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LOSING SIGHT OF THE SHORE DIFFERENTIATING CURRICULUM AND INSTRUCTION Heartland Curriculum Network Mary Schmidt School Improvement Consultant Heartland.

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Presentation on theme: "LOSING SIGHT OF THE SHORE DIFFERENTIATING CURRICULUM AND INSTRUCTION Heartland Curriculum Network Mary Schmidt School Improvement Consultant Heartland."— Presentation transcript:

1 LOSING SIGHT OF THE SHORE DIFFERENTIATING CURRICULUM AND INSTRUCTION Heartland Curriculum Network Mary Schmidt School Improvement Consultant Heartland AEA 11 mschmidt@aea11.k12.ia.us

2 WHAT ARE YOU? Enthusiast? Explorer? Sightseer? Vacationer? Prisoner?

3 SHARING MY PASSION

4 You cannot discover new oceans unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore. G You cannot discover new oceans unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.

5 IMPORTANT QUESTIONS What is differentiation? Why is it important? How is it accomplished? Where does collaboration fit in? How does one assess the success of efforts to differentiate? What are the recommendations for instructional leaders in schools ready to differentiate?

6 GUIDING ASSUMPTIONS 1 A “teach to the middle” or “one size fits all” classroom is less responsive to and less effective in meeting the needs of the diverse populations in our classrooms than a classroom which offers various learning opportunities designed to meet different learning needs. 2 A differentiated classroom offers different approaches to what students learn, how they learn it, and how they demonstrate what they’ve learned.

7 GUIDING ASSUMPTIONS 3 Flexible grouping enables teachers to match student with learning experience. 4 Developing a differentiated classroom takes time, support, and commitment.

8 WHAT IS DIFFERENTIATION?

9 DIFFERENTIATION ala... WEBSTER “…to make unlike; to develop specialized differences in…” TOMLINSON “…shaking up what goes on in the classroom so that the curriculum is a better fit for all.”

10 DIFFERENTIATION ala... WINEBRENNER “...giving kids stuff their age peers can’t handle and wouldn’t want to.” 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.

11 DIFFERENTIATION ala... MAKER “…Quality changes rather than quantity, and they must build upon and extend the characteristics (both present and future) that make the children different from other students.”

12 DIFFERENTIATION ala... BORLAND “…a course of study that is in some manner different from the one to which students in the mainstream are exposed…Differentiation is not enough. To be appropriate, a curriculum for…students must be defensible as well…Defensibility in this context implies that the curriculum is not only different from the norm, but educationally right for…students.”

13 DIFFERENTIATION INVOLVES... creating specialized differences in curricular experiences creating multiple options for knowledge acquisition, sense-making, and product creation providing different work, not more of the same building on the characteristics which create differences providing what is educationally right for learners

14 WHY DIFFERENTIATE?

15 IT’S THE LAW! 12.5(12)Provisions for gifted and talented students. Each school district shall incorporate gifted and talented programming into its comprehensive school improvement plan as required by Iowa Code section 257.43. The comprehensive school improvement plan shall include the following gifted and talented program provisions:  valid and systematic procedures, including multiple selection criteria for identifying gifted and talented students from the total student population  goals and performance measures  a qualitatively differentiated program to meet the students’ cognitive and affective needs  staffing provisions  an in-service design  a budget  qualifications of personnel administering the program. Each school district shall review and evaluate its gifted and talented programming. This subrule does not apply to accredited nonpublic schools.

16 REDUCE RISK OF UNDERACHIEVEMENT “Smart children soon learn that what is important in school is one thing--and what is important in life is another, and they live in this schizophrenic existence satisfactorily. Many, however, do not. Everything we learn doesn't have to be relevant. But if some of our school learning isn’t meaningful, we may get turned off enough so that we don’t want to learn anything anywhere. We may simply drop out.” William Glasser Schools Without Failure

17 ALLEVIATE DISCIPLINE PROBLEMS DISCIPLINE PROBLEMS REFLECT A COLLISION WITH INAPPROPRIATE CURRICULUM. --Susan Winebrenner

18 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 Flow: the Psychology of Optimal Experience

19 ADDRESS LEARNER READINESS WHEN WE TEACH THE SAME THING TO ALL KIDS AT THE SAME TIME, 1/3 ALREADY KNOW IT, 1/3 GET IT, AND 1/3 NEVER WILL. SO 2/3 OF THE KIDS ARE WASTING THEIR TIME. --Scott Willis

20 BUILD SELF ESTEEM THE SUREST PATH TO POSITIVE SELF ESTEEM IS TO SUCCEED AT SOMETHING WHICH ONE PERCEIVED WOULD BE DIFFICULT. EACH TIME WE STEAL A STUDENT’S STRUGGLE, WE STEAL THE OPPORTUNITY FOR THEM TO BUILD SELF-CONFIDENCE. THEY MUST LEARN TO DO HARD THINGS TO FEEL GOOD ABOUT THEMSELVES. --Sylvia Rimm

21 NORMAL IS ONLY A SETTING ON THE WASHING MACHINE

22 THAT STUDENTS DIFFER MAY BE INCONVENIENT, BUT IT IS INESCAPABLE. ADAPTING TO THAT DIVERSITY IS THE INEVITABLE PRICE OF PRODUCTIVITY, HIGH STANDARDS, AND FAIRNESS TO THE STUDENTS. --Theodore Sizer

23 WAYS IN WHICH INDIVIDUALS CAN DIFFER Prior knowledge or skill expertise Learning rate Cognitive ability Learning style preference Motivation, attitude, and effort Interest, strength, or talent

24 THE GRADE LEVEL CURRICULUM: exposes all students to the same skills and content sets predetermined completion times stresses a single activity expects all students to achieve all objectives provides most instruction in large groups bases instruction on the average student uses limited single resources provides few student decision making opportunities

25 WHAT CAN BE DIFFERENTIATED?

26 CONTENT CONTENT--What students learn PROCESS PROCESS--How they learn it PRODUCT PRODUCT--How students show what they’ve learned LEARNING ENVIRONMENT LEARNING ENVIRONMENT-- The conditions under which learning takes shape

27 DIFFERENTIATING CONTENT INCLUDES: Modification of the rate of learning including –The point at which learners are allowed to begin study –The rate at which they are allowed to learn –The point at which they leave an area of study Opportunities for student-selected areas of study within and across disciplines. The modification of the complexity in the area of study. A multidisciplinary approach to learning.

28 DIFFERENTIATING PROCESS INCLUDES: Learning and using higher order thinking skills –creative thinking –critical thinking –problem solving Application of abstract thinking skills to student-appropriate content resulting in products at a level of sophistication appropriate for the student Integration of basic skills and abstract thinking skills

29 DIFFERENTIATING PRODUCT INCLUDES: Learning and using multiple forms for communicating learning The opportunity to present information to diverse and appropriate audiences The opportunity for learners to participate in the assessment of learning activities and the resulting product forms

30 DIFFERENTIATING LEARNING ENVIRONMENT INCLUDES: Groupings which are fluid and flexible and approximate real-life situations Access to various materials and resources An atmosphere which encourages expression of new ideas, acceptance of diversity, and exploration Experiences reflecting learner interests and ideas Honoring the dignity of all learners

31 IN DIFFERENTIATED CLASSROOMS, TEACHERS... begin where students are, not at the front of the curriculum guide. build upon the premise that learners differ in important ways. engage students through different learning modalities, by appealing to different interests, and by using varying rates of instruction and degrees of complexity. ensures that students focus more on individual growth than on competition with other students. recognize that each student’s roadmap to learning differs from that of others. believe that students should be held to high standards.

32 IN DIFFERENTIATED CLASSROOMS, TEACHERS... ensure that struggling, advanced, and in-between learners think and work harder than they meant to; achieve more than they thought they could; and come to believe that learning involves effort, risk, and personal triumph. help students learn that success is achieved through hard work. use time flexibly. employ a range of instructional strategies. become partners in learning with their students. accept, embrace, and plan for the commonalities and differences learners bring to their classrooms.

33 INDICATORS OF DIFFERENTIATION Consistent use of pretesting A decrease in the frequency of large group activities An increase in: –Small group teaching activities –Flexible small group learning activities An increase in individual alternatives: –Centers –Homework –Contracts

34 THE DIFFERENTIATION PROCESS Objective Introduction Initial instruction Pretesting Diagnosis Breadth Depth Branching Out Managing Flexible Small Groups Alternative Activities Adjusting the Breadth Tiered Assignments Altering the Depth

35 OFFERING ALTERNATIVE ACTIVITIES To Increase the Breadth of a Lesson MISSION CONTROL (The Teacher) PROVIDES: Whole Group Introduction and Instruction and Launches Satellites (small groups) on Alternative Activities Choice of Resources Product Options Alternative Activities Varying Goals

36 TIERED ACTIVITIES To Alter the Depth of a Lesson KEY FEATURES: INCREASE/DECREASE: Abstraction Extent of Support Sophistication Complexity of Goals/Resources/Activities/ Products Whole Group Introduction Whole Group Initial Instruction Identification of Developmental Differences

37

38 DIFFERENTIATION AS A COLLABORATIVE EFFORT

39 COLLABORATION IS... …THE DIRECT INTERACTION BETWEEN AT LEAST TWO EQUAL PARTIES WHO VOLUNTARILY ENGAGE IN SHARED DECISION-MAKING AS THEY WORK TOWARD A COMMON GOAL.

40 HOW DO GIFTED STUDENTS SPEND THEIR TIME? (Starko, 1986)

41 COLLABORATIVE DIFFERENTIATION REQUIRES... the input of teachers, parents, learners, mentors, gifted/special education specialists, counselors, administrators, and any other parties with an interest in the education of the individual a knowledge of the learner’s interests, learning styles, level of motivation, social- emotional needs, and cognitive ability time for collaboration to occur individualization for the learner under consideration

42 careful selection of the appropriate programming option or strategy tailored to meet the identified needs of the learner construction of the IEP/PEP designed for the learner monitoring of learner needs, progress, and goal attainment regular communication among all parties with an interest in the learner’s progress

43 INSTRUCTIONAL QUESTIONS FOR COLLABORATIVE DECISION MAKING What skills/concepts/behaviors/strategies does the learner currently have? What skills/concepts/behaviors/strategies does the learner need to learn? How does the learner learn best? How will all parties know when the learner is progressing?

44 A. WORK AS A TEAM B. PURSUE A COMMON GOAL C. DISPLAY MUTUAL RESPECT D. SHARE RESPONSIBILITY AND ACCOUNTABILITY E. SUBLIMATE THEIR OWN INTERESTS THEN… WHEN ALL THOSE WITH AN INTEREST IN MEETING THE COGNITIVE, CONATIVE, SOCIAL, AND EMOTIONAL NEEDS OF STUDENTS

45 STUDENTS WILL FLOURISH AS THEIR NEEDS ARE MET THROUGH A COLLABORATIVELY DIFFERENTIATED CURRICULUM.

46 HOW DO I KNOW IT’S WORKING? LISTEN TO AND OBSERVE THE KIDS MONITOR AND MEASURE ATTAINMENT OF GOALS DEVELOP BEHAVIORIAL CHECKLISTS YOU SEE MOTIVATED, ENGAGED, SELF- DIRECTED LEARNERS ABLE TO FUNCTION AND THRIVE WITHIN AN ENVIRONMENT WHICH CHALLENGES THEM.

47 WHERE DO WE BEGIN? THE POLICY LEVEL DEVELOP BOARD, DISTRICT, AND SCHOOL GOALS CENTERED ON MAXIMIZING EACH STUDENT’S LEARNING CAPACITY. DEVELOP STEADY AND CONSISTENT LONG- TERM GOALS FOR FUNDING, STAFF DEVELOPMENT, HIRING, TEACHER AND ADMINISTRATOR ASSESSMENT, AND POLICY MAKING. STUDY AND PLAN FOR THE VARIOUS STAGES OF THE CHANGE PROCESS IN REGARD TO DIFFERENTIATION.

48 WHERE DO WE BEGIN? THE BUILDING LEVEL BEGIN SMALL. TRY A FEW PILOT TEACHERS AND CLASSROOMS. BEGIN WITH TEACHERS WHO HAVE THE SKILL AND WILL TO CHANGE. CREATE TEAMS OF TEACHERS. COLLEGIALTIY, NOT ISOLATION, NOURISHES NEW IDEAS. GO FOR ACTION AND APPLICATION. ADJUST SCHOOL SCHEDULES TO PROVIDE TEACHERS LARGER BLOCKS OF UNINTERRUPTED TIME.

49 WHERE DO WE BEGIN? THE BUILDING LEVEL CONSIDER ADOPTING MULTIPLE TEXTS INSTEAD OF ONE FOR A GIVEN SUBJECT AND GRADE LEVEL. CONSIDER MODIFIED REPORT CARDS TO PROVIDE A LOOK AT PERSONAL GROWTH INSTEAD OF, OR IN ADDITION TO, GROUP COMPARISONS. CONSIDER NARROWING THE RANGE OF LEARNERS IN SOME CLASSROOMS. DEVELOP COTEACHING AND COLLABORATIVE RELATIONSHIPS.

50 EFFECTIVE LEADERS WILL... make time for teachers to plan differentiated lessons. provide opportunities to visit differentiated classrooms. give access to a wide range of learner materials. create an environment where teachers feel safe trying a new approach w/o fear of judgement. give meaningful, targeted feedback about teachers’ work with differentiation. provide support networks.

51 YOU’VE EITHER GOT TO SEE THE LIGHT OR FEEL THE HEAT.

52 REMEMBER THAT NOTHING THAT’S GOOD WORKS BY ITSELF JUST TO PLEASE YOU. YOU’VE GOT TO MAKE THE DAMN THING WORK. --Thomas Edison

53 If you want to feel safe and secure, continue to do what you have always done. If you want to grow, go to the cutting edge of our profession. Just know that when you do, there will be a temporary loss of sanity. So know when you don’t quite know what you are doing You are probably growing! --Madeline Hunter

54 T.T.T. Put up in a place where it’s easy to see, The cryptic admonishment, T.T.T. When you feel how depressingly slow you climb It’s well to remember that THINGS TAKE TIME.

55 FOR MORE INFORMATION... http://www.aea11.k12.ia.us/curriculum/differentiated.html


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