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Understanding the World of Academically & Intellectually Gifted Watson School of Education AIG Mini-Conference Angela Housand, Ph.D.

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Presentation on theme: "Understanding the World of Academically & Intellectually Gifted Watson School of Education AIG Mini-Conference Angela Housand, Ph.D."— Presentation transcript:

1 Understanding the World of Academically & Intellectually Gifted Watson School of Education AIG Mini-Conference Angela Housand, Ph.D.

2 A Practical Guide to Differentiation

3 How do you differentiate?

4 They Are All So Different… Children come to us in a variety of shapes, sizes, intellectual abilities, creative abilities, inter/intra personal skills, and a myriad more characteristics that makes each child we deal with unique and special. Carol Ann Tomlinson

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6 Diversity in students can include: / Ability (aptitude) differences / Achievement differences / Academic background differenceslower achievement can be due to poor preparation and limited exposure / Cultural differencessecond language acquisition, interaction style differences / Differences in affect (enthusiasm level and personality) and effort (effort vs. ability issues) / Differences in styles of learning style (visual, auditory, concrete, abstract, hands-on, written) / Differences in interests / Differences in preferences for products and processes / Differences in self-regulation and study skills Sally Reis / Ability (aptitude) differences / Achievement differences / Academic background differenceslower achievement can be due to poor preparation and limited exposure / Cultural differencessecond language acquisition, interaction style differences / Differences in affect (enthusiasm level and personality) and effort (effort vs. ability issues) / Differences in styles of learning style (visual, auditory, concrete, abstract, hands-on, written) / Differences in interests / Differences in preferences for products and processes / Differences in self-regulation and study skills Sally Reis

7 The success of education depends on adapting teaching to individual differences among learners. Yuezheng, in 4th century B. C. Chinese treatise, Xue Ji

8 Why Arent Some Students Challenged?

9 Classroom Practices Study Teachers reported that they never had any training in meeting the needs of gifted students. 61% public school teachers 54% private school teachers Teachers reported that they never had any training in meeting the needs of gifted students. 61% public school teachers 54% private school teachers Archambault, F. X., Jr., Westberg, K. L., Brown, S. W., Hallmark, B. W., Emmons, C. L., & Zhang, W. (1993). Regular classroom practices with gifted students: Results of a national survey of classroom teachers (Research Monograph 93102). Storrs, CT: The National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented, University of Connecticut.

10 Classroom Practices Observational Study Students experienced no instructional or curricular differentiation in 84% of the activities in which they participated: ReadingLanguage Arts MathematicsSocial Studies Science Students experienced no instructional or curricular differentiation in 84% of the activities in which they participated: ReadingLanguage Arts MathematicsSocial Studies Science Westberg, K. L., Archambault, F. X., Jr., Dobyns, S. M., & Salvin, T. J. (1993). An observational study of instructional and curricular practices used with gifted and talented students in regular classroom (Research Monograph 93104). Storrs, CT: The National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented, University of Connecticut.

11 Types of Differentiation in Which Target Gifted Students Were Involved No Differentiation Advanced Content Advanced Process Advanced Product Indep. Study w/ Assigned Topic Indep. Study w/ Self-selected Topic Other Differentiation

12 The Five Dimensions of Differentiation Yourself Content (Knowledge) Process (Pedagogy) Classroom Organization and Management Products (Expression Styles)

13 What is differentiated instruction? Its teaching with student variance in mind. Its starting where the kids are rather than with a standardized approach to teaching that assumes all kids of a given age or grade are essentially alike. Its responsive teaching rather than one-size fits-all teaching.

14 W ays to Differentiate Content Varied Texts Accelerated Coverage of Material Varied Supplementary Materials Independent Projects Tiered Lessons Interest Development Centers Compacting

15 Approximately 40-50% of traditional classroom material could be eliminated for targeted students. Reis, S. M., Westberg, K.L., Kulikowich, J., Caillard, F., Hébert, T., Plucker, J., Purcell, J.H., Rogers, J.B., & Smist, J.M. (1993). Why not let high ability students start school in January? The curriculum compacting study (Research Monograph 93106). Storrs, CT: The National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented, University of Connecticut.

16 Compacting Assesses what a student knows and what content is not yet mastered Content not yet mastered becomes part of learning goals Previously mastered content is not required thereby freeing up time for enriched, accelerated, or interest driven activities Renzulli & Reis (1997) Tomlinson (1995)

17 When teachers eliminated as much as 50% of the curriculum, no differences were found between treatment and control groups in most content areas. In fact, students whose curriculum was compacted scored higher than control group students in some areas. Reis, S. M., Westberg, K.L., Kulikowich, J., Caillard, F., Hébert, T., Plucker, J., Purcell, J.H., Rogers, J.B., & Smist, J.M. (1993). Why not let high ability students start school in January? The curriculum compacting study (Research Monograph 93106). Storrs, CT: The National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented, University of Connecticut.

18 What is Curriculum Compacting? Modifying or streamlining the regular curriculum Eliminating the repetition of previously mastered material Upgrading the challenge level of the regular curriculum

19 Family Circus

20 When once the child has learned that four and two are six, a thousand repetitions will give him no new information, and it is a waste of time to keep him employed in that manner. J.M. Greenwood Principles of Education Practically Applied, 1888 When once the child has learned that four and two are six, a thousand repetitions will give him no new information, and it is a waste of time to keep him employed in that manner. J.M. Greenwood Principles of Education Practically Applied, 1888

21 Student Behaviors Suggesting that Compacting May Be Necessary

22 Finishes tasks quickly Completes homework in class Appears bored during instruction time Brings in outside reading material Creates puzzles, games, or diversions in class

23 Tests scores consistently excellent Asks questions that indicate advanced familiarity with material Sought after by others for assistance Daydreams

24 For Students, Compacting Eliminates boredom resulting from unnecessary drill and practice. Provides challenge leading to continuous growth.

25 How to Compact Step One: Identify the objectives in a given unit and pre-test students to ascertain mastery level.

26 How to Compact Step Two: Eliminate or Streamline instruction for students who demonstrate mastery.

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28 How to Compact Step Three: Keep records of the process and instructional options available to compacted students.

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30 Inconceivable Should every student have an Individualized Education Plan?

31 W ays to Differentiate Content Varied Texts Accelerated Coverage of Material Varied Supplementary Materials Independent Projects Tiered Lessons Interest Development Centers Compacting

32 Tiered Lessons Varied level of activities Designed to ensure that students explore ideas at a level that builds on prior knowledge Prompts continued growth

33 Why use tiered instruction? Maximizes the likelihood that Each student comes away with key skills and understandings. Each student is appropriately challenged. Each student avoids work that is anxiety- producing (too hard) or boredom-producing (too easy)

34 Developing Tiered Instruction Think about the students who will be using the activity Readiness Interests Learning Profile Create one activity that is interesting, requires high-level thinking and is clearly focused on the key concept, skill or generalization.

35 Developing the Tiers Create an activity or use a successful activity from the past The activity should: –Be interesting –Engender high level thinking and problem solving –Cause students to utilize target skills to understand key ideas or concepts

36 Chart the complexity of the activity –Is it high skill complexity or low skill complexity? –Who will be challenged by this activity: Advanced students? On grade-level students? Struggling learners? Developing the Tiers

37 Based on where the activity falls on the ladder, you can define who needs more or less challenging versions of the same assignment Clone the activity along the ladder How many versions will you need? Developing the Tiers

38 All Tiers Should build understanding challenge students be interesting and engaging be respectful

39 Group sizes may vary The number of groups per tier will vary The number of students per group will vary For Example: Tier One: Two groups of three Tier Two: Five groups of four Tier Three: One group of two

40 What can be tiered? Assignments Activities Homework Learning Centers Experiments Materials Assessments Writing Prompts

41 Use two dice. One person at a time, roll the dice. Add or multiply totals. The goal is to reach but not exceed 36. Sample Tiered Math Game

42 x 2 = 3 = 2 First cast of the dice 3

43 x 4 = 7 = Second cast of the dice

44 x 1 = 6 = Third cast of the dice

45 x 6 = 9 = Fourth cast of the dice

46 Modifications for Advanced Students Play to 100 Disallow paper for calculations or remembering numbers Use powers Use subtraction Allow negative numbers What about fractions?

47 = 3 x 3 x 3 x 3 = 81 = 4 x 4 x 4 = Tiered Lesson: Using Powers Option

48 2+ 6 = 8 2 x 6 = = = = = 4 Tiered Lesson: Exploring Options

49 What about Using a multi-sided die Or two?

50 We could really shake things up Try three dice and use the distributive law! (3 x 18) = = 66 ( ) x 3 = 30 x 3 = 90 Did you get closer to 100?

51 A Quick Differentiation QUIZ Did every student do it? NO Should every student do it? NO Could every student do it? NO Would every student want to do it? NO Did the student do it willingly and zestfully? YES Did the student use authentic resources and methodology? YES Was it done for an audience other than (or in addition to) the teacher? YES

52 Avoid the Management Nightmare

53 The Learning Environment The physical classroom (3 basic settings): Whole class meeting Independent stations Teacher-directed small group work

54 The Learning Environment The working environment Provide opportunities for self-directed exploration of materials Establish guidelines for cooperative groups Make groups inclusive Ask students to reflect on their performance Intervene when necessary Establish a classroom conducive to student risk-taking

55 Learning Contracts An agreement between teacher and student An opportunity for a student to work somewhat independently Increases student responsibility for their own learning Provides some freedom for the student in acquiring skills and understandings

56 Learning Contracts Include: A skills component A content component A time line Specification of expectations Behavior Criteria for successful completion and quality Signatures of agreement to terms (Student and Teacher) ACSD (1997) Tomlinson (1995)

57 Consequences: Learning contracts set positive consequences Example: continued freedom They also set negative consequences Example: teacher sets work parameters

58 Flexible Grouping Employs several organizational patterns for instruction Students are grouped and regrouped according to: Specific goals Activities Individual needs Interests Desired outcomes (products)

59 Grouping Options Teacher-Led Groups Whole class Small group Individual Student-Led Groups Collaborative Performance-based Dyad (Pairs)

60 More Grouping Options Within Class Grouping Ability Interest Question-Based Readiness Learning Style Beyond Class Grouping Across-Class Multi-Age Team Regrouping Renzulli & Reis (1997) Tomlinson (1995)

61 Ways to Differentiate Content in Groups Varied Texts Varied Supplementary Materials Varied Graphic Organizers Independent Study Tiered Questions/Assignments Interest Development Centers

62 Anchor Activities Self-paced, purposeful, content- driven activities that students can work on independently Can be done over the course of a unit, grading period, or longer Activities that are meaningful, ongoing, and appropriate to students learning needs

63 The Question of Equity Equity, the quality of being fair, is not about offering the exact same thing to every student, it is providing individuals with suitable challenges and experiences that will enable them to be successful and grow beyond where they are now or where they have been before.

64 Questions?

65 References and Resources Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (Producer). (1997). Differentiating instruction: Instructional and Management Strategies [Motion picture]. (Available from the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 1250 N. Pitt Street, Alexandria, VA, ) Fogarty, E. (2005). Differentiation as the key to successful grouping. Presented at Confratute, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut. Renzulli, J. S. & Reis, S. M. (1997). The schoolwide enrichment model. Connecticut: Creative Learning Press. Strictland, C. A. (2005). Differentiation of Instruction. Presented at Newark, Delaware Public Schools. Tomlinson, C. A. (1995). The differentiated classroom. Virginia: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.


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