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Welcome Flip to slide 2 This is part one of two parts this year where we’ll explore differentiating instruction from establishing district wide common language to pre-assessments. Thank Sandy Mangano for her support and assistance in developing this workshop and for providing the basic framework.
Fill out self-survey
Carol Ann Tomlinson is well-known and regarded in the field of DI. I’ve included a copy of an article for you that she wrote in the packet of informational resources you can take with you at the end of the workshop. Essentially, she believes that if we teach each child at his/her challenge level, their growth in terms of learning will be phenomenal. Just keep in mind, that as teachers, we control how we differentiate and how we define the challenge levels of children. That is our professional right and duty. Switch slide.
We may need to embrace the idea that children who learn differently then must be taught differently. Switch slide.
From the survey that many of you completed (and for which I thank you for your time), I learned that a lot of us already do some differentiating in the classroom. I’ve also heard from some of you that we’d do more if our kids were more homogenous, we had more time, or if we didn’t want a life. My journey in learning about DI dispelled a few fallacies I held—I’d like to share them with you. Read the gist of each bullet. Switch slide.
Who can volunteer to identify any outstanding defining features. (Add these to chart paper.) Are any of those features consistent with what DI really is? (Give 1 minute for group to read slide.) (If group has identified any common elements, acknowledge them.) Switch slide.
To recap a DI classroom, keep in mind that as teachers, we direct the student centered activities. (Read slide.) Switch slide.
Page 7 of your packet has a graphic organizer on which you can take notes if you desire. (Read Slide) [Ask the experienced group to present their charts of possible differentiated strategies.] Switch slide.
Again, you can check a student&apos;s mastery of the concepts by having her or him complete a concept map. If the child can articulate all or most of the nuances you will be covering in the next chapter or unit, you could offer differentiating learning opportunities. Kidspiration or Inspiration software programs loaded on our computers can serve you well for developing concept maps. We used a concept map to identify the teacher’s role in a DI classroom ourselves, so you can also offer paper graphic organizers if you prefer. Switch slide.
In a heterogeneous classroom, a teacher uses varied levels of activities to ensure that students explore key concepts and ideas at a level that build on their prior knowledge and prompts continuous growth. Student groups use varied approaches to explore essential ideas. Key benefits include: Blends assessment and instruction Allows students to begin learning where they are Allows students to work with appropriately challenging tasks Allows for reinforcement or extension of concepts based on readiness Allows modification of working conditions based on learning style Avoids works that is anxiety producing (too hard) or boredom producing (too easy) Promotes success which is motivating
Although we ought to spend some time talking about how the brain learns and retains information, we haven&apos;t the time to delve into that this year. However, brain based research tells us that several factors influence the amount of learning a student can master under certain conditions. One of the glaring recommendations to increase student achievement across all levels is to teach in ways that students can learn. In our district, several key measures point to our changing demographics. It follows then that what we’ve always done, may need to change so that we don’t leave any of our students behind. (Insert changing demographics here) Switch slide.
(After 45 seconds, refocus group.) Hopefully, we can move from the left columns to the fluent columns, Keep this assessment handy as you try the activities in the next couple years. Notice that lessons begin with whole group activities for our global learners as well as for easy management. After the whole group lesson or introduction, students learn about the topics you’ve selected in groups. These groups are chosen based on student learning profiles. Kids are then regrouped to share or ask clarifying questions. They return to a small group format to complete assigned tasks, after which they regroup to review key concepts and ideas through sharing. Remember, your goal is to always move students along a continuum related to key concepts or enduring understandings you&apos;ve selected. In small groups, students apply the key principles. Teachers can choose to introduce related skills as a whole group or in small groups. The students then select areas they want to further understand. Outcomes of these activities can be shared in whole group formats. Obviously, time elements may shorten or reduce the amount of movement from small group to whole group. This is up to you to decide. Switch slide.
(Regroup teachers with exactly 30 minutes left in workshop.) Thanks for getting back to your seats on time…we’ve only 30 minutes to go. Since most of you employ assessment strategies well, we’re going to buzz through these at a rapid clip. If there’s something I need to clarify, jot it down on your doodle page and we’ll finish up with questions. The idea of pre-assessing students for what they know is not new. Many of you do this either at the beginning of the year or each chapter. One of the basic premises of DI is that we teach kids where they are. We don’t assume readiness to learn. Our diagnostic activities are on-going and we constantly adjust our teaching based on classroom profiles. There are many ways we can find out where kids are. Switch slide.
I also asked you to complete a reflection log. This is similar to a journal. You would collect the journals your students do to determine what they need to learn or what they’ve already mastered. Switch slide.
While I used an on-line survey, you can get the same information from a paper survey. Joan Cusano has a list of alternate websites for free on-line surveys if you find that SurveyMonkey.com wasn’t useful for you. You can also ask kids to give lists of information or concepts they know in a journal format. Switch slide.
Students can be asked to create products to demonstrate knowledge as well. These products can be of your own choosing as long as they are designed to show mastery of the concepts. Switch slide.
Any questions? So, let’s think about our kids for a minute. Shortly, we’re going to use something called an equalizer. For those of you familiar with Tomlinson’s work, you’ve seen this before as a way to vary process and product and provide for equitable challenges and diversity in a class. Switch slide.