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Meeting the Needs of all Learners

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Presentation on theme: "Meeting the Needs of all Learners"— Presentation transcript:

1 Meeting the Needs of all Learners
Dr. Elana Milstein

2 “Diversity has become the norm among the students in the classrooms of today” (Johnson, 1990)
Languages Families Cultural backgrounds Economics Experiential background Education is intended to promote the development of caring and responsible persons who are prepared to meet the challenges of a complex and changing world.

3 Student Diversity Aptitude Achievement Interest Motivation Needs
Ability To achieve this goal it is necessary to acknowledge that individual learners may have different levels of aptitude, achievement, interest, motivation, needs and ability.

4 Paradigm Shift in Education: Curriculum
Traditional Major focus on content Content acquisition Lock step progress Evolving Content & process balance Learning to learn Continuous progress Curriculum is viewed as something to be manipulated by the teacher.

5 Instruction Traditional Teacher-centered Single textbook
Single instructional approach Passive learning Evolving Child-centered Resource-based learning Multiple approaches to instruction Active learning Teacher is viewed as the facilitator of learning in the classroom.

6 Environment Traditional Competitive System level management
Supervision of learners Hierarchical structures Evolving Cooperative School-site management Empowerment of learners Professional/collegial structures

7 Students need to become …
Independent Active Self-organizing Responsible Empowered Students need to become independent, active, self-organizing individuals. Teaching should be viewed as a means to empower students!!

8 Brain Research Confirms what teachers have always known:
No two children are alike.  No two children learn in the identical way.  An enriched environment for one student is not necessarily enriched for another.  In the classroom we should teach children to think for themselves.  --Marian Diamond

9 Differentiation is a philosophy that enables teachers to plan
strategically in order to reach the needs of diverse learners in the classrooms.

10 Differentiation IS NOT Tracking A New Strategy Static
Teaching to the Middle Synonymous with Individualization

11 Assessment & Assignments Based on readiness and interests
Differentiate? What? Content & Materials Process & Strategies Assessment & Assignments Time Based on readiness and interests


13 Climate Effective teachers believe that all children can learn and be successful. Effective teachers create a climate where all students feel included. Effective teachers feel that there is potential in each learner and commit to finding the key that will unlock that potential.

14 Knowing the Learner We need to know the learner so that we can make sure that the curriculum fits. We need to know how students access, process, and express information- We need to know their learning styles. We need to know their thinking styles.

15 Assessing the Learner Just as one size of learning doesn’t fit all, one size of assessment doesn’t suit either. We need to pre-assess the learner so that we can find out what they already know. We need to assess during the learning- use ongoing assessments. We need to assess after the learning.

16 Adjustable Assignments
Allow teachers to help students focus on essential skills and understanding key concepts, recognizing that they may be at different levels of readiness. Students have the opportunity to develop essential skills and understanding at his or her appropriate level of challenge.


18 Instructional Strategies
Teachers who use a variety of instructional strategies add novelty, choice, and individuality to learning. As teachers build their repertoire of instructional strategies, they will see how they can adjust the learning for a group of learners and how different strategies appeal to different learners.

19 Curriculum Approaches
Curriculum can be delivered in many ways so that it will appeal to individual learners Centers or stations Projects Problem-based learning Inquiry Contracts

20 Adaptations in … Content Process Product

21 Content Multiple texts Varied time Contracts Compacting
Group investigation

22 Process Learning centers Multiple intelligences Graphic organizers
Simulations Learning logs

23 Product Independent study Community–based projects
Multiple intelligence-based orientations Presentations Arts Multimedia

24 “Teachers guide students down many paths to a common destination”
A New Direction “Teachers guide students down many paths to a common destination” Mary Anne Hess One final thought to leave the participants with, “Teachers guide students down many paths to a common destination.” That’s the vision of differentiated classrooms and today’s workshop gives you one idea to take back to your classroom. Have fun!

25 “If children can’t learn the way we teach, we should teach them the way they learn.”

26 “Differentiated instruction means shaking up what goes on in the classroom so that students have multiple options for taking in information, making sense of ideas, and expressing what they learn.” Carol Ann Tomlinson Another definition to clarify exactly what we mean when we say differentiated instruction.

27 Differentiated Classroom: What is it?
“Differentiated instruction is not a strategy to be used from time to time, not a bag of tricks approach. It’s a way of thinking about teaching and learning.” ~ Carol Ann Tomlinson~

28 It’s a way of thinking about teaching and learning.”
“Differentiated instruction is not a strategy to be used from time to time, not a bag of tricks approach. It’s a way of thinking about teaching and learning.” ~ Carol Ann Tomlinson~ For many teachers, uncertainty about how to manage a differentiated classroom grows into a fear that stops them from attempting to provide instruction based on their students’ varied interests and needs. Many teachers don’t appreciate how skilled they are at attending to multiple signals and juggling a variety of roles. It’s important to understand this thinking, to not get caught up in strategies. The strategies are only effective if our beliefs about teaching and learning are more like the vision you just created, that’s the beginning of differentiation Strategies are really only the buckets for delivering the “stuff” but it’s still the quality of the stuff that impacts student learning

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