background preloader

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.

Resources - Differentiation Central Lesson Plans Grades K-2 (pdf) Grades 3-5 (pdf) Grades 6-8 (pdf) Grades 9-12 (pdf) Tools Lesson Plan Templates Thoughts from Fellow Teachers Differentiated Instruction Take Away Learning Karolyn Ahern, a Library Media Specialist, summarizes and shares her lessons learned after a 3-year, school-wide focus on Differentiated Instruction. Technology Tools Profcast Faculty have found that by using Profcast, they can post their lectures complete with their Powerpoints online. Research Tools Portaportal To make it easier for students to access appropriate research sites in class, you may want to create your own Portaportal site.

Differentiation 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.

Using differentiation in mixed-ability classes 'Differentiation' is a term that you will no doubt have encountered during your training. However, really understanding the term, and effectively putting it into practice, can be one of the greatest challenges in the NQT year. "Differentiation a big issue for NQTs, mainly because they try to differentiate everything all the time and swamp themselves with too much," says Kate Aspin, senior lecturer in education at Huddersfield University. According to the Training and Development Agency for Schools, 'differentiation' is the process by which differences between pupils are accommodated so that all students have the best possible chance of learning. There are three categories of differentiation Ideally, you should be using all three types of differentiation to accommodate the different learning styles in the classroom. Kate advises new teachers not to rely on differentiation by outcome. A practical approach to differentiation Take a practical and realistic approach to differentiation.

Methods of Differentiation in the Classroom It’s a term that every teacher has heard during their training: differentiation. Differentiation is defined by the Training and Development Agency for Schools as ‘the process by which differences between learners are accommodated so that all students in a group have the best possible chance of learning’. In recent decades it has come to be considered a key skill for any teacher, especially those of mixed-ability classes. But what does it really mean? What is meant by ‘differences between learners’? In a large class, differences between students may on the face of it seem too numerous to be quantified, but differentiation works on 3 key aspects which can be summed up as follows: Readiness to learn Learning needs Interest These differences may sound rather broad, but by applying effective methods of differentiation, it is possible to cater for quite wide variations between learners. Task Grouping Resources Pace Outcome Dialogue and support Assessment

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?

Differentiated Instruction Lesson Plans Differentiation 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? Differentiating Instruction Differentiating Instruction: Rethinking Traditional Practices Bertie Kingore, Ph.D. Differentiating instruction invites educators to rethink traditional educational practices that were based upon a time when students were more similar in background and readiness. Educators today must embrace differentiated instruction for students and assume a confident attitude that they can organize and manage this instruction. Differentiation is a well known educational practice that is often talked about, sometimes not well understood, and frequently implemented ineffectively. Differentiation is difficult for some educators to implement and some parents to understand because their own school experiences incorporated little differentiation. When readiness levels differ, so must the complexity of instruction provided for students. Learning takes place only when students experience instruction at a level of difficulty that is appropriately challenging and attainable (Tomlinson, 2003; Wolfe, 2001).

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

SEDL - SCIMAST Classroom Compass In recent years educators have explored links between classroom teaching and emerging theories about how people learn. Exciting discoveries in neuroscience and continued developments in cognitive psychology have presented new ways of thinking about the brain-the human neurological structure and the attendant perceptions and emotions that contribute to learning. Explanations of how the brain works have used metaphors that vary from the computer (an information processor, creating, storing, and manipulating data) to a jungle (a somewhat chaotic, layered world of interwoven, interdependent neurological connections). Scientists caution that the brain is complex and, while research has revealed some significant findings, there is no widespread agreement about their applicability to the general population or to education in particular. Opportunities for Learning Most neuroscientists believe that at birth the human brain has all the neurons it will ever have. Emotions and the Mind Caine, R.

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.

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