Differentiated Instruction

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A presentation on the topic of differentiating instruction in mixed-ability classrooms.
Resource: How to Differentiate Instruction in Mixed - Ability Classrooms, Carol Ann Tomlinson

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Differentiated Instruction

  1. 1. How to Differentiate Instruction in Mixed-Ability Classrooms<br />What?<br />Talk about unfair!<br />Let’s make some changes….<br />
  2. 2. "How Differentiated Instruction and Formative Assessment Work at Forest Lake Elementary"<br />http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=njeK8BGqJq0<br />
  3. 3. What Differentiated Instruction is NOT<br />Individualized Instruction<br /><ul><li>In the 1970s teachers believed that providing specific lessons to each child was the best method of teaching
  4. 4. They quickly discovered the impossibility of creating a different lesson for each child, every day of the week. Teachers were found themselves exhausted and out of ideas!</li></li></ul><li>What Differentiated Instruction is NOT<br />Chaotic<br /><ul><li>Before a teacher decides to participate in differentiated instruction, he or she MUST set the ground rules for classroom management.</li></ul>Homogeneous grouping<br />Prior to differentiated instruction students were placed in groups based on skill level and did not easily switch groups.<br />Blue jays, Robins, Cardinals<br />Students did not have the opportunities to work with different skill levels<br /><br />
  5. 5. What Differentiated Instruction is NOT<br /> Tailoring the same suit of clothes<br /><ul><li>It is not beneficial to “tailor” lessons to each student’s skill level.
  6. 6. Those in lower levels should not “skip” what they struggle with.
  7. 7. Those in higher levels should not be given extra work on principles that they master. </li></li></ul><li>What Differentiated Instruction IS<br />PROACTIVE<br /><ul><li>Proactive teachers observe their student’s learning style and plan their lessons accordingly
  8. 8. If a particular lesson does not appeal to a particular learner, a proactive teacher will adjust accordingly.</li></li></ul><li>What Differentiated Instruction IS<br />More QUALITATIVE than quantitative<br /><ul><li>A mastered skill = busy work more challenging work
  9. 9. A struggling student= decreased amount of work </li></li></ul><li>What Differentiated Instruction IS<br />Rooted Assessment<br /><ul><li>Each lesson allows the teacher to asses to developmental level of their students and plan her lessons accordingly</li></ul>Provides at least 3 curricular elements<br /><ul><li>Content input
  10. 10. Process
  11. 11. Product output</li></li></ul><li>What Differentiated Instruction IS<br />
  12. 12. Understanding the Needs of Advanced Learners<br />It is crucial to avoid boredom and mental laziness in advanced students<br />Constantly challenge them<br />Caution! Advanced learners are at risk<br /> of becoming:<br />Perfectionist<br />Depleting their self-efficacy<br />Lack coping skills<br />
  13. 13. Understanding the needs of Struggling Learners<br />
  14. 14. The Role of the Teacher in a Differentiated Classroom<br /><ul><li>Highest priority = organizing a class for effective activity and exploration
  15. 15. Teachers who differentiate instruction focus on their role as coach or mentor
  16. 16. Give students as much responsibility for learning as they can handle and teach them to handle a little more every step of the way
  17. 17. Covering information takes a back seat to making meaning out of important ideas</li></li></ul><li>The Role of the Teacher in a Differentiated Classroom<br />Teachers who differentiate instruction grow in their ability to:<br />
  18. 18. The Role of the Teacher in a Differentiated Classroom<br />Teacher as director of the orchestra The director of the orchestra helps musicians make music, but does not make the music himself<br />The teacher as jazz musician The artistry and confidence of the jazz musician with the music, instrument, and group allow her to abandon the score for the sake of the music, the group, and the audience<br />
  19. 19. The Role of the Teacher in a Differentiated Classroom<br />Differentiated teaches have two things in common:<br /><ul><li> The conviction that students differ in their learning needs
  20. 20. A belief that classrooms in which students are active learners, decision makers and problem solvers are more natural and effective than those in which students are passive recipients of information</li></li></ul><li>The Role of the Teacher in a Differentiated Classroom<br />Classroom Rules of Thumb<br /><ul><li>Be clear on the key concepts and principles which give meaning and structure to the topic (chapter, unit, lesson)
  21. 21. Focus on key conceptsto ensure that all learners gain powerful understanding that serve as building blocks for meaning and access to other knowledge
  22. 22. Think of assessmentas a road map for your thinking and planning
  23. 23. Lessons for all students should be engaging and emphasize critical and creative thinking</li></li></ul><li>Learning Environment in a Differentiated Classroom<br />A differentiated classroom should support and be supported by an evolving community of learners<br /><ul><li>Everyone feels welcomed and contributes to everyone else feeling welcome
  24. 24. Classroom that contains student work and other student designed artifacts are inviting
  25. 25. Flexible and comfortable seating options
  26. 26. Time during the day when students and the teacher can talk about the day and life in general
  27. 27. Build bridges between learning and the world of the learner</li></li></ul><li>Learning Environment in a Differentiated Classroom<br />Mutual respect is a nonnegotiable<br /><ul><li> Teacher helps students learn to solve problems in constructive ways that attend to the issue at hand without making a person or group feel smaller
  28. 28. Humor plays a central role in a welcoming and respectful classroom – sarcasm and sharp words do not
  29. 29. Students feel safe in the classroom</li></li></ul><li>Learning Environment in a Differentiated Classroom<br />There is a pervasive expectation of growth<br /><ul><li> Students learn to chart their own growth
  30. 30. Students should be encouraged to discuss their learning goals and ways of achieving them
  31. 31. Growth of each student is a matter of celebration</li></ul>Teacher teaches for success<br /><ul><li>Scaffolding - whatever kind of assistance is needed for any student to move from prior knowledge and skill to the next level of knowledge and skill
  32. 32. Challenging work – assignments and tasks that are slightly beyond the student’s comfort zone</li></li></ul><li>Learning Environment in a Differentiated Classroom<br />Teachers and students collaborate for mutual growth and success<br />Teacher’s can:<br /><ul><li> Set the tone for the classroom environment
  33. 33. Continually coach students to be contributing members of a group</li></ul>Student’s can:<br /><ul><li> Help develop routines for the classroom
  34. 34. Help one another
  35. 35. Keep track of their work</li></ul>All students need to be guided in assuming a growing degree of responsibility and independence as a learner and member of a community of learners<br />
  36. 36. A Look Inside Some Differentiated Classrooms: Classroom Techniques<br />
  37. 37. Classroom Management Strategies<br /><ul><li> Start at a comfortable pace for you
  38. 38. As you gain confidence slowly add activities to your repertoire
  39. 39. Time differentiated activities to help students be successful
  40. 40. Know the attention span of your students</li></li></ul><li>Strategies to Make Your Classroom Run Smoothly<br />Anchor activities<br /><ul><li>Prevent unnecessary downtime</li></ul>Minimize noise<br /><ul><li>Teach students a quiet signal</li></ul>Way to turn work in<br /><ul><li>An unchecked bin</li></ul>Minimize Movement<br /><ul><li>Assign a “gopher”</li></li></ul><li>Preparing Parents for Differentiated Instruction<br />
  41. 41. Planning Lessons Differentiated by Readiness<br />
  42. 42. The Equalizer: A Way to Determine Readiness<br />
  43. 43. The Equalizer: A Way to Determine Readiness<br />Dependent to Independent<br /><ul><li>Students vary on the amount of independence they are ready for</li></ul>Structured to Open-ended<br /><ul><li>Some students are ready to improvise while others still need more straight forward guidelines to follow</li></ul>Slow to fast<br /><ul><li>Some students will move quickly through one part of a topic but then need to move more slowly in other areas</li></li></ul><li>Differentiating Content, Process, and Product<br /><ul><li>Assigning work on the same topic at different degrees of difficulty
  44. 44. The students are getting the same type of information but in a way that is geared towards their individual ability.
  45. 45. The teacher should aim to provide work that is just a little too hard
  46. 46. This pushes students out of their level of comfort and allows the teacher to help them reach a new level of understanding</li></li></ul><li>Planning Lessons Differentiated by Interest<br />Enhancing motivation to learn<br /> Using familiar ideas as a way to introduce less familiar ideas<br />Helping students to realize that there is a connection between school and their own interests<br />
  47. 47. Strategies to Plan Lessons that are Differentiated by Interest<br />“Sidebar” Studies<br /><ul><li>Students study the aspects of a topic that interest them
  48. 48. Example- A student might like music and decide to focus on the music of the 1950s for a history class. </li></ul>Interest groups<br /><ul><li>Students who have similar interests form a group to do an in-depth study on one particular topic that they find most interesting</li></li></ul><li>Guidelines for Interest-based Differentiation<br /><ul><li>Find a way to link a student interests with the curriculum
  49. 49. Teachers should make sure that students are acquiring the skills that the curriculum specifies.
  50. 50. Guide students to success by providing structure
  51. 51. Teachers should set goals and time-lines to guarantee that students are getting the most out of their learning.</li></li></ul><li>Curriculum Can Be Subdivided for the Purposes of Differentiating Instruction<br />Teacher Dependent Dimensions<br /><ul><li>Content: What we teach, what we want students to learn (input)
  52. 52. Process: Sense making, information is run through an individual’s filters of meaning
  53. 53. Product: How student’s show what they know, typically a long term assignment that demonstrates understanding and application of content (output)</li></ul>Student Dependent Dimensions<br /><ul><li>Interest: Ignite curiosity and passion
  54. 54. Readiness: Match skills and understanding
  55. 55. Learning Profile: Work in a preferred manner</li></li></ul><li>Differentiating Content<br />Adapt what we teach: Content can be varied according to Bloom’s Taxonomy<br /><ul><li> Unfamiliar with concepts- complete tasks at lower levels such as knowledge, comprehension, application
  56. 56. Partial mastery- focus on application, analysis and evaluation
  57. 57. High level of mastery- emphasize evaluation and synthesis </li></ul>Adapt how we give student access to what we want them to learn<br /><ul><li> Different texts, novels or short stories based on reading level
  58. 58. Internet sources of varied sophistication
  59. 59. Work in pairs, groups or individually</li></li></ul><li>Strategies for Differentiating Content<br />Concept Based Teaching<br /><ul><li>Avoid rote memorization of long lists of facts
  60. 60. Focus instead on key concepts and principles, which are the building blocks of meaning
  61. 61. Make connectionsbetween subjects and facets of a single topic
  62. 62. Relate ideas to the student’s lives
  63. 63. Identify patterns and help student’s to use these to deal with future learning</li></li></ul><li>Strategies for Differentiating Content<br /><ul><li>Create a challenging learning environment
  64. 64. Guarantee proficiency in basic curriculum
  65. 65. Buy time for enrichment and acceleration</li></ul>Curriculum Compacting<br />Designed to help advanced learners maximize the use of their time for learning<br />
  66. 66. Student’s Name: ________________________________<br />Areas of Strength<br />Documenting Mastery<br />Alternate Activities<br />
  67. 67. Strategies for Differentiating Content<br />Using varied texts and resource materials<br /><ul><li>Build a classroom library that includes texts of various levels, magazines, brochures, internet files, videos etc.
  68. 68. A rich array of materials ensures that content is meaningful to learners of all levels
  69. 69. Computer programs can present different levels of challenge and complexity</li></ul>Learning contracts<br /><ul><li>Can contain both skills and content components
  70. 70. Combine a sense of shared goals with individual appropriateness and autonomy</li></ul>Mini-lessons<br /><ul><li>Some students may not fully grasp newly taught material
  71. 71. Meet with these students to revisit these concepts to extend their understanding and skill</li></li></ul><li>Differentiating Process<br />Process refers to how a student comes to understand and assimilate facts, concepts and skills<br />Allows students to learn based on what method is easiest for them, or alternatively, what will challenge them the most<br /><ul><li>A learning style inventory may help to identify this
  72. 72. http://www.personal.psu.edu/bxb11/LSI/LSI.htm
  73. 73. Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences to guide appropriate methodology </li></ul>Students make sense of ideas and information most effectively when classroom activities are:<br /><ul><li>Interesting
  74. 74. Involve high level thinking
  75. 75. Use key skills to understand key ideas</li></li></ul><li>Strategies That Support Differentiated Process<br /><ul><li>These strategies work best when students work in smallgroups orindependently
  76. 76. Easier to match activities and process to individual needs
  77. 77. Utilize tools that allow students to express their creativity!
  78. 78. Some of the many examples:
  79. 79. Journals
  80. 80. Graphic Organizers
  81. 81. http://readwritethink.org/materials/trading_cards
  82. 82. Mind Maps, Learning Centers/Interest Groups,Model Making,Laboratory Exercises,Jigsaw, Role Playing
  83. 83. Cubing
  84. 84. http://readwritethink.org/materials/bio_cube/</li></li></ul><li>Differentiating Product<br />Products represent the student’s application and understanding of what they have learned<br /><ul><li>Typically a long term assignment
  85. 85. May supplement or replace a more traditional written test as an assessment of knowledge and understanding
  86. 86. Has the advantage of allowing a more flexible approach to student evaluation, accounting for multiple learning styles</li></ul>How to design an effective product<br /><ul><li>Decide on format
  87. 87. Clearly define core expectations
  88. 88. Decide on necessary scaffolding (brainstorming, rubrics, timelines, critiquing and revising
  89. 89. Coach for success and quality</li></ul>Benefits<br /><ul><li>Encourages students to engage using their strengths and interests
  90. 90. Student are intrinsically motivated as this is their chance to “own” the curriculum</li></li></ul><li>Grading in a Differentiated Classroom<br />Traditional grading system is designed to rank you within your classroom cohort<br />Not all work has to be graded, especially if intellectual risk taking is the goal!<br />The goal of differentiated instruction is help you develop as a learner…it can be more individualistic<br />
  91. 91. *Terrific resource for implementing technology and multimedia<br />http://www.cited.org<br />
  92. 92. *Terrific resource for implementing technology and multimedia<br />http://www.cited.org<br />
  93. 93. Thank you for taking the time to learn about Differentiated Instruction in Mixed-Ability Classrooms with me!<br />An excellent resource on Differentiated Instruction which also served as a reference for this presentation:<br />How to Differentiated Instruction in Mixed-Ability Classrooms<br />By: Carol Ann Tomlinson<br />

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