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Are your students thinking? | Inspiration, not desperation! 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. 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. As you master the PBL process in your classroom, you will intuitively find ways to differentiate instruction for your students. Please share some of your successful strategies with us!

What is differentiation and why should I care? | Are your students thinking? “Differentiation is marking” @learningspy “Differentiation is planning to challenge the most able and scaffolding down so everyone can make progress.” “Differentiation is all….most…some…” “Differentiation is by task.” (=different worksheets) “Differentiation is by outcome.” (Inevitably) “Differentiation is planning for the students you are about to teach.” One of the many good things about training from Ofsted Inspectors (controversial though it is) is that it gives you great confidence as a teacher. So we should all feel empowered re “differentiation” which I am guessing is the word that most frequently pops up as an area to improve in whole school reviews and individual lesson observations. And this is why, apart from @LearningSpy’s, I reject most of the other definitions above. In an hour’s learning walk along her English department’s corridor on Friday, I saw differentiation in action. Like this: Like Loading...

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.

Calderstones School Differentiation by support is achieved by varying the ways in which pupils of different abilities are helped in accessing, interpreting or completing their tasks, including homework. This involves modifying the support offered by the adults, the materials and the pupils’ peers. When using differentiation by support it is important to develop a range of strategies for helping and guiding children without compromising their self-image. Here it is important, for example, to give praise in a manner which encourages the pupil without being so publicly fulsome that it proves embarrassing. Obviously this will vary from pupil to pupil. Similarly independence, and hence self-esteem, can be fostered by classrooms which provide easy access to well-labelled resources. Where an additional adult is involved, it is important to plan some way of sharing feedback on the pupils’ progress so that both the teacher and the other adult contribute information which helps to shape the pupils’ future learning.

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

Differentiation – practical ideas for the classroom | The view from the maths bunker A dark evening in late November, the night after a Parents’ Conference and there is a classroom full of teachers sharing good practice. The topic is Differentiation – the teaching and learning version (those reading this in anticipation of neat ways to introduce Calculus from First Principles may be disappointed). The-5-Minute-Lesson-Plan developed by Ross McGill @teachertoolkit Differentiation is an area of my own teaching that I don’t spend enough time thinking about explicitly. I was keen to link ‘by Outcome’ to Berger’s Ethic of Excellence: it is one thing to set a rich task but how do we drag all of our students up to the best possible outcome. Next up was Mrs McGough on ‘by Feedback’: tailoring feedback to the individual with a focus on an individual dialogue. Mr Heath talked about ‘by Feedback’ and warned against the danger of gimmicks and jumping through hoops. I then presented some ways that we differentiate ‘by Task’ in the Maths department. Like this: Like Loading...

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? 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 For educators differentiating instruction, social media tools embrace collaboration and global access to people and other resources. The list of social media tools to differentiate for learning is increasing.

The dangers of differentiation…and what to do about them | Reflecting English Image: @jasonramasami Differentiation seems to revolve around a dilemma. It is evidently clear that all students have different needs and areas of weakness; yet it is also true – or so it seems to me – that if we obsess about what they cannot do now, or do not know now, we risk losing sight of the direction we could be taking them in. Valiant attempts to ‘differentiate’ often prove counterproductive because, cumulatively, they decrease challenge in the long-term. A few things about differentiation that seem true to me are: 1. 2. 3. 4. What follows is my ‘Differentiation Hall of Shame’ – mistakes I have made myself and how I have sought to rectify them. 1. 2. 3. “It is spelt ‘prehaps’, I know it is!” The solution is to bring in strategies like DIRT, proofreading and redrafting. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. So, the nub of this post is this. This post has been in preparation for my #TLT14 talk on differentiation and challenge later in the month. Related posts: Like this: Like Loading...