Ideas and Strategies that Support Differentiated Instruction
What is differentiation?Differentiation isclassroom practicethat lookseyeball to eyeballwith the realitythat kids differ, and the most effectiveteachers do whatever it takes to hookthe whole range of kids on learning. -Tomlinson (2001)
Differentiation is responsive teaching rather than one-size-fits-all teaching.It means teachers proactively plan variedapproaches to•what students need to learn,•how they will learn it,•and/or how they will show what they havelearnedin order to increase the likelihood that each studentwill learn as much as he or she can, as efficiently aspossible.
Differentiation is making sure that the•right students get the•right learning tasks•at the right time.Once you have a sense of what each student holds as‘given’ or ‘known’ and what he or she needs in order tolearn, differentiation is no longer an option; it is anobvious response.Differentiation doesn’t suggest that a teacher can be allthings to all individuals all the time. It does,however, mandate that a teacher create a reasonablerange of approaches to learning much of the time, so thatmost students find learning a fit much of the time
At its most basic level, differentiating instruction means “ shaking up” what goes on in up the classroom so that students have multiple options for• taking in information,• making sense of ideas,• and expressing what they learn.Differentiation begins with the teacher’s mindset thatstudents of any age need active involvement with andsupport from adults who care to help them construct aworthy life.
Differentiation Is a teacher’s response to learner’s needs Guided by general principles of differentiation Respectful tasks Flexible grouping Continual assessment Teachers can differentiate Building CommunityQuality Curriculum through Content Process Product Affect/Environment According to students’ Learning Readiness Interes Profile t
Three questions that drive differentiated curriculum What is the teacher differentiating? How is she differentiating? Why is she differentiating?
What can the teacher differentiate/ modifyContent – what students will learnProcess – activities through which students makesense of the key ideas using the required skillsProduct – how students demonstrate and extendwhat they understandLearning Environment – the classroom conditionsthat set up the tone and expectations of learning
How can the teacher differentiate/ modifyThe teacher can differentiate her instruction by responding to the students’ReadinessInterestLearning Profile
Readiness refers to a student’s• knowledge,• understanding,• and skill related to a particular sequence of learning. Only when a student works at a level of difficulty that is both challenging and attainable for that student does learning take place.Interest refers to those topics or pursuits that• evoke curiosity and• passion in a learner. Thus, highly effective teachers attend both to developing interests and as yet undiscovered interests in their students.
Learning profile refers to how students learn best. Those include• learning style,• intelligence preference,• culture and• gender If classrooms can offer and support different modes of learning, it is likely that more students will learn effectively and efficiently.Affect has to do with how students feel about• themselves,• their work,• and the classroom / relationships ( teacher / peers ) Student affect is the gateway to helping each student become more fully engaged and successful in learning.
Preassessment Is...Any method, strategy or process used to determine astudent’s current level of readiness or interest in order toplan for appropriate instruction.• provides data to determine options for students• helps determine differences before planning•helps teacher design activities that are respectful andchallenging•allows teachers to meet students where they are•identifies starting point for instruction•identifies learning gaps•makes efficient use of instructional time
Formative Assessment Is...A process of accumulating information about a student’sprogress to help make instructional decisions that willimprove his/her understandings and achievementlevels.• used to make instructional adjustments• alerts the teacher about student misconceptions “early warning signal”• allows students to build on previous experiences• provides regular feedback• provides evidence of progress• aligns with instructional/curricular outcomes
Summative Assessment Is...A means to determine a student’s mastery andunderstanding of information, skills, concepts, orprocesses.• Should reflect the formative assessments that precede it• should match material taught• may determine student’s exit achievement• may be tied to a final decision, grade or report• should align with instructional/curricular outcomes• may be a form of alternative assessment
Two Views of AssessmentAssessment is For: Assessment is For:Gate Keeping NurturingJudging GuidingRight Answers Self ReflectionControl InformationComparison to Comparison to Task OthersUse with Single Use Over Multiple Activities Activities
Reflection and DiscussionWhat instructionalstrategies will youtake with you fromthis session and usewith your students?
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