FIVE LOW-TECH Ways to Use Differentiated Instruction in Your Classroom


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While we are in the 21st Century, most of the time, we as teachers are not using technology in our classrooms all day long. Here are five (plus one) suggestions to use to differentiate instruction in your classroom on a daily basis.

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FIVE LOW-TECH Ways to Use Differentiated Instruction in Your Classroom

  1. 1. DifferentiatedInstructionPresentation based on the course“Differentiated Instruction” availablefrom the Regional Training Center asa 3 credit graduate course inface2face locations and online.
  2. 2. “Teachers begin where studentsare, not at the beginning of thecurriculum."Carol Ann Tomlinson
  3. 3. Would you differentiate for . . .• Someone who istoo short to reacha shelf?• Someone who isblind?• Someone who isdeaf?• Someone in awheelchair?
  4. 4. 1. Scaffolding(A Readiness Technique)• Temporary support or guidance• Steps – on board, index card, chartpaper• Tasks – “First do this and then . . .”• Materials – websites, dictionaries,graphic organizers, etc• Personal support – “Look on pagethree, column one, paragraph two. . .”
  5. 5. Scaffolding• Reduces a task’s complexityby structuring it intomanageable pieces.• The degree of scaffolding changes withthe abilities of the learner, the goals ofinstruction and the complexity of the task.• Gradual and planned removal of thescaffolding occurs as the learner becomesmore successful and independent.
  6. 6. 2. Use Anchor Activities• Anchor activities are ongoing assignments thatstudents can work on independently throughouta unit, a grading period, or longer.• Their purpose is to provide meaningful work forstudents when they finish an assignment orproject, when they first enter the class or whenthey are “stumped.”• The tasks are tied to the content area andinstruction and free the classroom teacher towork with other groups of students or individuals.
  7. 7. Guidelines for Anchors• Used for any subject, whole class assignments, small groupor individual assignments, tiered to meet readiness levels, orinterdisciplinary for use across content areas.• Works best when expectations are clear and tasks are taughtand practiced prior to use;• When students are held accountable for on task behaviorand/or task completion, AND• Ground rules are established.• Tasks must have clear instructions, materials, responsibilities,checkpoints, and expectations (rubric, checklists).
  8. 8. 3. Use Cards(Readiness technique)Predetermined prompts related to thecontent of the day’s lesson. They are usedto…• Gather information on student readiness,interests, and/or learning profiles.• Guide future instruction• Make decisions regarding how to placestudents into effective and instructionallyrelevant flexible groups
  9. 9. Cards - examples• Name the two countries that border the UnitedStates.• Label the 5 main parts of the microscope.• Find and correct 4 mistakes in this sentence.John Mom and me are gone two the store.• Name 3 things you learned today about___________________________.• Give two ways________________ is like_______________________.• What is one question you still have about_______________________?
  10. 10. Criteria for DifferentiationTeachers should• Be proactive, not reactive• Consider that there are differentlearners in the room with individualneeds• Focus on helping students learnessential concepts
  11. 11. 4. Consider These Five Brain-basedand Learning Centered Principles1. The brain requiressocial interaction2. The brain is influencedby emotions3. The brain seekspatterns and searchesfor meaning4. The brain is a complexorgan that canfunction on manylevels and in manyways simultaneously5. Each brain is unique
  12. 12. 5. Teach to Gardner’s MultipleIntelligencesAccording to Howard Gardner:Intelligence is . . .the ability to . . .• Resolve genuine problems• Create an effective product• Find or create a problem
  13. 13. Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences• Verbal-Linguistic• Math-Logical• Musical-Rhythmic• Visual-Spatial• Bodily-Kinesthetic• Naturalistic• Interpersonal• Intrapersonal- Howard Gardner’s terms• Word Smart• Number Smart• Music Smart• Picture Smart• Body Smart• Nature Smart• People Smart• Self Smart- Thomas Armstrong’s terms
  14. 14. Onemore:UseaSummaryPyramid
  15. 15. “You are the differencein the lives of the kidsyou teach.”Harry Wong
  16. 16. Thanks for watching• For moreinformation,contact us atwww.theRTC.netor 800.433.4740