Differentiated Instruction Jennifer Luff August 11, 2008
At the end of the presentation we will have:
Developed a stronger understanding of
the principles of differentiated instruction.
Gained knowledge of effective strategies that support varied student learning.
What is Differentiated Instruction?
Turn to your neighbor and discuss what differentiated instruction means to you.
You have 30 seconds!
A Garden of Growing
One size does NOT fit all!
Recognize that they are all different…
“ Children come to us in a variety of shapes, sizes, intellectual abilities, creative abilities, inter/intra personal skills, and a myriad more characteristics that makes each child we deal with unique and special.”
Carol Ann Tomlinson
Differentiated Instruction is…
A model of teaching that requires teachers to have flexible approaches in their instruction. This means adjusting the curriculum and instruction to fit the needs of the learners, instead of the students being expected to modify themselves for the curriculum.
Adapted from: Hall, Tracey NCAC
To access learning
Motivation to learn
Efficiency of learning
To recognize students varying background of knowledge, their readiness level, preferences in learning, interests, and to model instruction based on their differences.
The goal is to maximize every student’s growth and individual success by instructing to a level that they can learn and reach their own personal goals.
Adapted from Hall, Tracey; NCAC
Differentiated Instruction follows the principle of readiness to learn.
Taken from the work of Lev Vygotsky, and the zone of proximal development (ZPD) OR the range at which learning takes place
Multiple Intelligences (Gardner)
Model began in general education classes for students who were to be considered “gifted”
Student differences are masked or acted upon when problematic
Assessment is at the end of learning to see “who got it”
A single definition of excellence exists
The teacher solves problems
Teacher provides whole-class standards for grading
See Figure 2.2
Source: Tomlinson C. (1999) The Differentiated Classroom; pg. 16
Student differences are studied as a basis for planning
Ongoing and diagnostic assessments
Excellence is defined by individual growth from the starting point
Flexible time according to student needs
Students help one another to solve problems
Whole-class and individual goals
Differentiated Instruction is a teacher’s response to learner’s needs
Guided by general principles of differentiation, such as:
Ongoing assessment and adjustment
Clear learning goals
Appropriate degree of challenge
Carol A. Tomlinson
See Figure 2.1-Source: Tomlinson, C. The Differentiated Classroom (1999); pg. 15 Learning Profile Interest Readiness Environment Product Process Content Teachers can Differentiate
Several elements and materials are used to support instructional content.
Align tasks and objectives to learning goals.
Instruction is concept-focused and principle-driven.
Flexible grouping is consistently used.
Classroom management benefits students and teachers.
Initial and on-going assessment of student readiness and growth are essential.
Students are active and responsible explorers.
Vary expectations and requirements for student responses.
Source: Hall, Tracey; NCAC
Used with students of various ages and levels
Used in all subject areas.
Frequent or occasional
Formal or informal
Set up in many different ways to add to instruction
Blue Yellow Red
Select the activity organizer
Think about your students
Create an activity that is…
Chart the complexity of the activity
See Figure 8.4 of handout
Tomlinson, C The Differentiated Classroom (1999); pg. 85
Clone the activity along the ladder
Match a version of the task to a student based on student profile and task requirements.
Source: Tomlinson, C (1999)
Assumes it is the teacher’s responsibility to specify important learning and make sure students acquire them.
Assumes students can take on some of the responsibility for learning themselves.
Delineates skills that need to be practiced and mastered.
Ensures students will apply or use those skills in context.
See example in power point handout.
Luff, J. (2006)
Specifies working conditions.
Sets positive consequences when students adhere to working conditions.
Establishes criteria for successful completion and quality of work.
Includes signatures of agreement to terms of the contract by both teacher and student.
Tomlinson, C. The Differentiated Classroom (1999)
Thank you for sharing your time today! Jennifer Luff [email_address]