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“Every child is unique. Although we may rejoice in this fact, it poses a dilemma for educators. While students are diverse, teachers can either ‘teach to the middle’ and hope for the best, or they can face the challenge of diversifying their instruction.”
Content can be described as the knowledge, skills and attitudes we want children to learn - what is taught – accessibility to the information and ideas that matter
Use texts at varying reading abilities
Reteach students having difficulty
Use manipulatives
Provide organizers and anticipation guides for note-taking
Use examples and illustrations based on student interests
Present material using visual, auditory and kinesthetic modes, using applications, examples and illustrations from a wide range of intelligences
Readiness – a student’s knowledge, understanding, and skill related to a particular sequence of learning – can be general cognitive proficiency, prior learning, prior life experiences, attitudes about school, and habits of mind
Interest – refers to those topics or pursuits that evoke curiosity and passion in a learner – developing and undiscovered interests
Learning profile – how students learn best based on their learning style, intelligence preference, culture and gender
Affect – how students feel about themselves, their work, and the classroom as a whole – attend to student emotions and feelings
Tiered assignments are designed to instruct students on essential skills that are provided at different levels of complexity, abstractness, and open-endedness. The curricular content and objective(s) are the same, but the process and/or product are varied according to the student’s level of readiness.
Compacting is the process of adjusting instruction to account for prior student mastery of learning objectives. Compacting involves a three-step process: (1) assess the student to determine his/her level of knowledge on the material to be studied and determine what he/she still needs to master; (2) create plans for what the student needs to know, and excuse the student from studying what he/she already knows; and (3) create plans for freed-up time to be spent in enriched or accelerated study.
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Strategy – Interest Centers or Interest Groups
Interest centers (usually used with younger students) and interest groups (usually used with older students) are set up so that learning experiences are directed toward a specific learner interest. Allowing students to choose a topic can be motivating to them.
Example - Interest Centers - Centers can focus on specific math skills, such as solving equations, and provide activities that are high interest.
Example - Interest Groups - Students can work in small groups to research a math topic of interest, such as how geometry applies to architecture or how math is used in art.
Students work as part of many different groups depending on the task and/or content. Sometimes students are placed in groups based on readiness, other times they are placed based on interest and/or learning profile. Groups can either be assigned by the teacher or chosen by the students. Students can be assigned purposefully to a group or assigned randomly. This strategy allows students to work with a wide variety of peers and keeps them from being labeled as advanced or struggling.
Example - The teacher may assign groups based on readiness for direct instruction on algebraic concepts, and allow students to choose their own groups for projects that investigate famous mathematicians.
Physical – perform a skit that shows how to find the equation of a line given two points
Aural – prepare a rap that explains how to find the equation of a line given two points
Verbal – write a poem or short story about how to fnd the equation of a line given two points
Solitary –
Logical – prepare a flow chart that shows the steps in finding an equation of a line given 1) two points, 2) a point and a slope and 3) the graph of a line
Learning contracts begin with an agreement between the teacher and the student. The teacher specifies the necessary skills expected to be learned by the student and the required components of the assignment, while the student identifies methods for completing the tasks. This strategy (1) allows students to work at an appropriate pace; (2) can target learning styles; and (3) helps students work independently, learn planning skills, and eliminate unnecessary skill practice.
Example - A student decides to follow a football team over a two-month period and make inferences about players’ performances based on their scoring patterns and physical characteristics. The student, with the teacher’s guidance, develops a plan for collecting and analyzing the data and conducting research about football. The student decides to create a PowerPoint presentation to present his or her findings to the class.
Choice boards are organizers that contain a variety of activities. Students can choose one or several activities to complete as they learn a skill or develop a product. Choice boards can be organized so that students are required to choose options that focus on several different skills.
Example - Students are given a choice board that contains a list of possible activities they can complete to learn about volume. For example, students can choose to complete an inquiry lesson where they measure volume using various containers, use a textbook to read about measuring volume, or watch a video in which the steps are explained. The activities are based on the following learning styles: visual, auditory, kinesthetic, and tactile. Students must complete two activities from the board and must choose these activities from two different learning styles.
Anchor Activities : are on-going assignments tied to the curriculum and for which students are accountable that can be worked on independently throughout a grading period or longer.
Allowing for multiple right answers: are open-ended assignments that focus on the process of solving the problem and/or critical thinking.
Attention to social issues, real world experiences, and community projects: are performance assessment tasks, role-plays, simulations, etc. based on authentic situations of interest to students.
Chunking: is breaking assignments and activities into smaller, more manageable parts and providing more structured directions for each part.
Emphasis on Thinking skills: giving students the opportunity to think aloud, discuss their thinking with their peers, and reflect on their thinking in journals.
Developing student responsibility: giving the students opportunity to help develop the evaluation rubrics, write project proposals, and complete self and group evaluations.
Flexible pacing: allowing for differences in the students' ability to master the curricula.
Goal setting and planning: involving students in their individual goal setting and the planning of learning activities, one to one with the teacher.
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Even More Instructional Strategies and Techniques
Group investigation: working in cooperative mixed-ability groups on open-ended tasks or in like-ability groups working on appropriately challenging tasks. Usually the focus is on the process and thinking skills.
Hands-on projects/activities: using manipulative to motivate instructions.
High-level questions: questioning that draw on advanced levels of information, requiring leaps of understanding and challenging thinking.
Independent study: providing students with the opportunity to work independently to investigate topics of interest to them.
Interdisciplinary/integrated curricula around a theme: thematic units, which make connections across multiple curricular areas.
Learning centers: are classroom areas that contain a collection of activities or materials designed to teach, reinforce, or extend a particular skill or concept.
Portfolios: provide a means for helping teachers and parents reflect on student growth over time. These are collections of student work are excellent for helping children set appropriate learning goals and evaluating their own growth.
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The Last of Instructional Strategies and Techniques????
Problem-Based learning: placing students in the active role of solving problems in much the same way adult professionals perform their jobs. The teacher presents students with an unclear, complex problem. Students must seek additional information, define the problem, locate resources, make decisions about solutions, pose solution, communicate that solution to others, and assess the solution's effectiveness.
Stations: are different spots in the classroom where students work on various tasks simultaneously. Stations work in concert with one another. Stations allow different students to work with different tasks. They invite flexible grouping because not all students need to go to all stations all the time or spend the same amount of time in each station.
Complete activity on Math and History Application on liquid mirror telescopes. Create a collage that illustrates the major components of the chapter on quadratic functions. Complete page 945 # 1 – 93, evens. Complete page 945 # 1 – 93, evens. Complete activity on Real Life Application on hearing loss. Make a poster that illustrates the major components of the chapter on quadratic functions. Complete page 945 # 1 – 93, evens. Design a PowerPoint that explains the major concepts of the chapter on quadratic functions. Complete activity on Real Life Application on football.
Ormrod, J. E. (2008). Human Learning. Upper Saddle River, NJ. Pearson Prentice Hall.
Sousa, D. (1995). How the Brain Learns: A Classroom Teacher's Guide. National Association of Secondary School Principals.
Willis, S. & Mann, L. (2000). Differentiating Instruction: Finding Ways to Meet Individual Needs. Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
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