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The purpose of this presentation was to explain the concept of "Differentiated Instruction" to my peers in a graduate school class.

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Differentiated Instruction

  1. 1. An Exploration of Differentiated Instruction Ellen Brandt December 8, 2007
  2. 2. Differentiated Instruction What is it? Why is it Important? How is it Implemented? What is the Role of the School Library? Show me an Example!
  3. 3. What is Differentiated Instruction? <ul><li>Gail Bush in School Library Media Monthly Nov. 2006: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Differentiated Instruction is a learner-centered instructional design model that acknowledges that students have individual learning styles, motivation, abilities and, therefore, readiness to learn… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>[although content, process and product are differentiated], all students are held to standards that measure substantial growth and achievement.” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Karen Larsen in Library Media Connection Nov/Dec 2004: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ The goal of differentiation is to bring the ideas and concepts of the curriculum to the learner at a pace and depth that is appropriate for the ability of each student.” </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. An Example: A Differentiated Lesson on the topic of DIFFERENTIATED INSTRUCTION. The target audience for my example is students in higher education, but as Tomlinson and McTigue say, “ there is a kindergarten version and a Ph. D. version of the big ideas…”. (Tomlinson and McTigue, p. 41)
  5. 5. The Virtual Teachers Gladys: A Traditional Instructor Kathryn: Models Differentiated Instruction
  6. 6. Real World Teachers REAL teachers are likely to be somewhere in between Gladys and Kathryn. Almost all teachers respond in some manner to the needs and interests of the students in their classes. On the flip side, it’s not really feasible to practice all the principles of differentiated instruction, all the time.
  7. 7. The Virtual Students.. <ul><li>IT Specialist at a Suburban Middle School </li></ul><ul><li>English is not her native language </li></ul><ul><li>Hispanic </li></ul><ul><li>26 yr old </li></ul>Maria <ul><li>History Teacher at an Urban High School </li></ul><ul><li>15 yrs. In Education </li></ul><ul><li>African American </li></ul><ul><li>38 yr old </li></ul>Joe <ul><li>Undergraduate Student </li></ul><ul><li>Mild Learning Disability </li></ul><ul><li>20 yrs old </li></ul>Sally <ul><li>Graduate Student </li></ul><ul><li>School Library Teacher program </li></ul><ul><li>Background in Electrical Engineering </li></ul><ul><li>4 yrs Experience in Education </li></ul><ul><li>Rather old </li></ul>Ellen
  8. 8. Real World Students Each of the four students in my example is a composite of many students. A real world K-12 classroom would likely have 20-30 students, all of whom are unique in important ways. Differentiated Instruction is NOT Individualized Instruction, but an acknowledgement that students learn in different ways.
  9. 9. The Goal of the Unit (T his should be communicated to the students) “ Students will learn about Differentiated Instruction” “ How can Differentiated Instruction make us more effective as teachers? What are the challenges? What are the benefits?”
  10. 10. Preassessment “ I do my assessments at the END of the Unit”
  11. 11. Preassessment <ul><li>I assess the following BEFORE the Unit: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Knowledge - What does the student already know about this subject or about related subjects? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Skills -which skills has the student mastered? Which skills needed for this unit are lacking? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interests -does the student have personal interests or experiences that might be relevant to the topic? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Learning Styles - how does this student learn best? Which of Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences are strengths? Which are weaknesses? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>This helps me determine the students’ </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Readiness - or ‘entry point’ into the unit. </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Ellen’s Readiness Assessment <ul><li>Knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>“ DI is a student-centered alternative to the ‘one size fits all’ approach to teaching” </li></ul><ul><li>“ The library can support DI by providing access to curriculum related material in various mediums, covering a wide range of readability levels and with different perspectives and interest focuses.” </li></ul><ul><li>Skills </li></ul><ul><li>Knows how to find accurate and reliable information </li></ul><ul><li>Good at Evaluation and Synthesis </li></ul><ul><li>Has not written very many term papers </li></ul><ul><li>Could use help narrowing topics. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Ellen’s Interests and Learning Styles <ul><li>Interests (related to topic) </li></ul><ul><li>School Library Media Center </li></ul><ul><li>Support for talented and gifted students </li></ul><ul><li>Learning Styles </li></ul><ul><li>Largely Visual learner </li></ul><ul><li>Needs help with organization </li></ul>
  14. 14. Sally’s Readiness Assessment <ul><li>Knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>“ Never heard of “Differentiated Instruction. </li></ul><ul><li>I had some teachers who were really good at getting different types of students excited about learning. Was this DI?” </li></ul><ul><li>Skills </li></ul><ul><li>Mostly gets information from the internet </li></ul><ul><li>Has recently completed research projects for other classes </li></ul><ul><li>Competent at planning and organizing </li></ul><ul><li>Has used electronic databases in the past, but doesn’t really remember how. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Sally’s Interests and Learning Styles <ul><li>Interests (related to topic) </li></ul><ul><li>Early Childhood Education </li></ul><ul><li>Support for students with learning disabilities </li></ul><ul><li>Learning Styles </li></ul><ul><li>Strong interpersonal Skills </li></ul><ul><li>Feeling overwhelmed by all the reading. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Joe’s Readiness Assessment <ul><li>Knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>“ I have been responding to the various needs of individual students in my classroom for years! </li></ul><ul><li>I’m somewhat familiar with Differentiated Instruction.” </li></ul><ul><li>Skills </li></ul><ul><li>Keeps up with Professional Literature (prefers print form). </li></ul><ul><li>Avid Reader </li></ul><ul><li>Comfortable with technology (but doesn’t keep up with emerging technology) </li></ul><ul><li>Knows how to use electronic databases - but seldom does. </li></ul>
  17. 17. Joe’s Interests and Learning Styles <ul><li>Interests (related to topic) </li></ul><ul><li>Educating adolescents </li></ul><ul><li>Support for minority students </li></ul><ul><li>Learning Styles </li></ul><ul><li>A Kinetic Learner </li></ul><ul><li>Needs to try out ideas in real world </li></ul>
  18. 18. Maria’s Readiness Assessment <ul><li>Knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>“ I help teachers use assistive technologies for students with special needs </li></ul><ul><li>I find online resources for ELL students </li></ul><ul><li>I figure this is all related to “differentiated instruction” </li></ul><ul><li>Skills </li></ul><ul><li>Tries to keep up with professional literature via listservs and online journals. </li></ul><ul><li>Has some trouble understanding English. </li></ul><ul><li>Comfortable with emerging technology. </li></ul>
  19. 19. Maria’s Interests and Learning Styles <ul><li>Interests (related to topic) </li></ul><ul><li>New and emerging technology </li></ul><ul><li>Support for English Language Learners </li></ul><ul><li>Learning Styles </li></ul><ul><li>English is not her native language </li></ul><ul><li>Nervous about Oral Presentations </li></ul><ul><li>Introvert </li></ul>
  20. 20. Preassessment in the Real World <ul><li>Preassessment does not need to be a formal process. </li></ul><ul><li>A K-2 teacher might use discussions, observations and </li></ul><ul><li>one-on-one assessments (already a common practice) </li></ul><ul><li>Gr. 3-12 teachers might use online surveys, quizzes, pre-tests </li></ul><ul><li>and games as well as discussions,observations, student records and formal assessment </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t need to assess all aspects before each Unit. </li></ul><ul><li>The key is getting to know your students well! </li></ul>
  21. 21. CONTENT: <ul><li>The skills and concepts the students will learn during the unit. </li></ul><ul><li>State or District Standards are usually the core of content for K-12 students. </li></ul><ul><li>Although the goal of a Unit should be the same for all students, the Content CAN be differentiated! </li></ul>
  22. 22. CONTENT (the traditional approach) <ul><li>At the end of this unit, students will be able to: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Define “Differentiated Instruction”. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Explain its role in education. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Describe how it is Implemented. </li></ul></ul>
  23. 23. CONTENT (the differentiated approach) Goal (the essential question or underlying concept) is the same for all, but CONTENT can be differentiated. Kathryn lets her students choose to focus on a specific area or a specific perspective, as long as they are working toward the goal.
  24. 24. Differentiated CONTENT for Kathryn’s virtual class <ul><li>Ellen: How can the school library support (and benefit from) differentiated instruction? </li></ul><ul><li>Sally: How could DI help engage the interests of all students in a first grade classroom? </li></ul><ul><li>Joe: How can differentiated instruction help me motivate and challenge all my students? </li></ul><ul><li>Maria : How can DI help me reach a greater number of teachers and students? How can technology support differentiated instruction? </li></ul>
  25. 25. PROCESS: How the students will learn the material.
  26. 26. PROCESS (traditional) <ul><li>Take notes while professor lectures on topic. </li></ul><ul><li>Read a chapter in the textbook </li></ul><ul><li>Read articles from online pathfinder </li></ul>
  27. 27. PROCESS (Differentiated) <ul><li>Kathryn: </li></ul><ul><li>Encourages the students to develop their own methods for further exploration. </li></ul><ul><li>Creates a pathfinder of recommended resources </li></ul><ul><li>Offers suggestions, advice and clarification. </li></ul><ul><li>Frequently checks in with the students to make sure they are ‘on track’ and are ‘suitably challenged’ but are not ‘frustrated or overwhelmed” </li></ul>
  28. 28. Differentiated PROCESS for Kathryn’s virtual class. <ul><li>Ellen: Uses a combination of print books, eBooks, professional journals, library literature, internet discussions and online databases. </li></ul><ul><li>Sally: Observes two first grade classrooms and interviews the teachers. Both teachers are experienced. One follows a traditional approach while the other uses the differentiated classroom approach. </li></ul><ul><li>Joe: Reads some of the recommended resources to get an overview of Differentiated Instruction. Then searches for professional literature on the topic of engaging the minds and imaginations of adolescents. </li></ul><ul><li>Maria : Uses teacher suggested resources to get an overview of DI. Looks through vendor catalogs and online resource for technology that might support the concepts of DI. Contacts vendors for more information and gets trial versions of applications </li></ul>
  29. 29. PRODUCT: How students demonstrate mastery of the concepts and skills.
  30. 30. PRODUCT (traditional) <ul><li>Students write a 3 page paper on Differentiated Instruction. Rubrics include “definition, how to implement and role in education.” </li></ul><ul><li>Students take a test on the subject of “Differentiated Instruction” so that Gladys can verify that they ‘learned’ the key points </li></ul>
  31. 31. PRODUCT (Differentiated) <ul><li>Kathryn: </li></ul><ul><li>Coaches students to develop creative means to communicate their understanding. </li></ul><ul><li>Reminds students that although the content and product vary, they must address the question “How could Differentiated Instruction make us more effective teachers?” </li></ul><ul><li>Offers suggestions, advice and clarification. </li></ul>
  32. 32. Differentiated PRODUCT for Kathryn’s virtual class. <ul><li>Ellen: Creates a PowerPoint presentation. </li></ul><ul><li>Sally: Makes charts comparing a traditional classroom with a differentiated one. Shows challenges and benefits associated with each method. Includes examples and handouts from her observations. </li></ul><ul><li>Joe: Develops a Differentiated Unit for his current students and tries it out in his classroom. Hands in his lesson plans, and a discussion of his observations and experience. </li></ul><ul><li>Maria : Creates an online pathfinder of curriculum related resources suitable for ELL students. Sets up a wiki for teachers to share ideas and concerns related to implementing differentiated instruction in their classrooms </li></ul>
  33. 33. Synthesis (traditional) <ul><li>Grades the tests and papers and hands them back to the students </li></ul><ul><li>Reviews the questions that students got wrong. </li></ul><ul><li>Makes notes of trouble areas so that she can address these in more detail the next time she teaches the class. </li></ul><ul><li>Turns her attention to the next topic on the ‘curriculum’. There is SO much to cover, and so little time! </li></ul>
  34. 34. Synthesis (Differentiated) <ul><li>Focus on ‘depth’ rather than ‘breadth’. </li></ul><ul><li>Students should be able to apply skills and concepts from this unit to related topics as well as to their own personal interests and avocations. </li></ul><ul><li>Sometimes need to make ‘tough’ decisions about what topics to skip, but true understanding will transfer to other areas, while memorization of facts will be of little use in the long run. </li></ul>
  35. 35. Synthesis (Differentiated) <ul><li>After all the students have shared their final products, Kathryn asks each student to think about: </li></ul><ul><li>Which aspects of “differentiated instruction’ really ‘spoke to you’. </li></ul><ul><li>What important understandings will you take away from this unit? </li></ul>
  36. 36. Important Understandings (from the perspectives of the virtual students)
  37. 37. <ul><li>DI supports the new paradigm for education as expressed in the mission of the Partnership for 21 st Century Skills:… </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Bring 21 st century skills to every child in America by serving as a catalyst for change in teaching, learning and assessment… </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>as much as students need to learn academic content, they also need to know how to keep learning- and make effective and innovative use of what they know – throughout their lives. </li></ul></ul></ul>Ellen Differentiated Instruction’s Learner-Centered approach helps students become competent, motivated and independent learners.
  38. 38. <ul><li>All students work to the best of their abilities. </li></ul><ul><li>All students experience academic success. </li></ul><ul><li>Students develop a positive attitude toward learning. </li></ul>Sally Differentiated Instruction ensures that every student is challenged at his or her own level.
  39. 39. Joe The principles of Differentiated Instruction remind us we need to ‘connect with our students’ before we can expect the students to connect with the ideas in the curriculum <ul><li>“ When you teach to student strengths, students: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>see themselves positively </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>see strengths in one another </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>see learning positively </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>overcome weaknesses” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>(paraphrased from Tomlinson and Jarvis </li></ul><ul><li>in Sept 2006 issue of Educational Leadership) </li></ul>
  40. 40. <ul><li>Technology can facilitate Differentiated Instruction: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Online Information Sources provide a variety of </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Readability levels </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Media Types (videos, simulations, images, audio) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Interactive activities </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Cultural Perspectives </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Languages </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Collaboration tools (blogs, shared documents, etc.) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Adaptive Technology (voice recognition, text-to-speech, etc) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Communication tools (websites, email, blogs etc.) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Assessment tools (online surveys, hand-held devices, etc) </li></ul></ul>Maria Differentiated Instruction requires teachers to move beyond books and worksheets
  41. 41. Ellen’s Research Topic How can the School Library support (and benefit from) Differentiated Instruction?
  42. 42. Collection Development <ul><li>Provide material in: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Different formats (books (non-fiction, reference, biographies, fiction, special interest), periodicals, videos, audiobooks, electronic databases, resource lists) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Wide range of reading levels . (a SPED student or an English Language Learner in 5 th grade may be reading at a 2 nd grade level, while an advanced 2 nd grade student may be able to handle information written for Middle School students) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A broad range of perspectives </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A variety of genres </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Many different interests </li></ul></ul>
  43. 43. Technology: <ul><ul><li>Online pathfinders or webpages so that students don’t have to rely on the textbook to work on project outside the library (at home or in the classroom) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Collaboration and Communication tools for students and staff </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>AV equipment for staff and student use </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Adaptive Technology </li></ul></ul>
  44. 44. Physical Space: <ul><ul><li>Areas for collaboration and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Areas for quiet study </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Suitable for </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>small groups, </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>whole classes, </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>individuals </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Display Space for Projects </li></ul></ul>
  45. 45. Library Teacher can: <ul><ul><li>Help develop lesson plans that embed research </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide instruction in Information Literacy Skills </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Coach students during research phase </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Demonstrate a variety of communication techniques (podcasts, wikis, blogs, slide shows, videos) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Coordinate cross-curricula/interdisciplinary projects </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Work with small groups of students while classroom/subject teacher works with others </li></ul></ul>
  46. 46. How does DI benefit library? <ul><li>Differentiated Instruction: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Values information-rich atmosphere of library </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Encourages collaboration between subject area teachers and library teacher </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Promotes Independent Learning which (we hope) breeds enthusiastic library patrons. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Library Teacher can Use Differentiated Instruction when: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Teaching/coaching students </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Training volunteers & library staff </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Providing professional development for teachers and administrators </li></ul></ul></ul>
  47. 47. from professional reading by David Loertscher in Teacher Librarian, June 2006 A Few Parting Words
  48. 48. <ul><li>One is tempted to shout as the text is read: “Yes! Teacher-Librarians can help! TLs are natural partners! TLs have the tools, the rich information banks, the strategies, and the talent to make UbD and DI work!” </li></ul><ul><li>An important book to feature in professional learning communities… if the principal has not already started a study group, the teacher-librarian should. </li></ul><ul><li>TLs who take a leadership role in this exploration will be prepared to take a leadership role in any new model that is widely adopted. </li></ul><ul><li>An essential purchase; a required read; a must-do action item. </li></ul>Integrating Differentiated Instruction and Understanding by Design, Connecting Content and Kids Carol Ann Tomlinson and Jay McTighe Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 2006.
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The purpose of this presentation was to explain the concept of "Differentiated Instruction" to my peers in a graduate school class.


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