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Great Minds do NOT think Alike… A closer look at differentiating in your classroom! Presented by : GT Department.

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Presentation on theme: "Great Minds do NOT think Alike… A closer look at differentiating in your classroom! Presented by : GT Department."— Presentation transcript:

1 Great Minds do NOT think Alike… A closer look at differentiating in your classroom! Presented by : GT Department

2 A Few Thoughts for Today… The district is taking steps to increase the rigor in the middle school honors program. Teachers will be asked to incorporate the State Department Honors Framework as well as begin using various instructional strategies aimed at differentiating learning for the honors student. Today is all about giving you the foundation and the information you would need to begin implementing these changes.

3 Vacation Time… Which spot appeals to you? Phuket, Thailand Rocky Mountains, Colorado Paris, France Bergen, Norway


5 “Summer’s over kids! Now, all you round pegs get back into your square holes!”

6 Objectives for today…. I can define differentiation. I can use tiered assignments, choice boards, and project based learning to add rigor and depth to the curriculum for Honors students. I can label the types of differentiation and TEAM components within a given lesson plan.

7 I can define differentiation.

8 Test Your DI Knowledge…. Sorting Activity

9 Differentiation is NOT…. Doing only the harder problems Doing MORE of the same Grouping where all students complete the same activities Designed for students with the highest achievement/grades Teaching standards as separate, individual learning components Another way to provide homogeneous grouping Chaotic Expecting less of struggling learners A substitute for specialized services

10 Differentiation IS… Different styles and multiple approaches of content, process, product, environment and assessment Qualitative… Provides rigor and relevance, as well as respectful tasks Blended instructional techniques (some whole group, small groups, and individual) Choice Maximizing learning for ALL students On-going assessment and using pre-assessments to group students Flexible grouping Student centered

11 So…how does differentiation work?

12 Differentiation is NOT a replacement for high quality curriculum, but is instead an extension of it. Effective teachers focus on BOTH students and content.

13 Content, Process, and Product CONTENT Options for EXPLORING the information to varying degrees What in the world do you want them to understand? (at a deeper level) PROCESS Options for ACCESSING information How do you want them to organize their “stuff”? PRODUCT Options for EXPRESSING what they know How do you want them to prove to you they know their “stuff”?


15 What do you need in order to differentiate? Accommodations for multiple learning styles and needs within regular units Safe classrooms in which students feel valued No “fuzzy” curriculum or busy work Multiple forms of assessment Flexible groupings Rigor ~ something students do WITH effort – there needs to be a certain amount of struggle for ALL students Strategies are ALIGNED with instructional objectives. This is how you separate creative thinking from “fluff”.

16 What should come first? “Have some students already achieved some of my learning goals?” “How and when might I differentiate the curriculum for these students so they remain challenged and engaged?” Pre-Assessment is the key! Pre-assessments help you know who needs differentiation. Pre-assessments can be both formal and informal. Informal sweeps of your class, Ticket in/out the Door Formal tests, DE

17 Multiple ways to skin a cat!

18 Take A 15 Minute Break!



21 What is Rigor? “Rigor is the goal of helping students develop the capacity to understand content that is complex, ambiguous, provocative, and personally or emotionally challenging.” Strong, Silver, and Perini Teaching What Matters Most: Standards and Strategies for Raising Student Achievement Rigor is high engagement, cognitive dissonance, probing questions, depth not coverage, student choice, reflection, flexible grouping, scaffolding, purposeful, critical thinking instruction…..

22 HONORS LEVEL EXPECTATIONS-TDOE (Tennessee Dept. of Education) “Substantially exceed the content standards, learning expectations and performance indicators….” Teachers- “model instructional approaches that facilitate maximum interchange of ideas among students: independent study, self-directed research and learning, and appropriate use of technology.” Multiple assessments (e.g. constructed-response prompts, performance-based tasks, and higher order responses)

23 an honors course shall include a minimum of five of the following components:

24 (i) Extended reading assignments that connect with the specified curriculum.

25 (ii) Research-based writing assignments that address and extend the course curriculum.

26 (iii) Projects that apply course curriculum to relevant or real-world situations. These may include oral presentations, power point, or other modes of sharing findings. Connection of the project to the community is encouraged.

27 (iv) Open-ended investigations in which the student selects the questions and designs the research.

28 (v) Writing assignments that demonstrate a variety of modes, purposes, and styles. (a) Examples of mode include narrative, descriptive, persuasive, expository, and expressive. (b) Examples of purpose include to inform, entertain, and persuade. (c) Examples of style include formal, informal, literary, analytical, and technical.

29 (vi) Integration of appropriate technology into the course of study.

30 (vii) Deeper exploration of the culture, values, and history of the discipline.

31 (viii) Extensive opportunities for problem solving experiences through imagination, critical analysis, and application.

32 (ix) Job shadowing experiences with presentations which connect class study to the world of work.

33 Now It’s your Turn… Find 2 – 3 people from your grade level Using your content area curriculum and Honors Framework choose a standard or objective for which you would like to implement a component of the Honors Framework. Work with your group to create possible ways to implement the Honors Framework within the first 9 weeks.

34 Time for lunch!! See you back here at 12:30. Enjoy!

35 How many times have you felt like this?

36 Project-Based Learning

37 I can use project- based learning to differentiate the Honors curriculum.

38 Project-Based Learning is a dynamic approach to teaching in which students participate in projects and practice an interdisciplinary array of skills from math, language arts, fine arts, geography, science, and technology. With this type of active and engaged learning, students are inspired to obtain a deeper knowledge of the subjects they're studying. What Is Project-Based Learning?

39 Project-Based Learning Two Perspectives: 1.Teacher Facilitated – student emphasis Students involved in complex, real-world projects through which they develop and apply skills and knowledge Significant learning taps into students' inherent drive to learn, ability to do important work, and the need to be taken seriously Curricular outcomes are identified up-front, but keep in mind that all outcomes may not be fully predetermined Experiences are provided through which students learn to manage and allocate resources such as time and materials Students are required to draw from many information sources and disciplines in order to complete their project

40 Project-Based Learning Two Perspectives: 2. Teacher Guided – accountability is placed on the teacher Pick the different skills and content you will teach Identify the essential knowledge you want all students to learn (key objectives) Craft a question that will focus the project and engage your students (essential question) Decide how students will demonstrate what they have learned (products/performances) Choose or create assessment tools to clarify expectations and evaluate student work (rubrics)

41 Keys to Implementing Project-Based Learning Begin with the end in mind Focus on standards, but not too many Start small when you’re new to the process Test-drive a final product BEFORE starting Hooks – Even project-based learning needs a hook Topics should be relevant to student interest as well as academics

42 Keys to Implementing Project-Based Learning Set clear guidelines and deadlines – expectations should be clear Have an assessment plan – rubrics, etc. End with a BANG! Allow student choice when possible Conference with students/groups at certain points This is not ADDED work…it should be their classwork ~ This is HOW you teach the curriculum

43 Project-Based Learning Sample

44 Project-Based Learning Samples Reading Projects ~ Number the Stars oject-based-learning-lesson-plans.html u.cfm?tsele1=4&tsele2=0 Project-Based Learning Lesson Plans

45 Differentiated Strategies…Contract for Project

46 Ok….Your Turn! Break into groups based upon geographic areas Use your content curriculum and Honors Framework to choose a topic Brainstorm ideas for Project-Based Learning that could be used for the first 9 weeks Write your ideas on your blank Project- Based Learning Planning Sheet

47 Take A 15 Minute Break!

48 Choice Boards

49 I can use choice boards to differentiate the Honors curriculum.

50 What Are Choice Boards? Choice boards are organizers with a collection of curricular problems, questions, assignments, activities, or projects from which students are allowed to choose their tasks. Students may choose one or more of the activities and/or may be required to complete a teacher specified task in addition to choosing tasks to complete the assignment. Choice boards are only differentiated if they are designed with learning differences in mind.

51 Keys To A Good Choice Board Identify outcomes and instructional focus of the topic/unit of study Use assessment data to determine student readiness, interest, or learning styles Design 9 different tasks using the Honors Framework (Bloom’s, etc. ) Provide challenge without frustration Expectations are clear (due dates, work quality, behavior, etc.) Assessment in place – rubrics, etc.

52 Basic Structure for Choice Boards Easier activity or something presented at the beginning of unit More challenging Easier activity or something presented at the beginning of unit Sponsored by LPPS and LASig2

53 Using Honor’s Framework Extended Reading Research- Based Writing Project Applying Standards Open-ended Investigations Technology History of Discipline Problem Solving Writing in Content Connections to World of Work

54 KnowledgeComprehensionApplication AnalysisSynthesisEvaluation Comprehension or Evaluation Application or Evaluation Knowledge or Analysis Framework Using Bloom’s Taxonomy Framework Using Bloom’s Taxonomy:



57 Your Turn Again! Using your content curriculum and Honors Framework for the first 9 weeks, choose a standard or objective on which to base your choice board Brainstorm activities and assignments that can be integrated into your Honor’s Framework choice board Feel free to work with a partner, in a small group, or individually to get started on a choice board to be used in your class

58 It’s not an ADD on… It’s a BUILD on…

59 Let’s Review… Why Differentiate? Provides valuable learning opportunities for ALL students Offers multiple approaches for content, process, product, environment, and assessment Meets standards in a meaningful way Places an emphasis on student responsibility Delivers content with varied instructional techniques Provides students with VOICE and CHOICE

60 Scavenger Hunt! Now that we’ve talked about 3 ways to differentiate and have talked about how these correlate to the TEAM rubric, let’s see if we can identify them. Your task will be to read through the lesson plan provided and to label the differentiation that you see. In addition, you will label the parts of the TEAM rubric that are evident.

61 Lesson Development… You started creating some things earlier today that could be used to help you get started with differentiation the first 9 weeks. We’re going to give you a little time here at the end to finish getting some thoughts together on those.

62 I’ve mapped out the concepts I’ve already grasped to save you time. 62

63 Bonus Strategy Tiered Assignments

64 I can also use tiered assignments to differentiate the Honors curriculum.

65 What Are Tiered Assignments? When teachers used tiered assignments, they make slight adjustments within the same lesson to meet the needs of their students. All students learn the same skills and concepts but through varying modes and activities. The tiers appropriately challenge students according to their ability level.

66 Keys To Good Tiered Assignments ALL students focus on essential skills at various levels of complexity, abstractness, and open-endedness Challenge is appropriate - rigor is provided at their level of understanding Some struggle should be experienced by ALL students Teaches students what they need to learn - NOT what they already know Different work - not more or less work Equally interesting and engaging Fair in terms of work expectations and time needed

67 Exit Ticket: Think, Write, Share Use your sticky note to answer the following questions. Define differentiation in your own words. Tell how you plan to use the strategies we talked about today in your Honors classroom.

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