Fulfilling the Promise of the Differentiated Classroom
FULFILLING THEPROMISE OF THEDIFFERENTIATEDCLASSROOM By CarolTomlinsonRebecca Barringer, Sally Irmer, KylaMagun, Leah Vanevenhoven& Millicent Younger
Overview Carol Tomlinson identifies the core elements that should lay the foundation for differentiation Student needs Teacher responses Curriculum and instruction Tomlinson provides real world examples and strategies to create a flexible differentiated learning environment that incorporates the above elements
Chapter 1: What’s Behind the Ideaof Differentiated Classrooms? Effective instruction takes into account who the learners are and how they learn best Differentiation should be guided by the student’s: Readiness Interest Learning profile Affect Educators should differentiate: Content Process Product Learning environment
Chapter 1: What’s Behind the Ideaof Differentiated Classrooms? Teachers must accept their role as the “tamer” Three cogs of differentiation: “The Student Speaks” “The Teacher Responds” “Curriculum and Instruction are the Vehicle” Discussion: What can you do to improve your learning environment, either in terms of procedures or culture, to make more of your students feel comfortable and motivated to learn?
Chapter 2: Student Needs as theImpetus for Differentiation Educators must earn students’ trust and respect to make them comfortable learners. In order for students to become invested in school, the following basic needs must be met: Affirmation Contribution Power Purpose Challenge
Chapter 2: Student Needs as theImpetus for Differentiation Discussion: This chapter suggests that cultural barriers might make understanding how to fulfill student’s needs difficult, especially if the teacher is not familiar with the culture. How can we as teachers work to be more culturally competent for our students?
Chapter 3: Teacher Response to StudentNeeds – A Starting Point for Differentiation Teachers should respond to student needs and create a positive classroom culture through… Invitation Opportunity Investment Persistence Reflection Discussion: Think of a year in school you enjoyed. What was it about the teacher, classroom and atmosphere that made that year stand out? Do you see any ways that invitation, opportunity, investment, persistence or reflection may have been used?
Chapter 4: Teacher Response toStudent Needs – Rationale toPractice What does it look like when teacher responses align with student needs in the classroom? Teacher Responses Student Needs Invitation Affirmation Opportunity Challenge Investment Contribution Persistence Power Reflection Purpose
Chapter 4: Teacher Response toStudent Needs – Rationale toPractice What does it look like when teacher responses align with student needs in the classroom? Celebrate student work, creativity and achievement for all learners (ie. bulletin boards, displays, charts) Promote communication (ie. conferences, dialogue journals) Highlight successes from different types of learners Establish predictable classroom routines Create a flexible environment for differentiation Discussion: How does your physical classroom address each of type of student need? What improvements could you make to address each need more fully?
Chapter 5: Curriculum andInstruction as the Vehicle forAddressing Student Needs The teacher’s primary responsibility is to teach. Curriculum and instruction are the tools used to carry out this responsibility. Effective curriculum and instruction are: Important Focused Engaging Demanding Scaffolded
Chapter 5: Curriculum andInstruction as the Vehicle forAddressing Student Needs How can effective curriculum and instruction apply to students with diverse needs? 1. Every child should have the opportunity to learn from a rich and important curriculum. 2. Because learners are so diverse, students can lose access to such a curriculum unless they interact with it in meaningful ways. Bottom Line: Curriculum and instruction can only be powerful tools if the teacher knows their students well and adjusts instruction to meet those needs. Discussion: Think about a lesson that you taught this week. How could you make the lesson more engaging, demanding, and scaffolded to better meet the needs of your learners?
Chapter 6: Curriculum and Instruction as theVehicle for Addressing Student Needs –Rationale to Practice What does it look like when a teacher employs effective curriculum and instruction to meet student needs? Curriculum and Student Needs Instruction Important Affirmation Focused Challenge Engaging Contribution Demanding Power Scaffolded Purpose
Chapter 6: Curriculum and Instruction as theVehicle for Addressing Student Needs –Rationale to Practice What does it look like when a teacher employs effective curriculum and instruction to meet student needs? Create a unit map Develop inquiry activities Plan challenges for advanced Use a variety of rubrics learners Make concepts relevant and Focus instruction around significant applicable to students’ lives problems/issues Provide choices that ensure focus Implement small group instruction Discussion: Think about how you would plan a lesson centered around teaching students how to work with a rubric. What would they need to know and understand? What would they need to be able to do?
References Tomlinson, C. A. (2003). Fulfilling the promise of the differentiated classroom: Strategies and tools for responsive teaching. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.