Tomlinson Hottopic Spring09


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Group presentation created for a graduate course. Presents Carol Tomlinson's book, Fulfilling the Promise of the Differentiated Classroom: Strategies and Tools for Responsive Teaching.

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Tomlinson Hottopic Spring09

  1. 1. Presented by: Melissa Jackson, Tracy Link, Suzanne Rozendaal, and Suzy Ryan
  2. 2. Differentiated Classrooms… <ul><li>What is behind the idea? </li></ul><ul><li>“ Schools are like airport hubs; student passengers arrive from many different backgrounds for widely divergent destinations. Their particular takeoffs into adulthood will demand different flight plans.” </li></ul><ul><li>~Levine </li></ul>“ Effective teaching is responsive teaching” (Tomlinson, pg. 90)
  3. 3. The Differentiated Idea… <ul><li>Approach to teaching which advocates active planning for student differences in the classroom. </li></ul><ul><li>Teachers must take into account: </li></ul><ul><li>What they are teaching </li></ul><ul><li>Who they are teaching </li></ul>
  4. 4. Goal… <ul><li>Plan actively and consistently to help each learner move as far as possible and as fast as possible along a learning continuum. </li></ul><ul><li>Differentiated instruction is in response to: (pg. 2) </li></ul><ul><li>ELL students </li></ul><ul><li>Achievement gaps for minority learners </li></ul><ul><li>Special education inclusion in the classro om </li></ul><ul><li>Bright students not being challenged </li></ul>
  5. 5. Student traits… <ul><li>Readiness - student knowledge, understanding, and skills </li></ul><ul><li>Interest - topics that evoke curiosity and passion in the learner </li></ul><ul><li>Learning profile - how students learn best </li></ul><ul><li>Affect - how students feel about themselves, their work, and the classroom as a whole </li></ul><ul><li>“ Student affect is the gateway to helping each student become more fully engaged and successful in learning” (pg.4) </li></ul>
  6. 6. Classroom elements… <ul><li>There are four classroom elem e nts that can be modified in response to varia tion among students: </li></ul><ul><li>Content - what is taught and how students access information </li></ul><ul><li>Process -how a student makes sense of, or comes to understand, the information, ideas, and skills that are at the center of the lesson </li></ul><ul><li>Product -assessments or demonstrations of what students have come to understand and know </li></ul><ul><li>Learning environment -operation and the tone of the classroom </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>… continually link student traits and classroom elements by assessing student readiness, interest, learning profiles, and affect. </li></ul><ul><li>… use what we learn to modify content, process, product, and ensure the learning environment is maximized for each student. </li></ul>As teachers we should…
  8. 8. Metaphors to guide our thinking… <ul><li>Antoine de St. Exupery’s book “ The Little Prince ” is used to ground our ideas and extend our thinking about differentiation (responsive) teaching in the classroom. </li></ul>…
  9. 9. Taming the fox… <ul><li>The Little Prince is a young boy who represents our students, and in many ways all of us as learners, in search of answers. The Little Prince is in search of answers to what love means in the scope of his existence. On his journey he encounters wise and foolish characters. Along the way he also meets a fox and asks him to play with him. The fox responds that he cannot play because he is not tamed. The boy is busy and has many things to do and so many things to understand. The fox replies: “One only understands the things one tames” (pg. 83). </li></ul><ul><li>The Little Prince agrees to tame the fox. The fox explains that taming takes time, patience, and listening. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Two truths… <ul><li>The fox shares with his new friend two truths: </li></ul><ul><li>“ What is essential is invisible to the eye,” (p. 87) and </li></ul><ul><li>“ You become responsible forever for what you have tamed.” (p. 88) </li></ul>Ask yourself: How does this pertain to your role as an educator?
  11. 11. What a child wants to say… <ul><li>“ I can’t do that until you have tamed me. I can’t give myself to this place, to this work, to you until I believe in you. I can’t believe in you until I know you believe in me.” (Tomlinson, pg. 9) </li></ul>
  12. 12. The Cogs of Differentiation “ Clockwork” of three cogs – interrelated and interdependent <ul><li>Student Needs: </li></ul><ul><li>Student seeks : Challenge, affirmation, contribution, power, and purpose </li></ul><ul><li>2. Role of the Teacher </li></ul><ul><li>Teacher responds : Persistence, opportunity, reflection, invitation, and investment </li></ul><ul><li>3. Role of Curriculum and Instruction </li></ul><ul><li>Curriculum and Instruction are the vehicle : engaging, demanding, scaffolded, important, and focused. </li></ul>“ An effectively differentiated classroom is not simply one that seeks to balance the elements of student need, teacher response, and the role of curriculum and instruction. Rather, it is a classroom in which it is clear that unless the three elements remain carefully calibrated to work in concert, each element will inevitably be reduced to less than it ought to be” (Tomlinson, pg. 12)
  13. 13. <ul><li>Although all three cogs are interconnected, Tomlinson alludes to the most basic student need being affirmation , and references Abraham Maslow, who said that until a human’s basic needs were met, learning could not take place. </li></ul><ul><li>(Nieto, 2005) </li></ul>
  14. 14. <ul><li>In her book, Why We Teach , Sonia Neito states, </li></ul><ul><li>“ Numerous educational res earchers over the years have tackled the question of what it means to be a successful teacher of students of diverse backgrounds.” </li></ul><ul><li>Common characteristics describing highly qualified teachers: </li></ul>How do you effectively teach ALL students? * Connecting learning to student s’ lives *Having high expectations for students *Placing high value on students’ identities *Using active learning strategies *Staying committed to students *Thinking on their feet *Caring about, loving, respecting students
  15. 15. Ask yourself…How do Neito’s characteristics fit within Tomlinson’s Interrelated Cogs of Differentiation ?
  16. 16. Tomlinson states, “It’s really quite simple. Effective teaching is responsive teaching.” <ul><li>However, she admits that </li></ul><ul><li>teachers struggle with: </li></ul><ul><li>large class sizes </li></ul><ul><li>wide range of abilities </li></ul><ul><li>varied languages and cultures </li></ul><ul><li>Therefore… </li></ul><ul><li>It becomes very challenging to differentiate to each and all students in a classroom. </li></ul>
  17. 17. “ We have no images of how it should look and we’re not taught to teach that way.” <ul><li>Teachers are often discouraged from being flexible and developing the very habits necessary for differentiation. </li></ul><ul><li>Effective teachers are passionate about their profession and accept responsibility for “taming the fox.” </li></ul><ul><li>Pg. 90 </li></ul>
  18. 18. <ul><li>The amount of differentiation resources can be overwhelming. </li></ul><ul><li>No set plan that works for one teacher. </li></ul><ul><li>Tomlinson refers to our “quest” to become responsive teachers. Although her book provides extensive resources, “There is no magic set of instructional strategies that will solve our problems.” p. 91 </li></ul>Additional challenges…
  19. 19. <ul><li>Tomlinson states, “The more willing we are to take the risks, the better the lives of our students are likely to become, and the greater the fulfillment we are likely to feel at the end of the day.” </li></ul><ul><li> P. 91 </li></ul>Although the goal of a differentiated classroom can be overwhelming, we are left with a guarantee from the author…
  20. 20. <ul><li>As we visit the metaphor of the Little Prince and the Fox one final time, we are reminded that in the story, the Prince and the Fox are both teachers and learners, both givers and receivers. We are reminded that teachers never fully achieve mastery but “discover new depths of truth each day.” p.10 </li></ul>
  21. 21. CHECK IT OUT! <ul><li>Fulfilling the Promise of Differentiated Instruction can be used as a reference manual for educators. It provides: </li></ul><ul><li>-a clear definition of differentiation with an </li></ul><ul><li>emphasis on adjustment depending on the </li></ul><ul><li>students, teacher and the learning environment! </li></ul><ul><li>-real-world examples from current professionals </li></ul><ul><li>which allows for a connection between the theory of differentiation and how it can be put into practice </li></ul><ul><li>-a “Toolbox” of resources for quick and easy implementation that can be adapted to fit classroom and individual needs </li></ul><ul><li>- easy to read text with visuals which help to summarize and support the text </li></ul><ul><li>-INSPIRATION and MOTIVATION! </li></ul>
  22. 22. Strategies and Tools for Responsive Teaching The strategies, links, and examples on the following website are based upon: Fulfilling the Promise of the Differentiated Classroom Strategies and Tools for Responsive Teaching By Carol Ann Tomlinson
  23. 23. Do you want to learn more? The following ReadingRockets web cast present various effective strategies teachers can use to address the varying needs of students: (60 minutes long) Presenters: Carol Ann Tomlinson is a professor in the educational leadership, foundations and policy department at the University of Virginia. Her career as an educator includes 21 years as a public school teacher, with 12 years as a program administrator of special services for struggling and advanced learners. G. Michael Pressley is a professor of educational psychology and teacher education. In recent years, his most notable work has been documenting the nature of primary-grade classrooms where engagement and achievement are high. Louise Spear-Swerling is a professor of special education and the reading and area coordinator of the Graduate Program in learning disabilities at Southern Connecticut State University. (Readingrockets website)
  24. 24. References Adams, C., Dixon, F., & Pierce, R. (2007). Tiered Curriculum Project . Retrieved from Indiana Department of Education, Website: exceptional /gt/tiered_curriculum/ welcome.html (n.d.). Differentiating reading instruction: Teaching every child . Retrieved from Readingrockets Web site: (n.d.). Exemplars Jigsaw Student Rubric. Retrieved from Exemplars: Standard Based Assessment and Instruction Web site: media/pdf/rubrics/puzzle.pdf (n.d.). Exemplars Primary Science Rubric. Retrieved from Exemplars: Standard Based Assessment and Instruction Web site: media/pdf/rubrics/seed.pdf (n.d.). Graphic organizers . Retrieved from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: Education Place Web site: Kendall, J.D. (1999). The cite: Innovations in teaching .Retrieved from Wayne State College, Web site:
  25. 25. References continued… McCallum, C. (2006-2007). Differentiation . Retrieved from Derry Village School, Website: actoe.pdf Nieto, S. (2005). Why we teach . New York: Teachers College Press. Nunley, K.F. (2005). Sample layered curriculum units . Retrieved from , Layered Curriculum Web site: (n.d). Peer edit with perfection: Teaching effective peer editing strategies . Retrieved from International Reading Association:ReadWriteThink Website: write think .org/ lessons/lesson_view.asp?id=786 (2008-2009). Responsive teaching, best practices in differentiated instruction . Retrieved from Webster Groves School District Web site: /default.php?sectiondetailid=40845&fileitem=10633&catfilter=1925 Saint-Exupery, A.D. (2000). The little prince English translation). : Harcourt, Inc. (n.d.).
  26. 26. References continued… Saskatoon Public Schools (2004-2008). Instructional strategies online: What is raft? . Retrieved from Web site: strats/raft/index.html (n.d.) . Student interest survey . Retrieved from Southwest Allen County Schools Website: st_survey.doc (n.d.). Student learning needs survey . Retrieved from Special Education Web site: od/teacherchecklists /a/Learning-Survey.htm (n.d.). Think Tac Toe. Retrieved from Davenport Community Schools Web site: Tomlinson, C.A. (2003). Fulfilling the promise of the differentiated classroom: Strategies and tools for responsive teaching . Virginia: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.