Differentiated instruction


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An introduction to how we differentiate content, process, and learning environment to meet student needs.

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Differentiated instruction

  1. 1. Differentiating Instruction TED 406 Teaching Secondary Reading Jill A. Aguilar (Adapted from Tomlinson, 1995, 1999; Winebrenner, 1992, 1996)
  2. 2. What is Differentiated Instruction? • To differentiate instruction is to recognize students varying background knowledge, readiness, language, preferences in learning, interests, and to react responsively.
  3. 3. What is Differentiated Instruction? • Differentiated instruction is a process to approach teaching and learning for students of differing abilities in the same class.
  4. 4. What is Differentiated Instruction? • The intent of differentiating instruction is to maximize each student’s growth and individual success by meeting each student where he or she is, and assisting in the learning process.
  5. 5. What is Differentiated Instruction? Learning Environment
  6. 6. 4 Elements to Differentiate • Content – what the student needs to learn or how the student will get access to the information; • Process – activities in which the student engages in order to make sense of or master the content; • Product – culminating projects that ask the student to rehearse, apply, and extend what he or she has learned in a unit; and • Learning environment – the way the classroom works and feels.
  7. 7. Content Examples of differentiating content: 1. Using reading materials at varying readability levels; 2. Putting text materials on tape; 3. Using spelling or vocabulary lists at readiness levels of students; 4. Presenting ideas through both auditory and visual means; 5. Using reading buddies; and 6. Meeting with small groups to re-teach an idea or skill for struggling learners, or to extend the thinking or skills of advanced learners.
  8. 8. Process Examples of differentiating process: 1. Using tiered activities; 2. Providing interest centers; 3. Developing personal agendas (task lists written by the teacher and containing both in-common work for the whole class and work that addresses individual needs of learners); 4. Offering manipulatives or other hands-on supports; and 5. Varying the length of time a student may take to complete a task.
  9. 9. Product Examples of differentiating product: 1. Giving students options of how to express required learning; 2. Using rubrics that match and extend students' varied skills levels; 3. Allowing students to work alone or in small groups on their products; and 4. Encouraging students to create their own product assignments as long as the assignments contain required elements.
  10. 10. Learning Environment Examples of differentiating learning environment: 1. Making sure there are places in the room to work quietly and without distraction, as well as places that invite student collaboration; 2. Providing materials that reflect a variety of cultures and home settings; 3. Setting out clear guidelines for independent work that matches individual needs; 4. Developing routines that allow students to get help when teachers are busy and cannot help them immediately; and 5. Helping students understand that some learners need to move around to learn, while others do better sitting quietly
  11. 11. Full Range of Students • Students with identified special needs (IEP); • Struggling readers; • English learners; • Speakers of non-standard Englishes; • Gifted students; • Who else?
  12. 12. 12 What Differentiation Is NotWhat Differentiation Is Not • Class centeredClass centered • Mainly for students with learning problemsMainly for students with learning problems • A tracking system by abilitiesA tracking system by abilities • A recipe for learningA recipe for learning • A different lesson plan for every studentA different lesson plan for every student • Whole-group drill and practice or any singleWhole-group drill and practice or any single structure or activitystructure or activity • Fact-based learning aloneFact-based learning alone
  13. 13. 13 What Differentiation Is NotWhat Differentiation Is Not • Unmanageable or undisciplinedUnmanageable or undisciplined • Modifying the instruction up or down inModifying the instruction up or down in difficultydifficulty • A method you will need all new materialsA method you will need all new materials forfor • Cost freeCost free • Just about learning stylesJust about learning styles • A set of strategies and activitiesA set of strategies and activities
  14. 14. 14 What Differentiation IsWhat Differentiation Is • Student centeredStudent centered • For all studentsFor all students • For heterogeneous groupsFor heterogeneous groups • A change in philosophy about how learningA change in philosophy about how learning should take placeshould take place • Multiple approaches or options for content,Multiple approaches or options for content, process, and productprocess, and product • A mix of whole-class, group, andA mix of whole-class, group, and independent learningindependent learning • More about quality than quantityMore about quality than quantity
  15. 15. 15 What Differentiation IsWhat Differentiation Is • Flexible and variedFlexible and varied • Proactive in the planning stageProactive in the planning stage • Rooted in assessmentRooted in assessment • Based on continual reflection andBased on continual reflection and adjustment to help students learn welladjustment to help students learn well • A belief system that says all learners comeA belief system that says all learners come to the classroom with potential ready to beto the classroom with potential ready to be accessedaccessed
  16. 16. Let’s Try It Out… Learning Environment Content Product Process Curriculum Student