3Defining Differentiated Instruction Differentiated instruction is an approach to teaching a diverse group of students that meets the unique needs of each learner within the groupThe rationale for differentiating instruction is that all students benefit from a variety of instructional methods and supports (Lawrence- Brown, 2004)
4Differentiating Instruction (Tomlinson, 1999) Differentiate Across…ContentProcessProductTo address…Readiness LevelInterestsLearning ProfileThis table shows a framework for differentiating instruction developed by Carol Ann Tomlinson. Each of the terms will be defined on the slide that follows.
5Definitions Content: What students are learning Process: How students are learningProduct: How students demonstrate what they learnedReadiness Level: The level of learning that is developmentally appropriate for the studentInterests: What the students likeLearning Profile: Understanding the different ways students learn best (learning styles)
6Differentiating Content There are a variety of ways to differentiate what students learn to address their readiness levels, interests, and learning profilesThe table on the next slide shows some examples
7Differentiating Content Readiness LevelInterestsLearning ProfileIdentifying the “Big Ideas”Embed the students’ special interests when learning new contentSelect content that students can learn visually if they difficulties with understanding oral presentationsEmbed instruction related to IEP goalsAllow students to make choices when learning content (choice boards, task cards with different options, cubes they can roll with different options)Integrate content across curriculum areas and the fine arts to access the students’ strengthsUse curriculum compactingAllow students to select topics of studyAlter the pacing of the delivery of contentProvide note-taking organizers, highlighted print materials, digests of key ideasProvide tiered lessonsSome of the examples provided in this table are described in the slides that follow.
8Identifying the “Big Ideas” Identifying the “big ideas” entails pinpointing what you want all the students to learn. You then provide opportunities for students to learn additional information based on their readiness levels.For example, if you are teaching a geometry lesson on area and perimeter in third grade, your “big ideas” may be:All students will measure the length of the sides of a rectangle/squareAll students will add up the sides of a rectangle/squareAll students will indicate that adding up the sides of a rectangle/square is called finding the perimeterIn this example some students may also:Identify the area of a rectangleMeasure items in the classroom to determine the area and perimeter of the itemsA few students may also learn to:Create a floor plan of their bedroom and figure out the area and perimeter of their roomFigure out how much carpet they will need to cover the floor in their room and determine how much it will cost based on a flyer with prices
9Embed Instruction Related to IEP Goals As often as possible, try to embed instruction related to the students’ IEP goals into instructional lessons and activities.For example, while the content for the class as a whole may be related to learning the phases of matter, a student with ASD may also be working on communication or social interaction skills during those lessons as well by:Handing out materials to groups of studentsAsking for materials from a peerSharing materials with othersAsking for help from a peer or teacherResponding to comments and questions from a peerResponding to comments and questions from the teacher
10Curriculum Compacting When compacting curriculum, you streamline the curriculum to allow students to move at a quicker pace and then have time to pursue an alternate topic or go into greater depth in an area of study.This is for students who may get bored engaging in lessons in which they already know the material.For example, if a student with ASD already knows all of the addition facts, but the majority of the class does not, you can provide a quick probe so the student can demonstrate mastery and then work with the student on learning how to add two digit numbers while the other students are working on basic facts.
11Tiered LessonsProviding tiered lessons means that you provide different activities for students to learn the designated content based on the readiness levels of your students.For example, if you are teaching the concept of discrimination you may have three tiers such as:Students engage in an activity or lesson in which they learn about the similarities and differences of different groups of people.Students engage in an activity in which they learn the meaning of discrimination and how it effects individuals.Students write a persuasive paper related to discrimination..
12Embed Students’ Special Interests When teaching academic content, it may be helpful to embed the students’ special interests into the learning activities when appropriate.For example, if a student is passionate about trains, you can use an analogy of the cars on a train to explain the concept that all stories have a beginning, middle, and end.
13Allow Topic SelectionWhen appropriate, allow students to select topics of study to demonstrate mastery of the content.For example, if the content goal is related to learning research skills, the students can select topics for research in which they have a strong interest.Another example is if the content goal entails learning how to collect data and graph, the students can select a topic for data collection based on interests.
14Note-taking Organizers Note-taking organizers (guided notes) provides the students with a document that is structured in a way that easily allows them to follow along with instruction and fill in important information throughout the lesson.This is a good strategy for students with ASD because it is a way to keep them actively engaged.For more information on guided notes visit: ventions/study/gnotes.php
15Differentiating Process There are a variety of ways to differentiate how students learn to address readiness levels, interests, and learning profilesThe table on the next slide provides some examples
16Differentiating Process Readiness LevelInterestsLearning ProfileProvide reading materials on different levels to provide access to contentAllow students to use learning materials they enjoy (computer, books, drawing materials, videos)Students can work with a peer or a group of peers to learn the content/problem-based learning/project based learningEnlarge text/read information aloud to students who cannot readGroup students based on similar interests for a topic of study to learn togetherProvide visual material (graphic organizers, pictures, print, videos)Use scaffolding to provide access to general education content (tap into what the students already know and help them “build bridges” to new content)Set up learning centers based on student interestsProvide auditory material (talking, singing, rhyming, music)Use a variety of resource materials at different cognitive levels (books, music, magazines, videos, websites, audio tapes)If a student does better attending to instruction while fidgeting with an object or hold a special item, allow itProvide opportunities for active engagement/hands-on learning experiences/allow movement/role play/literature circlesEliminate or explain abstract material as necessaryThe most important thing to consider when thinking about the process for learning is to provide opportunities for active engagement for students with ASD. Typically, students with ASD are not passive learners. If they are not actively engaged, they may revert to displaying stereotypic behaviors and/or other challenging behaviors.
17Differentiating Product There are a variety of ways to differentiate how students demonstrate what they have learned to address readiness levels, interests, and learning profilesThe table on the next slide provides some examples
18Differentiating Products Readiness LevelsInterestsLearning ProfileStudents can create logs/journals to demonstrate what they have learnedAllow students to demonstrate learning in a variety of formats (writing, talking, singing, drawing, creating models, acting)Give a timeline for when product assignments are dueUse a variety of options for answering questioning (open ended, yes/no, multiple choice, fill-in-the-blank, picture/card responses)Allow students to demonstrate learning with the use of computers and other technology if they have a strong interest in using themPut directions on audio tapes so students can re-visit the explanations as often as necessaryAllow oral presentation of learned content/Use of assistive technologyProvide samples/models of assignment expectationsProvide support needed in helping students locate appropriate resourcesProvide templates that guide students through each step of completing the assignmentProvide group/individualized rubrics so students understand expectations.Choral/group response opportunitiesThe next slide shows an example of a rubric that was individualized for a student with ASD for writing assignments.
19Writing Assignment Rubric 20 points eachPointsGenerates ideas independently during the prewriting phaseUses prewriting work to guide the writing of a rough draftExpresses ideas using at least 3-4 word combinations for each ideaUses at least 5 “sentences” (ideas) in the rough draftMaintains on-task behaviors during the writing activityTotal Points:While most of the typically developing students in the classroom will have a different rubric for writing based on grade level standards, the rubric for any type of assignment can be differentiated to meet the individual needs of students with ASD
20Websites Containing Information on Differentiating Instruction instruction.htmlnstruc.html
21SummaryIt is important to note that you can differentiate instruction for task completion within a single lesson or across a unit of instruction (McLesky & Waldron, 2000)Learning to differentiate instruction is a process. It is important to be reflective in your present abilities to differentiate and continually strive to enhance your capabilities to differentiate while not expecting too much of yourself at first.
22Module 5 ActivitySelect a lesson or a unit of study that you will be teaching to your whole class of students.Provide a plan for how you will differentiate across content, process, and product to address readiness levels, interests, and learning profiles.In addition, discuss how you will differentiate your content to embed IEP objectives for a student with ASD.The next slide provides a sample worksheet you can use, or you can create your own.
23Differentiating Instruction Plan Lesson/unit of study topic:________________________________________Readiness LevelInterestsLearning ProfileContentProcessProduct
24ReferencesLawrence-Brown, D. (2004). Differentiated instruction: Inclusive strategies for standards- based learning that benefit the whole class. American Secondary Education, 32, McLeskey, J., & Waldron, N. (2000). Inclusive schools in action: Making differences ordinary. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Tomlinson, C. (1999). The differentiated classroom: Responding to the needs of all learners. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development