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Differentiation in the Art Classroom

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1 Differentiation in the Art Classroom
Cathy Lee Frock Lead Art Teacher Mechanicsville Elementary School

2 What is Differentiation in the Classroom and What does it Look Like?
Is a means of teaching instruction in the best interests of all learners. Activities and lessons are planned so that every student will have the chance to expand what they already know. Students get to work with peers that have differences in interests, similar skills, or they can work alone.

3 Differentiated Instruction Also Means..
As a teacher, being able to recognize the diversity of learners in the classroom. Realizing that students have different learning needs, strengths, styles, interests, and preferences. Keeping up with change in curriculum standards and learning goals for all students. Create a wide variety in teaching, learning, and assessing in order to reach every child as well as responding tho his or her preferences, interests, styles, and strengths.

4 In Addition, Differentiation Means...
Incorporating high levels of challenge and ensuring active engagement in rigorous, relevant, and significant learning. Assessing what students already know and can do. Being able to recognize that all students are unique and will not do the same work, the same way. Looking at student’s needs and providing tasks that better match the learning need, style, and preferences. Giving praise and nurturing each students’ ability to good choices about how to learn and to best present what they have learned. Providing tiered assignments to better respond to students’ specific learning needs.

5 Morevover, Differentiation Means....
To use flexible instructional grouping in order to provide opportunities for students to learn with others who have similar needs, styles, or preferences. Understanding the importance and value of all students’ work. Creating fair processes for evaluating student learning and assigning grades.

6 How to Access Differentiation
Teachers look for students’ interests both in and out of school and how they see themselves as learners (p. 22, 2002). One way to accomplish this is by creating an interest inventory of the student. With your child, complete the interest inventory survey at Survey Monkey; website The information you provide will be confidential. Differentiation tiers grouping of students also by looking closely through two educational models - Howard Gardner’s theory of Multiple Intelligences (p. 22, 2002) and Bloom’s Taxonomy. In Gardner’s theory, teachers look for eight different ways students learn and think, and that each student has strengths and weaknesses among these. They are: Verbal/linguistic, logical/mathematical, visual/spatial, bodily/kinesthetic, musical, interpersonal, intrapersonal, and naturalist.

7 Differentiation Continued
Bloom’s Taxonomy looks into the level of challenge for every child. This means that one must consider rigor, relevance, and complexity of what is being taught to the children. Learning that is challenging demands: higher-level thinking that will motivate all children to succeed. Instruction with substance that is relative to the essential curriculum. content has both breadth and depth. These challenge levels include from the bottom up; knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, evaluation, and synthesis. Using an integrated matrix that incorporates both Gardner’s and Bloom’s theories is a useful tool for successful learning in all students, whether they are in flexible groups, partners, or by themselves (see sample integrated matrix, It’s a Bug’s Life, on this page.

8 Flexible Grouping Question - What is flexible grouping, and how does it work in the art classroom? Answer - “Flexible grouping is a means of creating instructional groups and prescribe specific activities that respond to a student’s needs” (Heacox, 2002). Flexible groups work well especially after whole class instruction. Is determined by teacher perceptions or evidence of learning needs. The group is fluid. Groups work on different activities based on needs, strengths, and preferences. Students are grouped and regrouped as appropriate for particular activities. Occurs as needed. Is based on individual students’ skill proficiency, content, and mastery, learning preferences or interests.

9 What About Grading? S+ O+ Way to go!
Expectations will be clear and concise, yet specific. Will be in “kid jargon”. Grading is a reflection of high-level expectations. Always written in positive statements and compassion. Phrased to describe the floor, not the ceiling - meaning to state the minimum criteria. Use words such as, “at least” so as to not setting limits, but encouraging effort.

10 Works Cited Heacox, D. (2002). Differentiating instruction in the regular classroom: how to reach and teach all learners, grades Minneapolis, MN: Free Spirit Publishing Inc. Survey Monkey Interest Inventory. Retrieved from website

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