Differentiated Instruction in the Science Classroom


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  • Coordinators may wish to have index cards or post-its available for participants to write their definitions. When the definitions are shared with the whole group you may wish to chart them or write them on an overhead transparency.
  • Explain that this concept map of Differentiated Instruction is from Tomlinson. Pass out the handout with the concept map since you will have specific slides with definitions and notes from which you can elaborate. Briefly review and you may wish to point out the importance of utilizing both informal and formal assessment. Teacher observations of students reading and writing is considered important informal assessment. You may wish to elaborate on flexible grouping.
  • You may wish to have participants view the handout as you move from slide to slide. Be aware that you may get questions about some of the instructional strategies (practices) that are not familiar to participants e.g. 4MAT and orbitals. In Tomlinson’s book, “How to Differentiate Instruction in Mixed-Ability Classrooms” page 64 you can find the definition for 4MAT. Information about orbitals can be found on page 58.
  • Presenter will explain the definition and examples of differentiating by content include: use of leveled text, use of manipulatives in math, use of videos, use of books on tape.
  • Presenter will explain the definition and some examples of process include: the use of Literature Circles, graphic organizers, journals, use of learning contracts, think-pair-share.
  • Some students don’t have a solid foundation. They need groundwork laid—background knowledge supplied, and a blueprint for the construction of their understanding.
  • Some students are works in process—they have most of the pieces, but they need supports along the way. They know how to read, but they need help with critical thinking skills. Graphic organizers, non-linguistic representations, and discussions will provide help that will enable them to construct their knowledge.
  • Other students need us to get out of their way. With your more able learners, they should have opportunities to compact information, and if they know it they should be researching so whats—if that’s true, than what else is true. It’s a waste of time for them to skill and drill, or to have to relearn the same concept they got the first time. They should be extending their learning.
  • Some examples of products can include: designing a web page, creating a pop-up book on a topic, developing and creating an exhibit, creating a model of a structure with specific dimensions or even an oral presentation. You may wish to mention that teachers probably will need to create a rubric so that certain criteria are met to demonstrate mastery or understanding of the concepts.
  • How do you know what they learned? It could be a test, but it could be a report, or a presentation, or a non-linguistic representation, or further research. It doesn’t have to look the same for all students, and all learners.
  • We all have different things that will draw our attention and we would like to learn more about, the content of what we would like to learn may vary. For example: some of us like chocolate,
  • Some are drawn to sports and sporting events
  • Some us us are utterly inspired by cold hard cash---So one thing we can differentiate is content. For example, teaching about the Harlem Renaissance. You can have some students study about baseball and the Negro Leagues, some could study the art of the time period, some the literature, some the music. They can all present the information, and you have a deeper understanding created through student interest.
  • Remind participants that student engagement is a powerful motivator. Interest and choice are two key factors that lead to student engagement. Use of informal interest inventories or other teacher created inventories can provide important information on student interest.
  • You may wish to mention that teachers use formal and informal assessment to gauge and determine readiness. Also remind participants that teacher observation is important in determining readiness.
  • Remind participants that learning style (auditory, visual or kinesthetic), intelligence preference, gender, and culture can influence learning profile. Some teachers have students take multiple intelligence tests or learning styles tests. You may wish to share any personal experiences with multiple intelligence test or learning styles tests.
  • Remind participants that in a differentiated classroom a teacher would continually be at a different place on the continuum. Remember that the hallmark of a differentiated classroom is “flexibility”. Differentiation is a dynamic process (always in flux and change).
  • Have participants take a few minutes to discuss at their tables and determine what the teacher is differentiating ( content, process or product ) for her students and what information about the students ( readiness, interest or learning profile ) is the teacher utilizing to maximize instruction and engagement. One person per table will write on a white sheet of paper either content, process or product and either readiness (ability), interest or learning profile.
  • Closing definition on Differentiated Instruction.
  • Differentiated Instruction in the Science Classroom

    1. 1. Hialeah Gardens High School September 23, 2010 Differentiated Instruction Overview
    2. 2. <ul><li>Identify ways instruction can be differentiated </li></ul><ul><li>Identify instructional practices that can be used to differentiate content, process, and product </li></ul>
    3. 3. <ul><li>What is your definition of Differentiated Instruction? </li></ul><ul><li>Share your definitions with others at your table. After sharing create one definition of Differentiated Instruction per table. </li></ul><ul><li>Share definition with the whole group. </li></ul>
    4. 4. <ul><li>“… differentiated instruction refers to a systematic approach to planning curriculum and instruction for academically diverse learners. It is a way of thinking about the classroom with the dual goals of honoring each student’s learning needs and maximizing each student’s learning capacity.” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>~ Carol Ann Tomlinson, 2003 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Differentiation in Practice: A Resource Guide </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>for Differentiating Curriculum Grades 5-9 , p. 3 </li></ul></ul>
    5. 5. <ul><li>Students differ in experience, readiness, interest, intelligences, language, culture, gender, and mode of learning. </li></ul><ul><li>Educators must meet each student at his or her starting point and ensure substantial growth during each school term. </li></ul><ul><li>Teachers that ignore student differences are unlikely to maximize potential in any student who differs significantly from the “norm.” </li></ul><ul><li>Teachers need to make modifications in instruction for students rather than assume students must modify themselves to fit the curriculum. </li></ul><ul><li>Teachers should always keep in mind that human brains learn best when curriculum is highly interesting and highly relevant. </li></ul><ul><li>~ Carol Ann Tomlinson, 2001 </li></ul><ul><li>The Differentiated Classroom: Responding to the Needs of All Learners , p. 24 </li></ul>Principles of Differentiation
    6. 6. is a teachers’ response to learners’ needs guided by general principles of differentiation, such as flexible grouping ongoing assessment and adjustment respectful tasks ~ Carol Ann Tomlinson, 1999 The Differentiated Classroom, p. 15
    7. 7. multiple intelligences jigsaw taped material anchor activities varying organizers varied texts varied supplementary materials literature circles tiered lessons tiered centers tiered products learning contracts small-group instruction group instruction orbitals independent study 4MAT varied questioning strategies interest centers interest groups varied homework compacting varied journal prompts complex instruction according to students’ through a range of instructional and management practices such as Content Process Product Interests Readiness Learning Profile ~ Carol Ann Tomlinson, 1999 The Differentiated Classroom, p. 15
    8. 8. <ul><li>“ Content is what the students learn and the materials or mechanisms through which learning is accomplished.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ It is what a student should come to know (facts), understand (concepts and principles), and be able to do (skills) as a result of a given assignment of study (a lesson, learning experience, a unit).” </li></ul><ul><li>~ Carol Ann Tomlinson, 1999 </li></ul><ul><li>The Differentiated Classroom, p. 11, 43 </li></ul>
    9. 9. <ul><li>“ Process describes activities designed to ensure that students use key skills to make sense out of essential ideas and information.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ It is the opportunity for students to make sense of the content. “ </li></ul><ul><li>~ Carol Ann Tomlinson, 1999 </li></ul><ul><li>The Differentiated Classroom, p. 11, 43 </li></ul>
    10. 12. Definition of Scaffolding “ Scaffolds are forms of support provided by the teacher (or another student) to help students bridge the gap between their current abilities and their intended goal. Scaffolds may be tools, such as cue cards, or techniques such as teacher modeling.” ~ Barak Rosenshine & Carla Meister, 1992 Educational Leadership, 49 (7), p. 26
    11. 14. <ul><li>With someone on the other side of you, talk about how you have or could differentiate how your students learn </li></ul>
    12. 15. Definition of Product Products are assessments or demonstrations of what students have come to know, understand, and be able to do as the result of an extended sequence of learning. A product is the student’s opportunity to show what she has learned throughout a unit. ~ Carol Ann Tomlinson, 2001 How to Differentiate Instruction in Mixed-ability Classrooms
    13. 16. <ul><li>“ Products are important not only because they represent your students’ extensive understandings and applications, but also because they are the element of curriculum students can most directly ‘own’.” </li></ul><ul><li>~ Carol Ann Tomlinson, 2001 </li></ul><ul><li>How to Differentiate Instruction in Mixed-ability Classrooms , p. 85 </li></ul>
    14. 21. <ul><li>“ Interest refers to student’s affinity, curiosity, or passion for a particular topic or skill.” </li></ul><ul><li>~ Carol Ann Tomlinson, 1999 </li></ul><ul><li>The Differentiated Classroom, p. 11 </li></ul><ul><li>“ When interest is tapped, learning is more likely to be rewarding, and the student becomes a more autonomous learner (Bruner, 1961).” </li></ul><ul><li>~ Carol Ann Tomlinson & Susan Demirsky Allan, 2000 </li></ul><ul><li>Leadership for Differentiating Schools & Classrooms, p. 19 </li></ul><ul><li>“ By helping students discover and pursue their passions, we can maximize their engagement in learning, their productivity, and their individual talents (Amabile, 1983; Collins & Amabile, 1999).” </li></ul><ul><li>~ Carol Ann Tomlinson & Susan Demirsky Allan, 2000 </li></ul><ul><li>Leadership for Differentiating Schools & Classrooms, p. 14 </li></ul>
    15. 22. <ul><li>“ Readiness is a student’s entry point relative to a particular understanding or skill.” </li></ul><ul><li>~ Carol Ann Tomlinson, 1999 </li></ul><ul><li>The Differentiated Classroom, p. 11 </li></ul>
    16. 23. <ul><li>“ Learning profile refers to ways in which we learn best as individuals. Each of us knows some ways of learning that are quite effective for us, and others that slow us down or make learning feel awkward. . . . The goals of learning-profile differentiation are to help individual learners understand modes of learning that work best for them, and to offer those options so that each learner finds a good learning fit in the classroom.” </li></ul><ul><li>~ Carol Ann Tomlinson, 2001 </li></ul><ul><li>How to Differentiate Instruction in </li></ul><ul><li>Mixed-ability Classrooms , p. 60 </li></ul>
    17. 24. Quote “ In differentiated classrooms, teachers begin where students are, not the front of a curriculum guide.” ~ Carol Ann Tomlinson, 1999 The Differentiated Classroom: Responding to the Needs of All Learners , p. 3
    18. 25. Flexible Grouping “ No single-faceted plan…will meet the requirements of every student. As we move toward alternative grouping plans, we must be careful to avoid the rigidity that characterizes traditional ability grouping and offer students dynamic and flexible opportunities responsive to curricular goals and individual needs. ~ M. Radenrich and L. McKay quoted by Michael F. Opitz in Flexible Grouping in Reading, (1999), p. 77.
    19. 26. Grouping Patterns <ul><li>Whole Class </li></ul><ul><li>Collaborative </li></ul><ul><li>Interest </li></ul><ul><li>Special Need or Skill </li></ul><ul><li>Paired </li></ul><ul><li>Individual </li></ul>
    20. 27. Attributes of Differentiation <ul><li>Attending to student differences requires a flexible approach to teaching. </li></ul><ul><li>Successful attention to student differences must be rooted in solid curriculum and instruction. </li></ul><ul><li>There are many routes to achieving high-quality curriculum taught in ways that attend to student differences and build community. </li></ul><ul><li>Developing differentiating classroom calls on us not so much to develop a bag of tricks as to rethink teaching and learning. </li></ul>
    21. 28. Quote “ A teacher in a differentiated classroom does not classify herself as someone who ‘already differentiates instruction.’ Rather that teacher is fully aware that every hour of teaching, every day in the classroom can reveal one more way to make the classroom a better match for its learners.” ~ Carol Ann Tomlinson, 2001 How to Differentiate Instruction in Mixed-ability Classrooms, p. 5
    22. 29. Not Differentiated Fully Differentiated Examine the differentiation continuum and place yourself on the continuum for each of the specific areas. adapted from Carol Ann Tomlinson, 1999 The Differentiated Classroom: Responding to the Needs of All Learners, p. 16 Differentiation Continuum Not Differentiated Fully Differentiated Assessment is at the end. Assessment is ongoing. A single form of assessment is used. Diagnostic assessment is used. Intelligence is viewed narrowly. Multiple forms of intelligence are valued. Single option assignments. Assignments offer multiple options. Time is inflexible. Time is flexible in terms of student needs. Instruction is whole class. Flexible grouping is practiced. Teacher directs student behavior. Teacher scaffolds self-reliant learning. Coverage of texts and curriculum drive instruction. Materials are varied. Teacher solves problems. Teacher facilitates student problem-solving. Grading is based on teacher-set, inflexible objectives. Grading is determined by learning goals.
    23. 30. <ul><li>A science teacher is preparing to teach his students about the steps of the scientific method. The teacher will provide students with a choice of which experiment they wish to conduct. The teacher will model each step and provide students with guided practice. The teacher will provide students with a list of various ways in which students can demonstrate the steps they have taken. On the list provided students can create a science board, a PowerPoint presentation, a pop-up book just to name a few. The teacher will use a rubric and share this rubric with students beforehand to determine if the student has met each criteria. </li></ul>
    24. 31. <ul><li>“ Differentiation is classroom practice that looks eyeball to eyeball with the reality that kids differ, and the most effective teachers do whatever it takes to hook the whole range of kids on learning.” </li></ul><ul><li>~ often attributed to Carol Ann Tomlinson </li></ul>
    25. 32. <ul><li>What 3 things about differentiated instruction did you learn or were clarified for you? </li></ul><ul><li>What 2 things about differentiated instruction are you interested in learning about or what 2 questions do you still have about differentiated instruction? </li></ul><ul><li>What 1 thing do you feel is the most important aspect about differentiated instruction that you must be aware of when planning for instruction? </li></ul>
    26. 33. <ul><li>Caldwell, J.S. & Ford, M.P. (2002). Where have all the bluebirds gone? How to soar with flexible grouping . Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann. </li></ul><ul><li>Tomlinson, C. & Allan, D. S. (2000). Leadership for differentiating schools & classrooms . Alexandria, VA: ASCD. </li></ul><ul><li>Tomlinson, C. (2001). How to differentiate instruction in mixed-ability classrooms . Alexandria, VA: ASCD. </li></ul>
    27. 34. <ul><li>Carol Ann Tomlinson </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.caroltomlinson.com/ </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.frsd.k12.nj.us/rfmslibrarylab/di/differented_instruction.htm </li></ul><ul><li>Hotlist of Web Sites on Differentiated Instruction </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.frsd.j12.nj.us/rfsmslibrarylab/di/differentiated_instruction.htm </li></ul><ul><li>http://worldmusic.about.com/od/genres/p/Reggae.htm </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.caroltomlinson.com/articles/SPage_RAFT_Rev.pdf </li></ul>
    28. 35. <ul><li>Carmen S. Concepción </li></ul><ul><li>Reading Coach </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>