Plan for Diverse Learners In The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy and crew are so intimidated by the Wizard's enigmatic personality that they struggle to talk with him on equal footing. Fear and frustration overwhelm them as they blindly accept a suicide mission to slay the Witch of the West. In return, they each receive a treasured prize: a heart, a brain, courage, and a way home. Ironically, they already have these gifts -- which they only discover after unveiling the man behind the curtain posing as the grumpy wizard. Differentiated instruction (DI) casts a spell on educators as to how it meets all students' needs.
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. There are days when I get home exhausted with work still to be completed, but I bypass the microwave most times. I value my family's need for flavorful meals over dried-out, tasteless food that I nuked just to check off a chore.
Standards Increasing the effectiveness of professional learning is the leverage point with the greatest potential for strengthening and refining the day-to-day performance of educators. Standards for Professional Learning is the third iteration of standards outlining the characteristics of professional learning that lead to effective teaching practices, supportive leadership, and improved student results. Learning Forward, with the contribution of 40 professional associations and education organizations, developed the Standards for Professional Learning. (See the Standards Revision Task Force and the Standards Advisory Team.) The standards make explicit that the purpose of professional learning is for educators to develop the knowledge, skills, practices, and dispositions they need to help students perform at higher levels.
“Fliperentiated” Instruction: How to Create the Customizable Classroom In a rapidly changing learning landscape, educators of all stripes still coalesce around two steady beliefs: Students perform best under conditions that activate their preferred learning style. There is no greater predictor of success than a fantastic teacher. Effective teaching has long put the unique interests of the learner up front, allowing teachers to meet the needs of more students more of the time. Now, advocates of differentiated instruction have found a true partner in the form of flipped learning, the pedagogical approach in which direct instruction moves from the group learning space to the individual learning space. Call it "fliperentiated" instruction.
Mental Disorders: The Facts Behind the Marketing Campaign “There are no objective tests in psychiatry-no X-ray, laboratory, or exam finding that says definitively that someone does or does not have a mental disorder.” “It’s bull—. I mean, you just can’t define it.” — Allen Frances, Psychiatrist and former DSM-IV Task Force Chairman Allen Frances, Psychiatrist and former DSM-IV Task Force Chairman
Are You a Teacher-Leader? - Getting Smart by Susan Lucille Davis - edchat, edreform, leadership Teachers are master problem-solvers. They learn quickly to adjust on the fly as they react boldly and deftly in a moment’s response, whether to students’ endless questions about how to and what if, to the numerous disruptions blaring from a PA system, or to adapting their lesson plans because the Internet is down…again. When it comes to their own classrooms, teachers do not hesitate to meet daily obstacles and challenges head-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. Behind him sit three students huddled around laptops, whispering and pointing at one another’s work. After a few moments of peering over their shoulders, he asks what they are doing. A Place for Learning: The Physical Environment of Classrooms I was supervising a teacher who was enrolled in our program at the University of Massachusetts Amherst that focused on developing student self-knowledge, ego strength, trust and community in classrooms. We had created a manual with over 50 classroom lessons. She was teaching at a high school in an economically depressed district in northern Appalachia.
Delivering Differentiated Instruction in Your Classroom As the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development points out, today’s educators face a catch-22 — they must “help decidedly unstandardized students meet an expanding set of rigorous, standardized learning targets.” Fortunately, teachers have a solution to this dilemma in differentiated instruction. A differentiated classroom accommodates the heterogeneity of students by tailoring instruction to each student’s backgrounds, interests, skill, and readiness levels.
Teach Me: Student-Led Instruction Strategies Teaching tools, tricks, and ideas are an essential component of a teacher’s ‘arsenal’ when it comes to having engaged students and strong teachable moments. The one tool that I rely heavily upon is a concept I termed as ‘Teach Me,’ though you may heard it called by other terms. Simply, the idea behind Teach Me is when the teacher lets the student teach a concept to them. The student goes through the whole concept, or study, giving it to you in extreme detail. What it basically means is that your student becomes the teacher; teaching it to you. Benefits of the "Teach Me" Learning Exercise 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.
Teaching English To Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students Lights and ACTION No, no camera here. But most certainly “lights” and lots of “action”! In our English (as a foreign language) classroom for deaf and hard of hearing students, you will always find the lights on, even on sunny days, so that the students can see my face and hands clearly. In fact, if the day is particularly sunny (which it often is here in Israel!)
Questioning Toolkit Essential Questions These are questions which touch our hearts and souls. They are central to our lives. They help to define what it means to be human. Most important thought during our lives will center on such essential questions. 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. Tops on his list was playing Minecraft, a game where players construct buildings, grow harvests, care for livestock, and do many other things in an unstructured sandbox world. When I suggested that he could build the model in Minecraft, she immediately saw the possibility.