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Differentiating Instruction: Beginning the Journey

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1 Differentiating Instruction: Beginning the Journey
"In the end, all learners need your energy, your heart and your mind. They have that in common because they are young humans. How they need you however, differs. Unless we understand and respond to those differences, we fail many learners." * * Tomlinson, C.A. (2001). How to differentiate instruction in mixed ability classrooms (2nd Ed.). Alexandria, VA: ASCD. Nanci Smith Educational Consultant Curriculum and Professional Development Cave Creek, AZ

2 Differentiated Instruction Defined
“Differentiated instruction is a teaching philosophy based on the premise that teachers should adapt instruction to student differences. Rather than marching students through the curriculum lockstep, teachers should modify their instruction to meet students’ varying readiness levels, learning preferences, and interests. Therefore, the teacher proactively plans a variety of ways to ‘get at’ and express learning.” Carol Ann Tomlinson

3 Key Principles of a Differentiated Classroom
The teacher is clear about what matters in subject matter. The teacher understands, appreciates, and builds upon student differences. Assessment and instruction are inseparable. The teacher adjusts content, process, and product in response to student readiness, interests, and learning profile. All students participate in respectful work. Students and teachers are collaborators in learning. Goals of a differentiated classroom are maximum growth and individual success. Flexibility is the hallmark of a differentiated classroom. Source: Tomlinson, C. (2000). Differentiating Instruction for Academic Diversity. San Antonio, TX: ASCD

4 Assessment in a Differentiated Classroom
Assessment drives instruction. (Assessment information helps the teacher map next steps for varied learners and the class as a whole.) Assessment occurs consistently as the unit begins, throughout the unit and as the unit ends. (Preassessment, formative and summative assessment are regular parts of the teaching/learning cycle.) Teachers assess student readiness, interest and learning profile. Assessments are part of “teaching for success.” Assessment information helps students chart and contribute to their own growth. Assessment MAY be differentiated. Assessment information is more useful to the teacher than grades. Assessment is more focused on personal growth than on peer competition.

5 Two Views of Assessment --
Assessment is for: Gatekeeping Judging Right Answers Control Comparison to others Use with single activities Assessment is for: Nurturing Guiding Self-Reflection Information Comparison to task Use over multiple activities

6 Teacher and whole class begin exploration of a topic or concept
FLEXIBLE GROUPING Students are part of many different groups – and also work alone – based on the match of the task to student readiness, interest, or learning style. Teachers may create skills-based or interest-based groups that are heterogeneous or homogeneous in readiness level. Sometimes students select work groups, and sometimes teachers select them. Sometimes student group assignments are purposeful and sometimes random. 1 3 5 7 9 Teacher and whole class begin exploration of a topic or concept Students and teacher come together to share information and pose questions The whole class reviews key ideas and extends their study through sharing The whole class is introduced to a skill needed later to make a presentation The whole class listens to individual study plans and establishes baseline criteria for success Students engage in further study using varied materials based on readiness and learning style Students work on varied assigned tasks designed to help them make sense of key ideas at varied levels of complexity and varied pacing In small groups selected by students, they apply key principles to solve teacher-generated problems related to their study Students self-select interest areas through which they will apply and extend their understandings 2 4 6 8 A differentiated classroom is marked by a repeated rhythm of whole-class preparation, review, and sharing, followed by opportunity for individual or small-group exploration, sense-making, extension, and production

7 Differentiation of Instruction
Is a teacher’s response to learner’s needs guided by general principles of differentiation Respectful tasks Flexible grouping Continual assessment Teachers Can Differentiate Through: Content Process Product According to Students’ Readiness Interest Learning Profile

8 Interest – Readiness – Learning Profile
CONTENT PROCESS PRODUCT ASSESSMENT Pre - Post - Ongoing for Interest – Readiness – Learning Profile by Self – Peers - Teachers

9 Flexible Grouping Students are part of many different groups (and also work alone) based on the match of the task to student readiness, interest, or learning style. Teachers may create skills – based or interest – based groups that are heterogeneous or homogeneous in readiness level. Sometimes students select work groups, and sometimes teachers select them. Sometimes student group assignments are purposeful and sometimes random.

10 A Differentiated Classroom in Balance
Teacher-Student Partnerships F L E X I B Solid Curriculum Shared Vision Shared goals Inviting Shared responsibility Focused Concept- based A Growth Orientation Product Oriented Sense Of Community Resource On-going assessment to determine need Feedback and grading Time Groups Respect For Group ZPD Target Approaches to teaching and learning Safe Respect for individual Affirming Shared Challenge Tomlinson-oo

11 How Does Research Support DI?
Differentiated Instruction is the result of a synthesis of a number of educational theories and practices. Brain research indicates that learning occurs when the learner experiences moderate challenge and relaxed alertness –readiness Psychological research reveals that when interest is tapped, learners are more likely to find learning rewarding and become more autonomous as a learner. when the learner experiences neither boredom or anxiety and when the learner is neither over- nor underchallenged.

12 Checklist for Brain Based Classrooms
Brain organization and Building safe environments: Do students feel safe to risk and experiment with ideas? Do students feel included in the class and supported by others? Are tasks challenging enough without “undo distress?” Is there an emotional “hook” for the learners? Are there novel, unique and engaging activities to capture and sustain attention?

13 Checklist for Brain Based Classrooms
Recognizing and honoring diversity: Does the learning experience appeal to the learners’ varied multiple intelligences and learning styles? May the students work collaboratively and independently? May they “show what they know” in a variety of ways? Does the cultural background of the learners influence instruction?

14 Checklist for Brain Based Classrooms
Assessment: Is there enough time to explore, understand and transfer the learning to long term memory (grow dendrites)? Is there time to accomplish mastery? So they have opportunities for ongoing, “just in time” feedback? Do they have time to revisit ideas and concepts to connect or extend them? Is metacognitive time built into the learning process? Do students use logs and journals for reflection and goal setting?

15 Checklist for Brain Based Classrooms
Instructional Strategies: Are the expectations clearly stated and understood by the learner? Will the learning be relevant and useful to the learner? Does the learning build on past experience or create a new experience? Does the learning relate to their real world? Is it developmentally appropriate and hands on? Are the strategies varied to engage and sustain attention? Are there opportunities for projects, creativity, problems and challenges?

16 Checklist for Brain Based Classrooms
New Models: Do students work alone, in pairs and in small groups? Do students work in learning centers based on interest, need or choice? Are some activities tiered to provide appropriate levels of challenge? Is compacting used to provide enrichment and challenge? Is integrated curriculum, problem based and service learning considered? Are contracts negotiated to provide appropriate learning activities for students?

17 Best Practices for Standards-based Instruction
Best Practice, New Standards for Teaching and Learning in America’s Schools Zemelman, S., Daniels, H. & Hyde, A. (1998). Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann

18 Best Practices for Standards-based Instruction
Within these recommendations, growth does not necessarily mean moving from one practice to another, discarding a previous instructional approach and replacing it forever. Instead, teachers add new, effective alternatives to a widening repertoire of choices, allowing them to alternate among a richer array of activities, creating a richer and more complex balance of instruction.

19 Best Practices for Standards-based Instruction
Physical Facilities From: Set-up for teacher-centered instruction (separate desks) Rows of desks Bare, unadorned space Textbooks and handouts To: Set-up for student-centered instruction (tables or groupings) Clusters, centers, etc. Student work, friendly Purposeful materials

20 Best Practices for Standards-based Instruction
Classroom Climate / Management From: Punishment and rewards Teacher-created and enforced rules Passive learning Solely ability grouping Rigid schedule To: Engagement and community Students help set and enforce norms Purposeful engagement Flexible grouping Flexible time based on activity

21 Best Practices for Standards-based Instruction
Student Voice and Involvement Balanced with teacher-chosen and teacher-directed activities: Students often select inquiry topics, books, writing topics, etc. Students maintain their own records, set goals, and self-assess Some themes / inquiries are built from students’ own questions Students assume responsibility and take roles in decision making

22 Best Practices for Standards-based Instruction
Activities and Assignments From: Teacher presentation Whole-class instruction Uniform curriculum Short-term lessons Memorization and recall Short responses, fill-in-the-blank Same assignments To: Students experiencing concepts Centers, groups, variety Topics by students’ needs or choice Extended activities Application and problem solving Complex responses, evaluations and writing Multiple intelligences, cognitive styles

23 Best Practices for Standards-based Instruction
Language and Communication From: Forced constant silence Short responses Teacher talk Focus on facts To: Noise, conversation alternates with quiet Elaborated discussions Student-teacher, student-student Skills, concepts, synthesis, evaluation

24 Best Practices for Standards-based Instruction
Student Work and Assessment From: Products for teacher / grading No student work displayed Identical, imitative products Feedback = scores or grades Seen / scored only by teacher Teacher grade book Standards set during grading To: Products for real events / audience High quality / all students Varied and original products Substantive, varied, formative feedback Public displays and performances Student-maintained portfolios, assessments Standards co-developed with students

25 Best Practices for Standards-based Instruction
Teacher Attitude and Initiative Toward Students: From Distant, negative, fearful or punitive To Positive, respectful, encouraging and warm From Blaming students to Reasoning with Students From Directive to Consultative

26 Best Practices for Standards-based Instruction
Teacher Attitude and Initiative Toward Self: From Helpless victim To Risk taker, experimenter, creative agent From Solitary adult To Member of team within school and network beyond school From Staff development recipient To Directing own professional growth From Role of expert or presenter To Coach, mentor, model and guide

27 Have you ever said … ’I just don’t know what to do with that kid’
Have you ever said … ’I just don’t know what to do with that kid’? (Remember, don’t overgeneralize. There’s great diversity in all groups!!!) Persistent Underachievement Help the student accept control over his/her decisions and life. Be clear and specific about tasks and requirements. Use appropriate consequences for work done/not done. Break tasks into small segments. Check in with the student often. Be firm but warm. Don’t tell him/her you know he/she can do the work. Coordinate approaches with a counselor and parents when possible. All Learners in Academically Diverse Classrooms Help students understand that everyone has strengths and weaknesses. Celebrate and understand student learning differences. Help students learn the power of controlling what they can in their lives. Help them understand our shared needs for success, to belong, to trust, the future, etc. Help them see that each person is irreplaceable – uniqueness is a plus. Help students learn to set their own goals and chart their progress. Teach in varied readiness levels, interest and ways of learning;

28 Students with Learning Disabilities Students with Retardation or
(Remember, don’t overgeneralize. There’s great diversity in all groups!!!) Students with Learning Disabilities Emphasize strengths. Develop ways to compensate for weaknesses so they don’t inhibit what the student can do. Help the student distinguish between and explain both strengths and weaknesses, as well as plans for both. Shoot high and then scaffold the weakness. Be clear about what the student should know, understand, and be able to do – but offer options for explanation, expression and assessment. Students with Retardation or Similar Struggles Focus on essential concepts and principles as a context for applying IEP skills. Use IEP goals in ways that integrate students with their peers rather than isolating them. Whenever possible, teach for meaning rather than rote – uild frameworks of meaning. Spotlight the student’s legitimate successes and contributions. Use small groups for teaching needed skills, re-teaching by need.

29 Students with Behavior Problems
(Remember, don’t overgeneralize. There’s great diversity in all groups!!!) Advanced Learners Emphasize quality of thought and expression vs. accuracy. Balance student choice and teacher choice tasks to allow independence but still ensure encounters with rigor. Help the student learn to compete against him/herself. Necessitate and commend intellectual risk and perseverance. When “raising the ceiling,” support the climb! Teach for success. Be flexible. Invite student imput. Use small groups to extend thought and skills levels. Students with Behavior Problems Coordinate efforts and strategies with specialists. Help the student articulate difficult areas and learn to look for signs of them. Be sure the student has an easy “way out” of tough spots. Provide “safe” spaces to be alone / work alone. Acknowledge successes. Allow choices when feasible. Be flexible about movement.

30 Second Language Learners Culturally Diverse Learners
(Remember, don’t overgeneralize. There’s great diversity in all groups!!!) Second Language Learners Link classroom & ESL resource work. Ensure that the student has useful tasks at all times andis accountable for them (listening/reading with tapes, writing, translating, vocabulary practice). Don’t let the student sit idle and isolated. Use students who can bridge the two languages. Plam specific ways each day to involve the student in coversation & contribution. Chart growth vs. only comparison Use small groups for teaching next-step skills. Culturally Diverse Learners Help build peer-support systems. Be sure you offer varied working arrangements and modes of expression. Invest time in the student in ways that communicate your berlief in his/her success. Help the student develop “school skills” that may be weak. Teach from whole to part. Be clear about expectations and that students both understand and know how to achieve them. Don’t let work slide. Emphasize contextualized learning.

STUDENT DATA SOURCES Journal entry Short answer test Open response test Home learning Notebook Oral response Portfolio entry Exhibition Culminating product Question writing Problem solving TEACHER DATA MECHANISMS Anecdotal records Observation by checklist Skills checklist Class discussion Small group interaction Teacher – student conference Assessment stations Exit cards Problem posing Performance tasks and rubrics

32 Learner Profile Card Gender Stripe Auditory, Visual, Kinesthetic
Modality Analytical, Creative, Practical Sternberg Student’s Interests Multiple Intelligence Preference Gardner Array Inventory

33 Curriculum & Instruction Some Traits of Quality Differentiation
Promotes understanding Engaging (mentally and affectively) Focuses on Knowledge, concepts, understandings, & skills valued by experts in a discipline Rich, deals with profound ideas Tightly focused goals & components Joyful / satisfying Coherent (sensible to the learner, organized to promote retention & use) Seems real (is real) to the student Helps learner feel more powerful & purposeful in his/her world Requires high level thinking Fresh, surprising, curiosity-provoking, interesting Provides choices Clear in expectations Allows meaningful collaboration Focused on products meaningful to students & others Connects with students’ lives & world Calls on students to use what they learn in interesting & important ways. Involves students in setting goals for their learning & assessing progress toward those goals Stretches the student Rooted in student need an extension of high quality curriculum Derived from on-going assessment Respectful of each learner Builds community Involves students as decision –makers Demonstrates teacher-students partnerships in teaching & learning Growth focused Scaffolds growth for each learner Supports successful collaboration Stretches each learner Promotes & rewards individual excellence Addresses readiness, interest, & learning profile Attends effectively to gender & culture Spans content, process, & product Effective & varied use of instructional approaches Teaches students to take responsibility for own learning Flexible use of time, space, materials, groupings Maximizes opportunity to “show what you know” Balances student & teacher choice Planned (proactive) plus tailoring Occurs when either teacher or student is on center stage Includes whole class, small group, & individual instruction Supports success for each learner & the class as a whole Builds collaborations with parents Tomlinson/UVa/2000

34 Planning a Focused Curriculum
Means Clarity About What Students Should: Know Facts (Columbus cam to the “New World” Vocabulary (voyage, scurvy) Concepts (exploration, change) Principles/Generalizations (Change can be both positive and negative. Exploration results in change. People’s perspectives affect how they respond to change). Skills Basic (literacy, numeracy) Thinking (analysis, evidence of reasoning, questioning) Of the Discipline (graphing/math/social studies) Planning (goal setting; use of time) Social Production Understand Be Able to Do As a Result of a Lesson, Lesson Sequence, Unit, and year In general, these are held steady as a core for nearly all learners in a differentiated classroom* *Exception--linear skills and information which can be assessed for mastery in the sequence (e.g. spelling)

35 Know These are the facts, vocabulary, dates, places, names, and examples you want students to give you. The know is massively forgettable. “Teaching facts in isolation is like trying to pump water uphill.” Carol Tomlinson

36 Understand Major Concepts and Subconcepts
These are the written statements of truth, the core to the meaning(s) of the lesson(s) or unit. These are what connect the parts of a subject to the student’s life and to other subjects. It is through the understanding component of instruction that we teach our students to truly grasp the “point” of the lesson or the experience. Understandings are purposeful. They focus on the key ideas that require students to understand information and make connections while evaluating the relationships that exit within the understandings.

37 A Student who UNDERSTANDS Something can…
Explain it clearly, giving examples Use it Compare and contrast it with other concepts Relate it to other instances in the subject studies, other subjects and personal life experiences Transfer it to unfamiliar settings Discover the concept embedded within a novel problem Combine it appropriately with other understandings Pose new problems that exemplify or embody the concept Create analogies, models, metaphors, symbols, or pictures of the concept Pose and answer “what-if” questions that alter variables in a problematic situation Generate questions and hypotheses that lead to new knowledge and further inquiries Generalize from specifics to form a concept Use the knowledge to appropriately assess his or her performance, or that of someone else. Adopted from Barell, J. (1995) Teaching for thoughtfulness: Classroom Strategies

38 Able to Do Skills These are the basic skills of any discipline. They include the thinking skills such as analyzing, evaluating, and synthesizing. These are the skills of planning, the skills of being an independent learner, the skills of setting and following criteria, the skills of using the tools of knowledge such as adding, dividing, understanding multiple perspectives, following a timeline, calculating latitude, or following the scientific method. The skill portion encourages the students to “think” like the professionals who use the knowledge and skill daily as a matter of how they do business. This is what it means to “be like” a doctor, a scientist, a writer or an artist.

39 to Differentiate Content
Ways to Differentiate Content Reading Partners / Reading Buddies Read/Summarize Read/Question/Answer Visual Organizer/Summarizer Parallel Reading with Teacher Prompt Choral Reading/Antiphonal Reading Flip Books Split Journals (Double Entry – Triple Entry) Books on Tape Highlights on Tape Digests/ “Cliff Notes” Notetaking Organizers Varied Texts Varied Supplementary Materials Highlighted Texts Think-Pair-Share/Preview-Midview-Postview Tomlinson – ‘00

WAYS TO DIFFERENTIATE PROCESS Fun & Games RAFTs Cubing, Think Dots Choices (Intelligences) Centers Tiered lessons Contracts

The following findings related to instructional strategies are supported by the existing research: Techniques and instructional strategies have nearly as much influence on student learning as student aptitude. Lecturing, a common teaching strategy, is an effort to quickly cover the material: however, it often overloads and over-whelms students with data, making it likely that they will confuse the facts presented Hands-on learning, especially in science, has a positive effect on student achievement. Teachers who use hands-on learning strategies have students who out-perform their peers on the National Assessment of Educational progress (NAEP) in the areas of science and mathematics. Despite the research supporting hands-on activity, it is a fairly uncommon instructional approach. Students have higher achievement rates when the focus of instruction is on meaningful conceptualization, especially when it emphasizes their own knowledge of the world.

42 RAFT RAFT is an acronym that stands for
Role of the student. What is the student’s role: reporter, observer, eyewitness, object? Audience. Who will be addressed by this raft: the teacher, other students, a parent, people in the community, an editor, another object? Format. What is the best way to present this information: in a letter, an article, a report, a poem, a monologue, a picture, a song? Topic. Who or what is the subject of this writing: a famous mathematician, a prehistoric cave dweller, a reaction to a specific event?

43 RAFT Activities Role Audience Format Topic Semicolon Middle Schoolers
Diary entry I Wish You Really Understood Where I Belong N.Y.Times public Op Ed piece How our Language Defines Who We Are Huck Finn Tom Sawyer Note hidden in a tree knot A Few Things You Should Know Rain Drop Future Droplets Advice Column The Beauty of Cycles Lung Owner Owner’s Guide To Maximize Product Life Rain Forest John Q. Citizen Paste Up “Ransom” Note Before It’s Too Late Reporter Public Obituary Hitler is Dead Martin Luther King TV audience of 2010 Speech The Dream Revisited Thomas Jefferson Current Residents of Virginia Full page Newspaper Ad If I Could Talk to You Now Fractions Whole Numbers Petition To Be Considered A Part of the Family A word problem Students in your class Set of Directions How to Get to Know Me Language Arts & Literature Science History Math Format based on the work of Doug Buehl cited in Teaching Reading in the Content Areas: If Not Me Then Who? Billmeyer and Martin, 1998

44 Developing a Tiered Activity
1 2 Select the activity organizer concept generalization Think about your students/use assessments readiness range interests learning profile talents Essential to building a framework of understanding skills reading thinking information 3 Create an activity that is interesting high level causes students to use key skill(s) to understand a key idea 4 Chart the complexity of the activity High skill/ Complexity Low skill/ complexity 5 Clone the activity along the ladder as needed to ensure challenge and success for your students, in materials – basic to advanced form of expression – from familiar to unfamiliar from personal experience to removed from personal experience equalizer 6 Match task to student based on student profile and task requirements

45 The Equalizer Foundational Transformational Concrete Abstract
3. Simple Complex 4. Single Facet Multiple Facets 5. Small Leap Great Leap 6. More Structured More Open 7. Less Independence Greater Independence 8. Slow Quick Information, Ideas, Materials, Applications Representations, Ideas, Applications, Materials Resources, Research, Issues, Problems, Skills, Goals Directions, Problems, Application, Solutions, Approaches, Disciplinary Connections Application, Insight, Transfer Solutions, Decisions, Approaches Planning, Designing, Monitoring Pace of Study, Pace of Thought

46 Designing a Differentiated Learning Contract
A Learning Contract has the following components A Skills Component Focus is on skills-based tasks Assignments are based on pre-assessment of students’ readiness Students work at their own level and pace A content component Focus is on applying, extending, or enriching key content (ideas, understandings) Requires sense making and production Assignment is based on readiness or interest A Time Line Teacher sets completion date and check-in requirements Students select order of work (except for required meetings and homework) 4. The Agreement The teacher agrees to let students have freedom to plan their time Students agree to use the time responsibly Guidelines for working are spelled out Consequences for ineffective use of freedom are delineated Signatures of the teacher, student and parent (if appropriate) are placed on the agreement Differentiating Instruction: Facilitator’s Guide, ASCD, 1997

47 to Differentiate Product
Ways to Differentiate Product Choices based on readiness, interest, and learning profile Clear expectations Timelines Agreements Product Guides Rubrics Evaluation

48 Creating a Powerful Product Assignment
Identify the essentials of the unit/study What students must: Know (facts) Understand (concepts, generalizations) Be able to do (skills) As a result of the unit/study Identify one of more format or “packaging options” for the product: Required (e.g. poetry, an experiment, graphing, charting) Hook Exploratory Talent/passion driven Determine expectations for quality in: Content (information, ideas, concepts, research materials) Process (planning, goal-setting, defense of viewpoint, research, editing) Product (size, construction, durability, expert-level expectations, part

49 Develop a product assignment that clearly says to the student:
Creating a Powerful Product Assignment, cont’d Decide on scaffolding you may need to build in order to promote success: Brainstorming for ideas Developing rubrics/criteria for success Timelines Planning/goal-setting Storyboarding Critiquing Revising-editing Develop a product assignment that clearly says to the student: You should show you understand and can do these things Proceeding through these steps/stages In this format At this level of quality Differentiate or modify versions of the assignments based on: Student readiness Student interest Students learning profile Coach for success! It is your job, as teacher, to make explicit That which you thought was implicit

50 Possible Products Map Diagram Sculpture Discussion Demonstration Poem
Profile Chart Play Dance Campaign Cassette Quiz Show Banner Brochure Debate Flow Chart Puppet Show Tour Lecture Editorial Painting Costume Placement Blueprint Catalogue Dialogue Newspaper Scrapbook Questionnaire Flag Graph Debate Museum Learning Center Advertisement Book List Calendar Coloring Book Game Research Project TV Show Song Dictionary Film Collection Trial Machine Book Mural Award Recipe Test Puzzle Model Timeline Toy Article Diary Poster Magazine Computer Program Photographs Terrarium Petition Drive Teaching Lesson Prototype Speech Club Cartoon Biography Review Invention




STRONG 1 PRESENT 2 MARGINAL 3 ABSENT 4 1. Product designed to expand on all key concepts 2. Product designed to expand on all key principles / generalizations 3. Product designed to expand on all key skills. 4. Product facilitates students use and extension of key knowledge. 5. Product rationale is made clear to students. 6. Clear directions are provided that are both thorough and open. 7. Product provides clear criteria for successes at a high level of expectations for content, process and product. 8. Product assignment necessitates creativity. 9. Product assignment supports creativity. 10. Product challenges a full range of readiness levels. 11. Product allows/encourages pursuit of student interest. 12.. A menu of product options and/;or working arrangements supports varied learning profiles. 13. On going support is provided as needed throughout product assignment. 14. Product uses timelines, check in dates or process logs. 15. Product encourages varied forms of research, expressions, and technology. 16. Product provides formative and summative evaluation by peers. 17. Product provides formative and summative evaluation by self. 18. Product provides formative and summative evaluation by teacher.

55 Differentiated Report Cards
On report cards, I need to find a way to show individual growth and relative standing to students and parents A = Excellent Growth B = Very Good Growth C = Some Growth D = Little Growth F = No Observable Growth 1 = The student is Above Grade Level 2 = The student is Working At Grade Level 3 = The student is Working Below Grade Level Tomlinson, 2001

56 Grades A = Excellent Growth B = Very Good Growth C = Some Growth
D = Little Growth F – No observable growth 1 = Above grade level 2 = At grade level 3 = Below grade level A = Excellent B = Very Good C = Average D = Poor F – Unsatisfactory 1 = Above grade level 2 = At grade level 3 = Below grade level A-1 = Excellent performance; working above grade level A-2 = Excellent performance; working at grade level A-3 = Excellent performance; working below grade level Personal grade & Traditional grade: B = Personal grade D = Traditional grade C = Personal grade A = Traditional grade Grades are supposed to: 1. Motivate students 2. Report accurately to parents

57 Begin Slowly – Just Begin!
Low-Prep Differentiation Choices of books Homework options Use of reading buddies Varied journal Prompts Orbitals Varied pacing with anchor options Student-teaching goal setting Work alone / together Whole-to-part and part-to-whole explorations Flexible seating Varied computer programs Design-A-Day Varied Supplementary materials Options for varied modes of expression Varying scaffolding on same organizer Let’s Make a Deal projects Computer mentors Think-Pair-Share by readiness, interest, learning profile Use of collaboration, independence, and cooperation Open-ended activities Mini-workshops to reteach or extend skills Jigsaw Negotiated Criteria Explorations by interests Games to practice mastery of information Multiple levels of questions High-Prep Differentiation Tiered activities and labs Tiered products Independent studies Multiple texts Alternative assessments Learning contracts 4-MAT Multiple-intelligence options Compacting Spelling by readiness Entry Points Varying organizers Lectures coupled with graphic organizers Community mentorships Interest groups Tiered centers Interest centers Personal agendas Literature Circles Stations Complex Instruction Group Investigation Tape-recorded materials Teams, Games, and Tournaments Choice Boards Think-Tac-Toe Simulations Problem-Based Learning Graduated Rubrics Flexible reading formats Student-centered writing formats

To Differentiate Instruction By Readiness To Differentiate Instruction By Interest To Differentiate Instruction by Learning Profile equalizer adjustments (complexity, open-endedness, etc. add or remove scaffolding vary difficulty level of text & supplementary materials adjust task familiarity vary direct instruction by small group adjust proximity of ideas to student experience encourage application of broad concepts & principles to student interest areas give choice of mode of expressing learning use interest-based mentoring of adults or more expert-like peers give choice of tasks and products (including student designed options) give broad access to varied materials & technologies create an environment with flexible learning spaces and options allow working alone or working with peers use part-to-whole and whole-to-part approaches Vary teacher mode of presentation (visual, auditory, kinesthetic, concrete, abstract) adjust for gender, culture, language differences. useful instructional strategies: - tiered activities Tiered products compacting learning contracts tiered tasks/alternative forms of assessment interest centers interest groups enrichment clusters group investigation choice boards MI options internet mentors multi-ability cooperative tasks Triarchic options 4-MAT CA Tomlinson, UVa ‘97

59 Thinking About the Role of Instructional Strategies in Differentiation
Strategy for Differentiation Primarily Used to Differentiate Positives Cautions Tiered Assignments Readiness Meat & Potatoes differentiation Must use as only part of a flexible grouping pattern Tiered Products Readiness, Interest, Learning Profile Can be passion-producing Must provide coaching for quality Learning Contracts Encourage student autonomy Be sure to blend skill and content Drill-Focused Cooperative Tasks Low End Readiness Deals with coverage and mastery issues May aggravate have/have not status Thought/Production Focused Cooperative Tasks Interest, Learning Profile Involves all students with high level tasks Be sure tasks call for varied intellectual skills Alternative Assessments Readiness, Learning Profile More of a real-world way of measuring student learning Be sure assessment focus on essential understandings and skills Graduated Rubrics Clear coaching for quality and success Take care to stress ideas and process more than mechanics Choice Boards Readiness, Interest Balances teacher choice and student choice Teacher choice should target readiness Learning Centers Can target varied skills levels in a class Don’t send all students to all centers

60 Strategy for Differentiation
Thinking About the Role of Instructional Strategies in Differentiation, cont’d Strategy for Differentiation Primarily Used to Differentiate Positives Cautions Interest Centers Interest Can link classroom topics to areas of student talent and interest Be sure centers provide depth or breadth (vs cute) Enrichment clusters Interest, Learning profiles Stresses student choice and students as producers of useful products Lose their punch without teachers skilled in the cluster domain Compacting High End Readiness Can reduce unnecessary redundancy for advanced or eager learners Loses its punch unless Column 3 is rich and challenging Peer Tutoring Low End Readiness Gives struggling learners additional explanation opportunities Can over-use high end learner in teacher role and may short change struggling learner if tutor is weak Multi Ability Options (MI, Triarchic Theory) Interest, Learning Profile Encourages teachers to be flexible in planning routes to learning Can easily become just a learning style vs. intelligence approach 4-MAT Learning Profile Helps teachers be more conscious of student learning style/mode Can become formula-like – does not address readiness Independent Study Encourages student autonomy in planning and problem-solving Students need an amount of independence suited to their readiness for it Small Group Direct Instruction Readiness Cuts down size of class and increases student participation Students not being taught must be well anchored

61 Differentiated Schools
Schools that promote and support DI include classrooms and programs that: Respond to variations in students’ readiness Respond to the myriad of students’ interest Respect the various students’ learning profiles Regard leadership as a cornerstone good instruction Vera J. Blake, Ed.D. Sara Lampe

62 Administrative Roles in Achieving Differentiation
Introduce all teachers to concept Provide opportunities for training Establish expectations Provide opportunities for teachers to demonstrate and share Provide support – resources, time, expect teachers assistance Encourage risk-taking Observe and evaluate (develop tools to do this for my site’s focus) Provide feedback Model lessons and team teaching Reward progress Vera J. Blake, Ed.D. Sara Lampe

63 Leadership in Differentiation
To be effective in using differentiation, site administrators and central office should be: Consistent: Use vocabulary that is clear and commonly understood by the principal, the parent, the teacher Articulate the philosophy: Kids differ. Professional teachers act robustly to address the differences. State the expectations: all of us must g row in responsiveness. That we must change / grow / differentiate is non-negotiable; the path that we each may take is negotiable. Incorporate umbrella image – these are overarching goals, for everyone, and these can and do encompass other areas like literacy in technology or reading competency. Vera J. Blake, Ed.D. Sara Lampe

64 Leadership in Differentiation
Persistent: State and follow long term goals at all levels: classroom, school site, district State and follow short term goals at all levels Set time-lines so that everyone knows these goals are not going away Connect with all initiatives: standards, math assessment, technology Provide on-going sharing of “how” Provide on-going sharing of results throughout the school and district Vera J. Blake, Ed.D. Sara Lampe

65 Leadership in Differentiation
Insistent: Require that differentiation be part of teacher plans Require that differentiation be part of school plans Require that differentiation be part of all staff development Link differentiation to observations, feedback, peer review, mentoring, evaluations Vera J. Blake, Ed.D. Sara Lampe

Capitalize on support from district-level administrators, curriculum supervisors or specialists, . . . Develop supervision techniques that motivate and recognize efforts to initiate and/or implement DI strategies Choose professional development opportunities that provide follow-up coaching and allows time to practice new skills Vera J. Blake, Ed.D. Sara Lampe

Build professional learning communities: job-embedded learning, study groups, action research, peer coaching, collaborative planning and review of student work Effectively use faculty meetings and non-instructional time Serve as coach: provide/receive feedback, know role vs. evaluator, coaching practices Vera J. Blake, Ed.D. Sara Lampe

68 To support differentiation, leaders should
Establish clarity of definition Provide an environment supportive of risk Balance “seeing the light” & “feeling the heat” Differentiate for teachers Provide guidance in beginning sensible and progressing steadily Provide materials and time Examine impact of current policies and practices Communicate with parents Begin with those ready to start Develop planning and teaching teams which routinely include g/t, remedial and special ed. Personnel Start small, build local leadership Re-focus / re-energize local leaders with experts Integrate differentiation into curriculum development Maintain long term commitment to change Understand that differentiation is part of range of services – not a panacea! Carol Tomlinson

69 How to Assist Teachers in Professional Growth in Differentiation
Provide building-level staff development that matches teacher / school goals (common experience) Provide time for on-going dialogue about differentiation – both site workdays, release time, faculty meetings Develop common understanding of differentiation and related terms Observe and support teachers’ growth with specific feedback (peer and admin) Tenured teachers set different goals than new teachers Give personal (yours, a specialist’s, an expert teacher’s) time and support for modeling, mentoring, consulting, collaborating, and discussing Vera J. Blake, Ed.D. Sara Lampe

70 In learning to differentiate, teachers may need help with . . .
A rationale for differentiation Pre-assessing student readiness Effective work with classroom groups Flexible grouping Resolving issues regarding grading / report cards Role of the teacher in a differentiated classroom Appropriate use of varied instructional strategies Using concept-based instruction Develop carefully focused tasks and products Knowing how to teach struggling learners without “remedial expectations” Carol Tomlinson

71 LOOK-FORS in the Classroom
Learning experiences are based on student readiness, interest, or learning profile. Assessment of student needs is ongoing, and tasks are adjusted based on assessment data. All students participate in respectful work. The teacher is primarily a coordinator of time, space, and activities rather than primarily a provider of group information. Students work in a variety of groups configurations. Flexible grouping is evident. Time use is flexible in response to student needs. The teacher uses a variety of instructional strategies to help target instruction to student needs. Clearly established criteria are used to help support student success. Student strengths are emphasized.

72 Whatever it Takes!

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