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Differentiation & Literacy Centers for Middle School Janice Such & Veronica Vazquez.

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Presentation on theme: "Differentiation & Literacy Centers for Middle School Janice Such & Veronica Vazquez."— Presentation transcript:

1 Differentiation & Literacy Centers for Middle School Janice Such & Veronica Vazquez

2 Differentiation Unleashing the Genius in each Student

3 Ask the Expert…Kay Law   A secondary & elementary teacher for over 30 years   Expert who gives seminars nationwide about differentiated instruction   Is endorsed by the Bureau of Education and Research   The following presentation is adapted from the work of Kay Law

4 What is Differentiation?   A way of thinking about teaching and learning   Based on best practice in education   A way to modify and adjust curriculum by student readiness, interest, and learning preference   A way to maximize learning for all students Law

5 A Differentiated Classroom in Balance FLEXIBLEFLEXIBLE Sense Of Community Time Groups Resource Approaches to teaching and learning Concept- based Inviting Product Oriented Focused Safe Respect for individual Respect For Group Shared goals Shared responsibility Shared Vision On-going assessment to determine need Feedback and grading ZPD Target Tomlinson-oo Affirming Shared Challenge

6 Principles of a differentiated classroom:   Teacher is clear about purpose of subject matter   Teacher understands, appreciates, builds on differences   Teacher adjusts content, process, product   All students participate in respectful work   Assessment is on-going   Students and teachers are collaborators in learning Tomlinson

7 Differentiation for Struggling Learners:  Identify strengths  Activities need to be relevant  Teach the art of the “big idea”  Balance teacher design with student choice Law

8 Differentiation for Advanced Learners   Raise the ceiling for “personal best”   Demonstrate what “excellence” looks like   Set goals and check points   Rigor needs to be balanced with joy, interest and choiceLaw

9 “{differentiated} instruction stresses understanding or sense-making rather than regurgitation of fragmented bits of information.” -Carol Ann Tomlinson

10 What Differentiation is NOT   Having the same assignments for all students   Changing the level of questions for certain students   Grading some students harder/easier than others   Assigning more work to a student who finishes an educational task “early”   Playing games for “enrichment” when students finish work early Tomlinson

11 Components of Differentiated Teaching Differentiation Student Centered Readiness Interest Resources Content Process Product Strategies Complex Instruction

12 When asked why Einstein never memorized his phone number, he replied: I’d rather not clutter my mind with information easy to locate but rather save the space for profound ideas.

13 Ways to think about differentiating instruction 1. 1. Concrete  Abstract 2. 2. Simple  Complex 3. 3. Basic  Transformational 4. 4. Fewer Facets  Multi-facets 5. 5. Smaller Leaps  Greater Leaps 6. 6. More Structured  More Open 7. 7. Less Independence  Greater Independence 8. 8. Quicker  SlowerTomlinson

14 Keys to differentiating your curriculum…   Know your curriculum goals   Modify content   Modify process   Modify environment   Modify product expectation & student response   Assess curriculum effectiveness

15 Goals for Differentiation   Time for the teacher to develop strategies and activities   Teacher offers a variety of resources/materials to students along with more opportunities to apply the lessons (consistently)   Flexible Groups   Clear teacher expectations   Realistic Goal Setting

16 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. 13579 8642 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 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 --Nanci Smith

17 Time to Process! Why is it important to consider our own beliefs about the roles of the teacher and student before we consider differentiating instruction? Please turn and talk.

18 What differentiated activities do I already have in place?

19 Online Resources http://www.cast.org/publications/ncac/ncac_diffinstruc.html Additional information on Differentiation http://volcano.und.nodak.edu/vwdocs/msh/llc/is/4mat.html Information on student learning styles http://www.chadd.org/ Information about helping students with Attention-Deficit /Hyperactivity Disorder http://www.nagc.org/default.aspx Information about helping gifted students http://www.ascd.org/portal/site/ascd/menuitem.3adeebc6736780dddeb3 ffdb62108a0c/ http://www.ascd.org/portal/site/ascd/menuitem.3adeebc6736780dddeb3 ffdb62108a0c/ Differentiated Instruction Resources from ASCD

20 Do not then train the youth to learning by force or harshness, but lead them to it by what amuses their minds so that you may discover the peculiar bent of the genius of each…Plato

21 Literacy Centers Literacy Centers Especially for Middle School A Great Way to Differentiate

22 Benefits of Literacy Centers

23 Best Practices Literacy centers promote best practices because they provide:   Differentiation   Individual choice   Engagement   Varied activity   Risk-free learning environment   Skill practice   Opportunity to dive deeper

24 Advantages for Students and Teachers For Students   Differentiation   Variety   Motivation   Self-directed individualized learning   Opportunities to interact with classmates and problem solve For Teachers   Time for small group work   Skill reinforcement   Individualized instructional practice   Chances to learn more about each student’s learning style and interests

25 Motivation & Engagement

26 From the International Reading Association’s Position Statement on Adolescent Literacy http://www.reading.org/resources/issues/positions_adolescent.html http://www.reading.org/resources/issues/positions_adolescent.html “All adolescents, and especially those who struggle with reading, deserve opportunities to select age appropriate materials they can manage and topics and genres they prefer. Adolescents deserve classroom, school, and public libraries that offer reading materials tied to popular television and movie productions, magazines about specific interests such as sports, music, or cultural backgrounds, and books by favorite authors.” http://www.reading.org/resources/issues/positions_adolescent.html http://www.reading.org/resources/issues/positions_adolescent.html

27 Nuts & Bolts of Literacy Centers

28 Where to Begin?   Provide a variety of reading and writing experiences at the beginning of the year that could later be put into centers.   Teach mini-lessons on how to handle materials as well as proper behavior.   Model using the center and have students model as well.   Fishbowl the center modeling so other students can talk about their observations.

29 Structure is Key To manage your centers well, provide  Rubrics for projects.  Student agendas with due dates and point values.   Behavior expectations/evaluations.   Individual folders for completed center work.

30 Introduce Each Center Teach students how to:   Complete the required tasks.   Follow the rules for appropriate behavior.   Use software on computer programs.   Complete the rubric for the center.

31 Involve Students Invite students to   Suggest and/or create new centers.   Augment existing centers.   Maintain centers for class use.   Brainstorm ideas for centers for the incoming class.

32 Organize Your Centers For ease of use:   Color Code center materials (handouts and instructions).   Use binders, boxes, and bins to hold materials.   Make centers portable so that they can be moved and stored easily.   Display a rotation schedule or establish weekly center time for each student.

33 Make Students Accountable   Provide a rubric for your students to evaluate their performance on the center. For a sample rubric maker, consult http://teacher.scholastic.com/tools/rubric.htm http://teacher.scholastic.com/tools/rubric.htm   Consider providing points for on-task work.

34 Remember   Make sure that the activities you are introducing in centers are activities you have shared with the whole class or in small group sessions.   Centers provide skill reinforcement, practice, and the opportunity to dive deeper.

35 Materials to Have Available   Books (fiction/nonfiction)   Sticky notes   Posterboard   Construction paper   Stationery   Tape recorders with microphone   Headphones   Blank tapes   Pens and pencils   Computers   Center instruction sheets   Student rubrics   Any required handouts   Thesaurus   Dictionary   Magazines   Newspapers   Markers

36 Planning   Use classroom space effectively.   Obtain needed supplies.   Select a topic that would be appropriate for a center. Title the center.   Decide on a schedule and time allotment for centers.   Gather all classroom and library materials related to a topic. Include print and nonprint sources.   Provide detailed directions at each center.   Create hand-outs if needed.   Make a student evaluation/grading sheet with the names of the centers along with space for the student to check off centers completed and space for a teacher grade.   Target academic as well as creative thinking activities.

37 Implementing   Each week, assign a different student to be the “go to” center director.   Monitor student work at the centers.   Conference with students about their performance at the centers.   Collect student self-evaluation rubrics.

38 Reflecting   Determine what is working well about each center and what needs to be tweaked.   Periodically introduce new centers.   Obtain student feedback about centers.

39 Consider Possible Products   Maps   Poems   Banners   Brochures   Puzzles   Articles   Diary entries   Advertisements   Questionnaires   Diagrams   Charts   Timelines   Letters   Posters   Newsletters   Mini-dictionaries or glossaries   Cartoons

40 Some Practical Advice

41 Saving Time…   If you’re just beginning with centers, think small. Start with just one or two.   Think about sharing and rotating your centers with a colleague.   A collection of books, magazines, and articles organized around a theme makes for a great center!

42 $ Saving Money $ Creating a literacy center does not have to be expensive.   You can check out books from the library, use IDRs, or ask for donated books.   Usually some writing materials, classroom art supplies, and books are all you need.   Students can also bring in supplies from home if necessary.

43 Saving Space Carve out space in your classroom by:   Creating portable centers such as file folder activities.   Using large manila envelopes to hold word work and other activities.   Placing tri-fold work centers on a table.   Having students take centers back to their desks.

44 The Element of Surprise

45 The Center Most in Demand   To maintain student interest, rotate centers.   Have a “surprise center” that will attract students.

46 The End This February, fall in love with literacy centers!

47 Citations and Acknowledgements Law, Kay. Strengthening Instruction for Gifted Students Through DIFFERENTIATED TEACHING. 2007 Moore, David W., Bean, Thomas, et al. “Adolescent Literacy, a position statement.” 1999 http://www.reading.org/resources/issues/positions_adolescent.html Smith, Nanci. “Differentiating Instruction: Beginning the Journey.” Curriculum and Professional Development. Cave Creek, AZ. Curriculum and Professional Development. Cave Creek, AZ. Tomlinson, Carol A. Differentiating Instruction For Advanced Learners In the Mixed-Ability School Classroom. ERIC Digest. October 1995.


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