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Differentiated Instruction


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A presentation on the topic of differentiating instruction in mixed-ability classrooms. …

A presentation on the topic of differentiating instruction in mixed-ability classrooms.
Resource: How to Differentiate Instruction in Mixed - Ability Classrooms, Carol Ann Tomlinson

Published in: Education

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  • 1. How to Differentiate Instruction in Mixed-Ability Classrooms
    Talk about unfair!
    Let’s make some changes….
  • 2. "How Differentiated Instruction and Formative Assessment Work at Forest Lake Elementary"
  • 3. What Differentiated Instruction is NOT
    Individualized Instruction
    • In the 1970s teachers believed that providing specific lessons to each child was the best method of teaching
    • 4. They quickly discovered the impossibility of creating a different lesson for each child, every day of the week. Teachers were found themselves exhausted and out of ideas!
  • What Differentiated Instruction is NOT
    • Before a teacher decides to participate in differentiated instruction, he or she MUST set the ground rules for classroom management.
    Homogeneous grouping
    Prior to differentiated instruction students were placed in groups based on skill level and did not easily switch groups.
    Blue jays, Robins, Cardinals
    Students did not have the opportunities to work with different skill levels

  • 5. What Differentiated Instruction is NOT
    Tailoring the same suit of clothes
    • It is not beneficial to “tailor” lessons to each student’s skill level.
    • 6. Those in lower levels should not “skip” what they struggle with.
    • 7. Those in higher levels should not be given extra work on principles that they master.
  • What Differentiated Instruction IS
    • Proactive teachers observe their student’s learning style and plan their lessons accordingly
    • 8. If a particular lesson does not appeal to a particular learner, a proactive teacher will adjust accordingly.
  • What Differentiated Instruction IS
    More QUALITATIVE than quantitative
    • A mastered skill = busy work more challenging work
    • 9. A struggling student= decreased amount of work
  • What Differentiated Instruction IS
    Rooted Assessment
    • Each lesson allows the teacher to asses to developmental level of their students and plan her lessons accordingly
    Provides at least 3 curricular elements
  • What Differentiated Instruction IS
  • 12. Understanding the Needs of Advanced Learners
    It is crucial to avoid boredom and mental laziness in advanced students
    Constantly challenge them
    Caution! Advanced learners are at risk
    of becoming:
    Depleting their self-efficacy
    Lack coping skills
  • 13. Understanding the needs of Struggling Learners
  • 14. The Role of the Teacher in a Differentiated Classroom
    • Highest priority = organizing a class for effective activity and exploration
    • 15. Teachers who differentiate instruction focus on their role as coach or mentor
    • 16. Give students as much responsibility for learning as they can handle and teach them to handle a little more every step of the way
    • 17. Covering information takes a back seat to making meaning out of important ideas
  • The Role of the Teacher in a Differentiated Classroom
    Teachers who differentiate instruction grow in their ability to:
  • 18. The Role of the Teacher in a Differentiated Classroom
    Teacher as director of the orchestra The director of the orchestra helps musicians make music, but does not make the music himself
    The teacher as jazz musician The artistry and confidence of the jazz musician with the music, instrument, and group allow her to abandon the score for the sake of the music, the group, and the audience
  • 19. The Role of the Teacher in a Differentiated Classroom
    Differentiated teaches have two things in common:
    • The conviction that students differ in their learning needs
    • 20. A belief that classrooms in which students are active learners, decision makers and problem solvers are more natural and effective than those in which students are passive recipients of information
  • The Role of the Teacher in a Differentiated Classroom
    Classroom Rules of Thumb
    • Be clear on the key concepts and principles which give meaning and structure to the topic (chapter, unit, lesson)
    • 21. Focus on key conceptsto ensure that all learners gain powerful understanding that serve as building blocks for meaning and access to other knowledge
    • 22. Think of assessmentas a road map for your thinking and planning
    • 23. Lessons for all students should be engaging and emphasize critical and creative thinking
  • Learning Environment in a Differentiated Classroom
    A differentiated classroom should support and be supported by an evolving community of learners
    • Everyone feels welcomed and contributes to everyone else feeling welcome
    • 24. Classroom that contains student work and other student designed artifacts are inviting
    • 25. Flexible and comfortable seating options
    • 26. Time during the day when students and the teacher can talk about the day and life in general
    • 27. Build bridges between learning and the world of the learner
  • Learning Environment in a Differentiated Classroom
    Mutual respect is a nonnegotiable
    • Teacher helps students learn to solve problems in constructive ways that attend to the issue at hand without making a person or group feel smaller
    • 28. Humor plays a central role in a welcoming and respectful classroom – sarcasm and sharp words do not
    • 29. Students feel safe in the classroom
  • Learning Environment in a Differentiated Classroom
    There is a pervasive expectation of growth
    • Students learn to chart their own growth
    • 30. Students should be encouraged to discuss their learning goals and ways of achieving them
    • 31. Growth of each student is a matter of celebration
    Teacher teaches for success
    • Scaffolding - whatever kind of assistance is needed for any student to move from prior knowledge and skill to the next level of knowledge and skill
    • 32. Challenging work – assignments and tasks that are slightly beyond the student’s comfort zone
  • Learning Environment in a Differentiated Classroom
    Teachers and students collaborate for mutual growth and success
    Teacher’s can:
    • Set the tone for the classroom environment
    • 33. Continually coach students to be contributing members of a group
    Student’s can:
    • Help develop routines for the classroom
    • 34. Help one another
    • 35. Keep track of their work
    All students need to be guided in assuming a growing degree of responsibility and independence as a learner and member of a community of learners
  • 36. A Look Inside Some Differentiated Classrooms: Classroom Techniques
  • 37. Classroom Management Strategies
    • Start at a comfortable pace for you
    • 38. As you gain confidence slowly add activities to your repertoire
    • 39. Time differentiated activities to help students be successful
    • 40. Know the attention span of your students
  • Strategies to Make Your Classroom Run Smoothly
    Anchor activities
    • Prevent unnecessary downtime
    Minimize noise
    • Teach students a quiet signal
    Way to turn work in
    • An unchecked bin
    Minimize Movement
    • Assign a “gopher”
  • Preparing Parents for Differentiated Instruction
  • 41. Planning Lessons Differentiated by Readiness
  • 42. The Equalizer: A Way to Determine Readiness
  • 43. The Equalizer: A Way to Determine Readiness
    Dependent to Independent
    • Students vary on the amount of independence they are ready for
    Structured to Open-ended
    • Some students are ready to improvise while others still need more straight forward guidelines to follow
    Slow to fast
    • Some students will move quickly through one part of a topic but then need to move more slowly in other areas
  • Differentiating Content, Process, and Product
    • Assigning work on the same topic at different degrees of difficulty
    • 44. The students are getting the same type of information but in a way that is geared towards their individual ability.
    • 45. The teacher should aim to provide work that is just a little too hard
    • 46. This pushes students out of their level of comfort and allows the teacher to help them reach a new level of understanding
  • Planning Lessons Differentiated by Interest
    Enhancing motivation to learn
    Using familiar ideas as a way to introduce less familiar ideas
    Helping students to realize that there is a connection between school and their own interests
  • 47. Strategies to Plan Lessons that are Differentiated by Interest
    “Sidebar” Studies
    • Students study the aspects of a topic that interest them
    • 48. Example- A student might like music and decide to focus on the music of the 1950s for a history class.
    Interest groups
    • Students who have similar interests form a group to do an in-depth study on one particular topic that they find most interesting
  • Guidelines for Interest-based Differentiation
    • Find a way to link a student interests with the curriculum
    • 49. Teachers should make sure that students are acquiring the skills that the curriculum specifies.
    • 50. Guide students to success by providing structure
    • 51. Teachers should set goals and time-lines to guarantee that students are getting the most out of their learning.
  • Curriculum Can Be Subdivided for the Purposes of Differentiating Instruction
    Teacher Dependent Dimensions
    • Content: What we teach, what we want students to learn (input)
    • 52. Process: Sense making, information is run through an individual’s filters of meaning
    • 53. Product: How student’s show what they know, typically a long term assignment that demonstrates understanding and application of content (output)
    Student Dependent Dimensions
    • Interest: Ignite curiosity and passion
    • 54. Readiness: Match skills and understanding
    • 55. Learning Profile: Work in a preferred manner
  • Differentiating Content
    Adapt what we teach: Content can be varied according to Bloom’s Taxonomy
    • Unfamiliar with concepts- complete tasks at lower levels such as knowledge, comprehension, application
    • 56. Partial mastery- focus on application, analysis and evaluation
    • 57. High level of mastery- emphasize evaluation and synthesis
    Adapt how we give student access to what we want them to learn
    • Different texts, novels or short stories based on reading level
    • 58. Internet sources of varied sophistication
    • 59. Work in pairs, groups or individually
  • Strategies for Differentiating Content
    Concept Based Teaching
    • Avoid rote memorization of long lists of facts
    • 60. Focus instead on key concepts and principles, which are the building blocks of meaning
    • 61. Make connectionsbetween subjects and facets of a single topic
    • 62. Relate ideas to the student’s lives
    • 63. Identify patterns and help student’s to use these to deal with future learning
  • Strategies for Differentiating Content
    • Create a challenging learning environment
    • 64. Guarantee proficiency in basic curriculum
    • 65. Buy time for enrichment and acceleration
    Curriculum Compacting
    Designed to help advanced learners maximize the use of their time for learning
  • 66. Student’s Name: ________________________________
    Areas of Strength
    Documenting Mastery
    Alternate Activities
  • 67. Strategies for Differentiating Content
    Using varied texts and resource materials
    • Build a classroom library that includes texts of various levels, magazines, brochures, internet files, videos etc.
    • 68. A rich array of materials ensures that content is meaningful to learners of all levels
    • 69. Computer programs can present different levels of challenge and complexity
    Learning contracts
    • Can contain both skills and content components
    • 70. Combine a sense of shared goals with individual appropriateness and autonomy
    • Some students may not fully grasp newly taught material
    • 71. Meet with these students to revisit these concepts to extend their understanding and skill
  • Differentiating Process
    Process refers to how a student comes to understand and assimilate facts, concepts and skills
    Allows students to learn based on what method is easiest for them, or alternatively, what will challenge them the most
    • A learning style inventory may help to identify this
    • 72.
    • 73. Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences to guide appropriate methodology
    Students make sense of ideas and information most effectively when classroom activities are:
    • Interesting
    • 74. Involve high level thinking
    • 75. Use key skills to understand key ideas
  • Strategies That Support Differentiated Process
    • These strategies work best when students work in smallgroups orindependently
    • 76. Easier to match activities and process to individual needs
    • 77. Utilize tools that allow students to express their creativity!
    • 78. Some of the many examples:
    • 79. Journals
    • 80. Graphic Organizers
    • 81.
    • 82. Mind Maps, Learning Centers/Interest Groups,Model Making,Laboratory Exercises,Jigsaw, Role Playing
    • 83. Cubing
    • 84.
  • Differentiating Product
    Products represent the student’s application and understanding of what they have learned
    • Typically a long term assignment
    • 85. May supplement or replace a more traditional written test as an assessment of knowledge and understanding
    • 86. Has the advantage of allowing a more flexible approach to student evaluation, accounting for multiple learning styles
    How to design an effective product
    • Decide on format
    • 87. Clearly define core expectations
    • 88. Decide on necessary scaffolding (brainstorming, rubrics, timelines, critiquing and revising
    • 89. Coach for success and quality
    • Encourages students to engage using their strengths and interests
    • 90. Student are intrinsically motivated as this is their chance to “own” the curriculum
  • Grading in a Differentiated Classroom
    Traditional grading system is designed to rank you within your classroom cohort
    Not all work has to be graded, especially if intellectual risk taking is the goal!
    The goal of differentiated instruction is help you develop as a learner…it can be more individualistic
  • 91. *Terrific resource for implementing technology and multimedia
  • 92. *Terrific resource for implementing technology and multimedia
  • 93. Thank you for taking the time to learn about Differentiated Instruction in Mixed-Ability Classrooms with me!
    An excellent resource on Differentiated Instruction which also served as a reference for this presentation:
    How to Differentiated Instruction in Mixed-Ability Classrooms
    By: Carol Ann Tomlinson