding down the 2011-2012 school year and doors will be closing as the students and teachers take off on their summer adventures. Here is a list of great sites for kids and teachers to keep you happily productive and learning this summer. These are in no way in any order of personal preference or coolness. Happy summer! 1. If your students like The Magic Tree House Series (and let’s be honest, who doesn’t?) 2. Can’t afford that summer vacation schlepping around Europe? 3. ReadWriteThink creates a lot of great educational resources. 4. Spell With Flickr is a simple site that allows you to enter any word and it will create a photo representation of that word using pictures from Flickr. 5. Freeology is a fantastic resource for teachers to download pre-made, or create a plethora of free graphic organizers, forms, calendars, certificates, worksheets, and more! 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. CELLS Alive!

Encouraging Lifelong Learning: The Pathway to Success When I became a teacher, it was my dream to instil in all my students a love of learning that would last a lifetime. Such is the desire of many of our best teachers. They have that special heart to not rest until their students shine. When you think of it, this is such a tall order. Trusting your personal fulfillment to young, reckless, often irrational children is hard. What does a lifelong learner look like? Learning to knowLearning to doLearning to live together and with othersLearning to be Lifelong learners can: manage uncertainty;communicate across and within cultures, sub-cultures, families and communities, and;negotiate conflicts. The 6 Paths to Encouraging Lifelong Learning So how can we keep encouraging lifelong learning in our classrooms? Be a lifelong learnerSpeak it Rethink the definition of failureAssume that everyone learns by doingTeach positive self talkKnow that learning doesn’t stop when school ends An added dimension is life wide learning. Be a lifelong learner Speak it

63 Things Every Student Should Know In A Digital World 63 Things Every Student Should Know In A Digital World by Terry Heick It could be argued—and probably argued well—that what a student fundamentally needs to know today isn’t much different than what Tom Sawyer or Joan of Arc or Alexander the Great needed to know. Communication. Resourcefulness. Creativity. Persistence. How true this turns out to be depends on how macro you want to get. But in an increasingly connected and digital world, the things a student needs to know are indeed changing—fundamental human needs sometimes drastically redressed for an alien modern world. Of course, these are just starters. The Changing Things They Need To Know: 13 Categories & 63 Ideas Information Sources 1. 2. 3. 4. Learning Pathways 5. 6. 7. 8. Human Spaces 9. 10. 11. 12. Socializing Ideas 13. 14. 15. 16. Digital Participation 17. 18. 19. 20. Publishing Nuance 21. 22. 23. 24. Applying Technology 25. 26. 27. 28. The Always-On Audience 29. 30. 31. 32. Social Rules 33. 34. 35. 36. Diction 37. 38. 39. 40. 41. 42. 43.

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