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Differentiation: What It Is/What It Isn’t

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Presentation on theme: "Differentiation: What It Is/What It Isn’t"— Presentation transcript:

1 Differentiation: What It Is/What It Isn’t
Deborah Holt September 5, 2012

2 What Is Differentiation?
It is changing instruction so that students have multiple options for taking in information, making sense of ideas, and expressing what they learn. Key Word: Different

3 What Differentiated Instruction Means for Teachers
Teachers DO Teachers DON'T provide several learning options, or different paths to learning, which help students take in information and make sense of concepts and skills. develop a separate lesson plan for each student in a classroom. provide appropriate levels of challenge for all students, including those who lag behind, those who are advanced, and those right in the middle. "water down" the curriculum for some students.

4 You Can Differentiate By:
Content Process Product Learning Environment

5 Differentiation by Content:
What the student needs to learn. The instructional concepts should be broad based, and all students should be given access to the same core content. However, the content’s complexity should be adapted to students’ learner profiles. Teachers can vary the presentation of content,( i.e., textbooks, lecture, demonstrations, taped texts) to best meet students’ needs.

6 Differentiation By Content:
Utilize pre-tests to assess where individual students need to begin study of a given topic or unit. Encourage thinking at various levels of Bloom's taxonomy. Use a variety of instructional delivery methods to address different learning styles. Break assignments into smaller, more manageable parts that include structured directions for each part. Choose broad instructional concepts and skills that lend themselves to understanding at various levels of complexity.

7 Differentiation by Process:
Activities in which the student engages to make sense of or master the content. Examples of differentiating process activities include scaffolding, flexible grouping, interest centers, manipulatives, varying the length of time for a student to master content, and encouraging an advanced learner to pursue a topic in greater depth.

8 Differentiation by Process:
Provide access to a variety of materials which target different learning preferences and reading abilities. Develop activities that target auditory, visual, and kinesthetic learners. Establish stations for inquiry-based, independent learning activities. Create activities that vary in level of complexity and degree of abstract thinking required. Use flexible grouping to group and regroup students based on factors including content, ability, and assessment results.

9 Differentiation by Product:
The culminating projects that ask students to apply and extend what they have learned. Products should provide students with different ways to demonstrate their knowledge as well as various levels of difficulty, group or individual work, and various means of scoring.

10 Differentiation by Product:
Use a variety of assessment strategies, including performance-based and open-ended assessment. Balance teacher-assigned and student-selected projects. Offer students a choice of projects that reflect a variety of learning styles and interests. Make assessment an ongoing, interactive process.

11 Differentiation by Learning Environment:
The way the classroom works and feels. The differentiated classroom should include areas in which students can work quietly as well as collaborate with others, materials that reflect diverse cultures, and routines that allow students to get help when the teacher isn’t available

12 Differentiation by Learning Environment:
Flexible Grouping Cluster Grouping Cooperative Grouping Independent Study

13 Guidelines and Strategies for Differentiated Learning:
Determine key concepts and learning goals. The curriculum should be based on broad concepts, and teachers must have well-defined learning goals. Tomlinson recommends that teachers ensure that “curriculum is clearly focused on the information and understandings that are most valued by an expert in a particular discipline.”

14 More Guidelines and Strategies for Differentiated Learning:
Link assessment to instruction. Assessment should be ongoing. With the data gleaned from assessment, teachers learn where students need additional instruction as well as determine direction for future instruction.  Implement flexible grouping. Teachers use whole-class, small-group, and individual instruction. Students can, and should, be grouped in a variety of ways based on readiness, interest, learning profiles, and randomly. Teachers can assign work groups, and sometimes students select their own work groups.  The groups should change often.

15 More Guidelines and Strategies for Differentiated Learning:
Use a range of instructional strategies. In addition to planning instructional activities to meet student’s learning readiness, all activities should be equally interesting and equally focused on essential understandings and skills. To make learning student-centered, the teacher should employ a wide variety of instructional strategies such as tiered activities, hands-on activities, text, scaffolding, and projects. Often students are provided with options in the instructional activities they engage in as well as in the final assessment tool.

16 Other Strategies: Technology: Web Quests Mini Classes Mentors
Literature Circles Questivities Curriculum Compacting

17 Tools for Differentiated Assessment:
Rubrics Product and Process Criteria Cards Mini Rubrics such as Tic Tac Toe Tiering Summative Assessments

18 Differentiation is… Making sure that the right students get the right learning tasks at the right time. Once you have a sense of what each student holds as ‘given’ or ‘known’ and what he or she needs in order to learn, differentiation is no longer an option; it is an obvious response.

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