Presenters:Ian Coffin, Secondary Curriculum Consultant, Eastern School District, PEIDavid Wood, Principal, Vernon River Consolidated School
Carol Ann Tomlinson is an acknowledged educator and expert in differentiation.
We are aware that this is the case but don’t necessarily consider these facts when we plan instruction and/or assessment. If there is this much variance in the students we see in front of us, isn’t it logical to assume that they will also represent a variety of learning styles and needs?
We really don’t need the research to tell us this. We see it every day in our classes.
It is important to identify what we DON’T WANT to see in the classroom by making these points abundantly clear. Why do we teach this way, in a lot of cases? It is because that was the way most of us were taught so it is comfortable to us – but not everyone is successful learning this way.
Drives the point home doesn’t it?
Drives the point home doesn’t it?
Differentiated instruction (2011)
ASCD Institute led by Carol AnnTomlinson & Marcia Imbeau,February 2011 in Houston,Texas.
More students speaking more languages than ever; Increasing numbers of students with learning difficulties; More students needing help with reading and writing; Many advanced learners needing to continue their growth; An economic divide reflected in our classes; A need for every student to leave school as: THINKERS FLEXIBLE & INDEPENDENT LEARNERS PRODUCERS OF KNOWLEDGE
Students: Learn at different rates. Need different degrees of difficulty. Have different interests. Learn in different ways. Need different support systems.
Teachers cover . We don‟t always think about teaching individuals. We have … On the same activities and tests, administered at the same time, under the same circumstances. This is comfortable for teachers; . It allows us to retain (and intensify) familiar habits of instruction that are: Mostly teacher-centered. Often low-level. Mainly text-focused. Usually orderly and predictable.
Teaching a roomful of learners in over the with the and expecting good results …Dlfldfdljddlfjldkfdl and it never will…
Because we know all of these things to be true, what is our obligation as educators? To reflect on how our students – all of them – learn best. To re-examine curriculum outcomes. To strengthen and find alternate ways to reach objectives. To embrace flexibility in our classrooms. To differentiate instruction and assessment.
Write a definition Develop aof differentiation , that clarifies its in terms of what , or , , he/she would be that you think and . doing in the represents & In other words, classroom – and clarifies what iswrite a definition why. In other important tothat could clarify words, describe understand about thinking here in differentiation in differentiation. your school. action.
At its most basic level, differentiating instruction means shaking up what goes on in the classroom so that students have multiple options for: Taking in information; Making sense of ideas, and; Expressing what they learn.
These practices are essential to DI (and good teaching practice), but can also sometime be barriers.
According to Tomlinson, the four most common impediments to differentiation in the early stages are: We tend to think and talk about „our kids‟ as a whole rather than studying individuals or even smaller groups. As long as we see them predominantly as a group, we‟re going to teach them that way. What students should know, understand, and be able to do – not what they‟re going to cover. Strategies that invite us to differentiate – to reach out in different kinds of ways…and strategies we may not have used in a while. One in which students are not always doing the same thing in the same way in the same time span.
What do I want to know about my students as ? As a ? What do I already know? How well do they & ? How well do they when they listen? What‟s the for them in school? What do they about what I‟m planning to teach? How do they feel about their ? How do their peers feel about them? How does their and affect their learning? What are their ? What are their ? How do they ? What do they have that relate to what we‟re studying? What do they have about learning? About schools? What kinds of do they have outside school?
The following exercise can be used to group students according to their learning profiles. It is a great way to gain some insights into the interests of students and the way they learn. It was developed by a grade five teacher in Virginia as a pre- assessment activity at the beginning of the school year.
LEARNING PROFILE PRE-ASSESSMENT Carol Ann Tomlinson (ASCD)
Learning Profile Pre-Assessment The following exercise can be used to group students according to their learning profiles. Itis a great way to gain some insights into the interests of students and the way they learn. Itwas developed by a grade five teacher in Virginia as a pre-assessment activity at the beginning of the school year.
Learning Profile Pre- Assessment1. Favorite subjects in school are indicated by head color and body color: Math-purple Science-red Reading-blue Writing-orange2. Least favorite subjects in school are indicated by hair color (you can design fun hair).3. If you are a boy, use shorts. If you are a girl use the pants. Make the color pants with your favorite color.
Learning Profile Pre-Assessment 4. Strongest intelligence area (using Sternberg model) is indicated by the shirt color: Analytical = Green Creative = Red Practical = Blue Kinesthetic = black These could also be grouped by multiple intelligence areas (intrapersonal, interpersonal, musical, ki nesthetic, logical mathematical, verbal/linguistic, visual/s patial, naturalist). 5. Learning preference is their shoe color: Visual = white Auditory = black Kinesthetic = brown
Learning Profile Pre- Assessment7. If you prefer to work alone on project , put on stripes. If you prefer to work in groups, draw polka dots on your shirts.8. If you like to be challenged and learn new and difficult things, design a hat for yourself.
What is this topic really about? ? What makes it connect to the students‟ lives? How does it help students understand the discipline better? What should students , , and as a result of each lesson and the unit as a whole? What questions are essential to ask about the topic? What are the key concepts that give the topic meaning? How does the topic relate to ? How can this topic show students connections and help students better understand themselves and their world?
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.“Then it doesn‟t matter which way you go,” said the Cat. Lewis Carroll, Alice‟s Adventures in Wonderland
In what ways can I ? What options do I have when I share ideas/create tasks for students? In what ways can I ? How can I encourage a wide range of complex thinking? What modes of expression can I offer/teach students? best serve the goals of this lesson/unit? How do I ensure the approaches I select serve the students well? What choices in learning/assessment can I offer my students? How can I point the way to increase the quality of the student work?
How can I use , ,& more flexibly? How do I establish & maintain appropriate and in the classroom? How can I make my in operating the classroom? How do we practice to foster ? Where do I find time to meet with ? How and when can I ? How do I give ? How do I create tasks that provide adequate , , and for individuals and small groups? What clarify and for me and my students?
In a classroom with : The class works as a whole on most materials, exercises, projects. There is no group pacing. This doesn‟t suit all the different learners in the room. There are group grading standards. There is an implied (or stated) philosophy that all the students need the same teaching and learning.
In a classroom with : Teachers adjust questions in discussion. Teachers encourage individuals to take an assignment farther. There are implied variations in grading experiences. Students choose their own work groups. If students finish work early, the can read, do puzzles, etc. There are occasional exceptions to standard pacing. May not need to show all work, do all math problems, etc. There are occasional adjustments in grading to reflect student effort and/or ability.
In a classroom: There is a clearly-stated philosophy of student differences. There is planned assessment and planned compacting. Variable pacing is a given. There is moving furniture and consistent use of flexible groups. Collaboration is viewed as essential to the learning process. There is planned variation in content/input. There is also planned variation in product/output. There is individual goal setting and individual assessment. Grading reflects individual growth. There is frequent mentoring and frequent monitoring.