Each trainee will be given a printout of this slideshow presentation so that they may take their own notes.“Today, we are going to learn about Differentiating our Instruction. Has anyone heard of “differentiation” before?”If yes – listen and confirm/modify their description.If no – respond with “That’s okay. That’s why we’re here!”
*Before the training, a child’s size basketball and hoop that can be suction-cupped to a wall will be obtained. The hoop will be placed in the training room about 6 feet off the ground.“I need three or four volunteers to participate in a little introductory activity.” (Try to choose volunteers that are of various heights, ages, genders, etc.)“I want each one of you to take turns and try to shoot this basketball in the basket.” (Most likely, some will have a more difficult time than others.)“Was it easier for some to make the basket than for others? If so, why? (Allow time for responses.) How can this activity relate to students in your own classroom?” (*The rest of this conversation will depend on the answers of the trainees, but it should end with the idea that all students have various strengths, abilities, interests, etc. and that some activities in our classrooms may be easier for some students than for others. We must keep these differences in mind as we go about our teaching and planning.)
“Here are the objectives of this training. The first objective is ‘Trainees will be able to decide if they want to differentiate what they are teaching (content), how they are teaching it (process), OR the way in which they will assess the students’ understanding (product).’ Basically, before differentiating any of your instruction, you will need to choose WHAT to differentiate: the content, the process, or the product. We will discuss each one of these in more depth later on.”
“The next objective we will cover in this training is ‘Trainees will be able to decide if they want to differentiate based on the interests of their students, based on the various abilities/prior knowledge of their students (readiness), OR based on the different ways in which their students learn (learning profile).’ You will need to choose HOW you want to differentiate: based on student readiness, student interest, or student learning profile. For example, being a math teacher, I am usually inclined to differentiate based on the readiness of the students since students tend to be at very different levels when it comes to their prior knowledge or current abilities in math. However, an English teacher that I work with will often differentiate based on the learning profiles of the students. She’ll often incorporate art, music, and even dance into her English lessons to try to appeal to all the different types of intelligences. She’ll often use flexible grouping in her classroom as well. Again, we will discuss each one of these in more depth later in this presentation.”
“The final objective of this training is ‘Trainees will be able to develop at least two differentiated lessons, activities, or assessments that they can use in their classroom.’ Notice you have the option of creating a differentiated assessment as part of this training. This applies to those who want to differentiate the product as opposed to the content or process by allowing students various ways to show their understanding of the material. The final evaluation of the training will be for me to actually see these differentiated lessons in action by observing a classroom lesson or by viewing the student products of the differentiated assessment that you’ve chosen to create.”
“So, now your question might be, ‘WHY do I need to differentiate?’ I would like everyone to watch this video of Carol A. Tomlinson, the ‘DI guru,’ explaining why differentiation is necessary in education today.”*Allow the trainees to give their thoughts and opinions on the video after watching it.
“First, let’s continue to talk about the WHY. Why do I need to differentiate? There has been years of research on differentiation and why it is important. At the conclusion of this training, I will provide each of you with a handout (Handout #5) of additional resources for your reading pleasure. The first quote presented here is by Rick Wormeli: ‘Students are more diverse than ever – culturally, emotionally, economically, physically, and intellectually.’”“The next quote is by Richard Cash: ‘Students come to our classrooms with preparation ranging from early exposure to vast amounts of information to limited access to reading materials. Student learning differences are developing and being identified earlier and more wide-ranging…Such disparities require us to think differently about how we design our curriculum and deliver instruction.’”“Take a few minutes and talk to the people at your table/around you about these two quotes and whether or not you agree with them.”*After allowing 3-5 minutes of conversation, ask for volunteers to say why they agree or disagree with either (or both) of the quotes. Allow the other groups to comment on what each other are saying. Facilitate the conversation for another 5 minutes.*
“A question you now may be asking is ‘WHAT do I differentiate?’ Most commonly, teachers will choose to differentiate the content, process, or product of their curriculum.”“The content is what you want the students to learn, along with the materials you use. Differentiating by content could mean that you have different groups of students in your classroom working on different learning objectives. For example, if you give a pre-assessment on rules of punctuation in your English class, some students may need to work more on commas, while others may need extra help with apostrophes. You can arrange your classroom so that different students are working on different content at the same time.”“The process describes the activities designed to help the students understand the content. Differentiating by process means that students are learning the same content, but in different ways. For example, some students may be given an audio version of a book if they have trouble reading.” “The product is how the students will demonstrate their understanding of the content to you. Differentiating by product means that students may be demonstrating their understanding in various ways. For example, one student may be writing a report while another may be creating a music video to demonstrate their understanding of chemical reactions in a science class. Their products may be different, but they are demonstrating their understanding of the same content.”“Are there any questions on differentiating by content, process, and product?”
“Another very popular question is ‘HOW do I differentiate?’ There are three distinct ways that a teacher can differentiate: based on the students’ readiness, interests, or learning profiles.”“A student’s readiness has to do with their prior and current knowledge of the topic. Another way to think about readiness is the student’s current ability. Tiered assignments are one way to differentiate based on student readiness.” “Differentiating by student interests is aligning the content with interests that the students have shown. For example, in an English lesson focused on persuasive writing, the students can choose what they would like to write their persuasive essay on. Maybe many of the students in your Math class have shown an interest in cars, so your next lesson on calculating simple and compound interest can be centered around the students taking out a loan to buy their own car.”“Differentiating using learning profiles is modifying your way of teaching based on the different ways students learn. Varying assignments or lessons based on their type of intelligence or their preference to work individually versus in a group would be differentiating by learning profile.”“Are there any questions on differentiating based on student readiness, interests, and learning profiles?”
“I will distribute this handout to you now for you to look at and use at your own leisure. (Handout #1) It is basically a visual organizer of differentiation – a flow chart for your thoughts. Notice the content-process-product followed by the readiness-interests-learning profile. Also, on the bottom you will see a list of various strategies to differentiate. You will also be receiving a handout in this training (Handout #4) that gives you a similar list of strategies with descriptions for each one.”
“For your first small-group activity, you need to get in groups of three or four. Once you are in your groups, choose one member that will be your official scribe. I will distribute two examples of classroom lessons. Take a few minutes and read through the lessons. Then, with your group members, decide WHAT was differentiated. Was it the content? The process? Or the product? It may have been more than one! Then decide HOW the teacher differentiated the lesson. Did they differentiate based on student readiness? Student interests? Or student learning profiles? Again, you may be able to choose more than one. The group scribe should write down the choices that the group makes. The purpose of this activity is to be able to identify whether a lesson is differentiated by content, process, or product, and whether the lesson was differentiated based on readiness, interests, or learning profiles.”(*After the groups participate in the activity…)“For Classroom Lesson #1 (Handout #2), WHAT did they differentiate?” (Call on a few groups to read their answers. Confirm/modify their answers until the correct answer is known to all.)“And for Classroom Lesson #1, HOW did they differentiate?” (Call on a few groups to read their answers. Confirm/modify their answers until the correct answer is known to all.)“For Classroom Lesson #2 (Handout #3), WHAT did they differentiate?” (Call on a few groups to read their answers. Confirm/modify their answers until the correct answer is known to all.)“And for Classroom Lesson #2, HOW did they differentiate?” (Call on a few groups to read their answers. Confirm/modify their answers until the correct answer is known to all.)
(*Prior to the training, all participants were asked to bring two of their own classroom lessons to the training.)“For yournext small-group activity, you need to get in groups of three or four BY YOUR CONTENT. In your group, you will choose two out of the six or eight lessons that you’ve all brought with you. As a group, you will then decide how this lesson can be differentiated. You will first need to choose whether to differentiate the content, the process, or the product. You will then need to decide if you should differentiate by student readiness, interests, or learning profiles. Each group will be required to present one of the lessons to the whole group.”
“Each group will now be asked to share one of the two lessons that they chose. Make sure to explain each selection. For example, if you chose to differentiate based on learning profiles, be sure to explain why.”(*As each group shares, provide feedback on their selections. Also, allow other groups to comment or ask questions of the presenting group. There are no right or wrong answers in this activity. However, suggestions may be made to enhance the newly differentiated lesson.)
“For our next activity, you will be working independently to develop two differentiated lessons. You may use the two that you brought with you here today, or you may choose two completely different lessons of your own. I will be circulating the room to assist in any way that I can. I also will be distributing the handout of additional resources (Handout #5) since some are internet-based and may be of some help. You each have your own computer to assist you in researching ideas or creating materials. At the conclusion of this training, these two lessons should be fully ready to be implemented in a classroom.”(*As the trainees are working, the trainer should circulate and provide assistance and feedback as needed. As the trainees finalize their differentiated lessons, the facilitator should formatively assess the newly differentiated lessons.)
“As part of my final evaluation of this training, I will now ask each of you to log in to your e-mail and click on the link that was sent to you through surveymonkey. The survey is anonymous so I’m going to ask you to be honest in your responses.”
“As another part of my final evaluation of this training, I will be observing a differentiated lesson in each one of your classrooms. I will be using a rubric, which I will distribute to you now, as part of my evaluation so that you may receive immediate feedback.”
Storyboards on di training
DIFFERENTIATED INSTRUCTIONA PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT TRAINING
INTRODUCTION“When we differentiate, we do whatever it takes to help students learnby providing individual accommodations and making adjustments toour general lesson plans” (Wormeli, 2007, pg. 3).
OBJECTIVES1) Trainees will be able to decide if they want to differentiate what they are teaching (content), how they are teaching it (process), or the way in which they will assess the students’ understanding (product).
OBJECTIVES CONTINUED…2) Trainees will be able to decide if they want to differentiate based on the interests of their students, based on the various abilities/prior knowledge of their students (readiness), or based on the different ways in which their students learn (learning profile).
OBJECTIVES CONTINUED…3) Trainees will be able to develop at least two differentiated lessons/activities/assessments that they can use in their classroom.
WHY DO I NEED TO DIFFERENTIATE?A video by Carol A. Tomlinson on why we need todifferentiate
WHY DO I NEED TO DIFFERENTIATE?• “Students are more diverse than ever – culturally, emotionally, economically, physically, and intellectually” (Wormeli, 2007, pg. 3)• “Students come to our classrooms with preparation ranging from early exposure to vast amounts of information to limited access to reading materials. Student learning differences are developing and being identified earlier and more wide-ranging…Such disparities require us to think differently about how we design our curriculum and deliver instruction” (Cash, 2011, pg. 1)
WHAT DO I DIFFERENTIATE?• Content: what a student should know, understand, and be able to do, along with the materials that represent that• Process: the activities designed to help the student understand the content• Product: how the student will demonstrate what he or she has come to know, understand, and be able to do
HOW DO I DIFFERENTIATE?• Student readiness: “a student’s entry point relative to a particular understanding or skill” (Tomlinson, pg. 11)• Student interest: “refers to a child’s affinity, curiosity, or passion for a particular topic or skill” (Tomlinson, pg. 11)• Student learning profile: “how we learn” (Tomlinson, pg. 11); refers to a student’s type of intelligence, learning preferences, etc.
SMALL-GROUP ACTIVITY #1• Each group will be given two examples of classroom lessons• Decide WHAT was differentiated • Content • Process • Product• Decide HOW it was differentiated • Student readiness • Student interests • Learning Profiles• Be sure to justify each selection
SMALL-GROUP ACTIVITY #2• In groups by content (math with math, English with English, etc.)• Choose two of the lessons that you brought• Decide WHAT should be differentiated • Content • Process • Product• Decide HOW it should be differentiated • Student readiness • Student interests • Learning Profiles• Be sure to justify each selection
WHOLE-GROUP SHARING• Each group will choose one of their newly differentiated lessons/activities/assessments to present to the whole group.
INDEPENDENT PRACTICE• Each trainee will work independently to design at least two differentiated lessons to be used in their own classroom.
ALMOST DONE!• Please check your e-mail and click on the surveymonkey link that was sent to you.• The survey is anonymous so please be honest in your responses.
FINAL EVALUATION• I will be observing a differentiated lesson in each of your classrooms.
REFERENCES• Cash, R. M. (2011). Advancing differentiation: Thinking and learning for the 21st century. Minneapolis, MN: Free Spirit Publishing Inc.• Hilary. (2012). Learning. [Online image]. Retrieved from http://www.billionclicks.org/blog/2012-06-20/learning-increases- happiness/• Mariam. (2012). Differentiation2. [Online image]. Retrieved from http://parentingforhighpotential.com/category/differentiation/• McEnulty, A. (2009). Differentiation. WebQuest: Equity and the differentiated classroom. [Online image]. Retrieved from http://imet.csus.edu/imet12/portfolio/mcenulty_ana/edte251_284/WebQ uestProject/index.html.• Tomlinson, C. A. (1999). The differentiated classroom: Responding to the needs of all learners. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.• Tomlinson, C. A. (Creator). Roxana Castaneda (Poster). (2012, July 10). Why differentiated instructions? [Video]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lcQ8shR37yg• Wormeli, R. (2007). Differentiation: From planning to practice, grades 6-12. Portland, MA: Stenhouse Publishers.