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Differentiation: how can I make it work better for me?

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Presentation on theme: "Differentiation: how can I make it work better for me?"— Presentation transcript:

1 Differentiation: how can I make it work better for me?

2 Why differentiate?  Individual work: Why differentiate?  Small Group work – improve on reasons. Importance analysis for more able (differentiation by task and grouping)  Whole group discussion (differentiation by targeting questioning)

3 Why differentiate?  ‘Teachers should teach the knowledge, skills and understanding in ways that suit their pupils' abilities.' (QCA 1999)  To reduce the risk of underachievement  To alleviate discipline problems – ‘ DISCIPLINE PROBLEMS REFLECT A COLLISION WITH INAPPROPRIATE CURRICULUM’. Susan Winebrenner

4 Why differentiate cont….  To build self-esteem; students can achieve something difficult for them  To increase motivation; ‘TWO MOTIVATIONAL STATES INTERFERE WITH LEARNING. ONE IS ANXIETY; THE OTHER IS BOREDOM. ANXIETY OCCURS WHEN TEACHERS EXPECT TOO MUCH, BOREDOM WHEN THEY EXPECT TOO LITTLE’. Mihaly Csikezentmihalyi

5 The importance of differentiation  Differentiation is an approach to teaching that attempts to ensure that all students learn well, despite their many differences.

6 Differentiation is not …  an add on to normal teaching  new – good teachers have always adapted their lessons so that all students can learn  a way to sort out the able and less able learners – It is about finding the best way for every student to access the learning  avoidable or ignorable!!!

7 Guiding assumptions Passow; “SHOULD all kids do it? COULD all kids do it? WOULD all kids want to?” If the answer to any of these questions is “yes” then it isn’t differentiated. NB Setting alone is not sufficient to maximize potential.

8 How do we do it? A differentiated classroom offers different approaches to what students learn, how they learn it, and how they demonstrate what they’ve learned.

9 Differentiation, in simple terms … 1. by task 2. by grouping 3. by outcome 4. by support (teacher and peer)

10 Teacher’s TV clip  Study the 15 minute clip. What are the advantages and disadvantages of these 4 basic types of differentiation?  Discuss the suitability of the different methods.  Conclusions?

11 Conclusions  It’s not rocket science!  ‘Skilled teachers have a whole repertoire at hand and they select what they want to do with their youngsters’. (Harrison)

12 Comments – By task  Worksheets (resource)  Extension activities – but they need to be harder!  Less structure for the more able  But planning time!

13 Comments – by Grouping  More able with less able  Real understanding comes with having to explain something without notes  But, if the more able student sees the structure that the less able student has…..?

14 Comments – by outcome  Open tasks  Element of choice  Allows for the possibility of fine tuning  Whole essay – more of the same?  Able, but lazy students, may go for the easy option  The lazy option for teachers?

15 Comments – by support  Teacher intervention  Reactive  Peer assessment works wonders if pupils are trained to take it seriously  The importance of checking learning strategies!

16 Being a little more subtle! – Some common tactics! You are provided with cards describing commonly used teaching methods. Imagine each method being used in isolation. Your task is, in groups, to place each method card in one of the following categories assuming the teaching method is used by itself: A. Can differentiate well B. Can differentiate reasonably well C. Does not differentiate well NB The ‘more able’ have blank cards to put their own ideas on which may fit category A!!

17 Some common tactics cont…. Devise a list of ‘tactics’ which aid differentiation. Discuss as a whole group. Take a couple of examples which fall into category ‘C’. How could they be improved to differentiate?

18 Developing that repertoire!  Questioning  Task design  Differentiated learning objectives & students setting their own learning objectives  Different learning styles  Differentiated support & challenge  Pupil grouping  NB Discuss specific examples from a range of areas as we go through. Develop your repertoire by devising a list for the bottom left hand box of your learning plans.

19 Questioning

20 Questioning cont…. General issues  Higher order v Lower order (see previous slide)  Conscription v Volunteer  Order of questioning (e.g. lists – there are 10 examples of….; penalty shoot-outs – more able at end)  Wait time

21 Questioning for challenge  Answer in more than …. words  Follow up questions – Why?  Teacher as Devil’s advocate  Elaborate on….  Other ideas?

22 Supportive Questioning  Provide a choice  ‘Ask the Audience’  Collaborate  Hints/Clues  Other ideas?

23 WHAT DO YOU THINK IS YOUR BEST LEARNING STYLE? a mix of all three? ?%

24 Different learning styles  Obviously, it’s not as simple as VAK, but it’s a good starting point  And….we should not always cater for students’ preferred learning styles. The more able, in particular, should be given tasks ‘out of their comfort zone’  Bring in an element of choice  A sequence of events – some to write them out (or jumble them up for a quiz); some to do a cartoon strip; some to act out.  Remember ‘Differentiation by product’. Can the same thinking be achieved if students are asked to produce different end products? Yes!! Written work/presentations/ICT/a 3-D model, a poster etc

25 Differentiated support and challenge  Support nobody at first  Watch and observe. Check students are on task and accessing the learning.  Who should you go to first?  Should you utilise student experts?  Consider bringing groups of students together on an input table (Most able as well as those requiring support)  Use your TA – our most underused resource?  Use of students – peer assessment, progress buddies

26 Pupil Grouping  VARY IT!  Mixed ability pairs/groups?  Ability groups?  Who is presenting?  Roles within a group  Use of envoys/spies for most able.

27 Plenary  What am I going to try next?


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