National Numeracy FacilatorsConference

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The Differentiated Maths Class – Responding to a Learner’s Needs : 

1 The Differentiated Maths Class – Responding to a Learner’s Needs National Numeracy Facilitators Conference Feb 2007 Caroline Bird cbird@waikato.ac.nz

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2 What differentiation is, Why focus on differentiating instruction, Key Elements of differentiated instruction, Strategies for differentiated instruction, Classroom management in a Secondary Classroom. Differentiation is responsive teaching, rather than one-size-fits-all teaching. Goals for today’s workshop:

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3 Responsive teaching It is a way of thinking Attending to the learning needs of a particular student or small group of student’s Tomlinson & Allan “Leadership from Differentiating Students & Classrooms “ What is differentiation ?

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4 Why is this my focus ? I saw a need!

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5 Differentiation could help with the implementation of the Numeracy programme in a classroom. CHANGE Unnerving Uncomfortable Challenges Comfort zone Taking risks Learning new ways of thinking Unlearning old ways Entrenched ways of thinking Change in pedagogy

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6 Why does there appear to be so much focus on Differentiated Instruction ? It’s not a new trend!! It’s about connecting with students (Teacher-Student relationship) OSFA Differentiated teaching suggests that a teacher will make modifications in accordance to the student’s needs. Standardization Individualisation Tomlinson

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7 What are the Elements of Differentiated Instruction? Differentiation of Instruction Guided by general principles of differentiation, such as; Respectful tasks Flexible grouping Ongoing assessment and adjustment Tomlinson

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8 Teachers can differentiate Content Process Product according to student’s through a range of instructional and management strategies such as Readiness Interests Learning Profile multiple intelligences anchor activities varied texts varied supplementary materials tiered lessons tiered products learning contracts varied questioning strategies Interest centres Varied homework Tomlinson

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9 Using Varied Instructional and Management Strategies Tools of Differentiation Instructional Multiple Intelligences Howard Gardner: 8 ways to think and learn Stronger in some areas than others Need experience in all 8 ways so you can “pump up” the ones you are less strong in Many things require more than one intelligence to accomplish the task Aren’t labels – simply an indication of your learning preference Heacox

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10 A task to which a student automatically moves when an assigned task is finished, Traits of effective Anchor Activities Important Interesting Allow Choice Clear routine and expectations Seldom Graded Anchor Activities Tomlinson, Allan

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11 An agreement between teacher and student. Teacher grants certain freedoms and choices about how a student will complete tasks. Student agrees to use the freedoms appropriately in designing and completing work according to specifications. Specifies working conditions to which students must adhere during the contract time. Learning Contracts Tomlinson

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12 Focus on essential understandings and skills but at different levels of complexity, abstractness and open-endedness. Some guidelines; Select the concept, generalisation and skill that will be the focus of the activity for all learners. Chart the complexity of the activity decide where the lesson should be placed on the ladder “Clone” the activity along the ladder to provide different versions at different degrees of difficulty Tiered Activities Tomlinson

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13 Tools of Differentiation continued Management Discuss routines: Beginning a class Giving directions Moving Encouraging good listeners Getting help when teacher is busy Anchor activities Gather information about each student - records Set up behaviour guidelines and procedures to make the classroom work. - discuss them and be consistent about enforcing them - working alone, in pairs, in groups (interest, ability, teacher directed, student choice) Talk with students early and often ( dialogue) Tomlinson

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14 Remember – the teacher does not try to differentiate everything for everyone every day! Changing Teacher Practice Differentiation is an organised yet flexible way of proactively adjusting teaching and learning to meet kids where they are Start small Start where you are at Differentiate a task for a small block of time Fairness is not treating all students the same, fairness is providing what individual students need Tomlinson

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15 The greatest sign for a teacher is to be able to say “ The students are now working as if I did not exist “ Maria Montessori Tomlinson

Teachers’ beliefs in and about human potential and in the ability of all children to learn and achieve are crucial. : 

16 Teachers’ beliefs in and about human potential and in the ability of all children to learn and achieve are crucial. Education on the Edge of Possibility 1997

Where to from here for you ? : 

17 Where to from here for you ?

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18 National Numeracy Facilitator’s Conference, Feb 2007 Some Resources for Differentiation Tomlinson, C. A. & Allan, S.D. (2000). Leadership for Differentiating Schools and Classrooms. Alexandria, VA: ASCD. How to develop differentiation with staff, with strategies to help implement it. Tomlinson, C. A. & McTighe, J. (2006). Integrating Differentiated Instruction & Understanding by Design. Alexandria, VA: ASCD. Tomlinson, C. A. & McTighe, J. (1999). The Differentiated Classroom, Responding to the Needs of All Learners. Alexandria, VA: ASCD. 3 chapters describe actual lessons, units and classrooms with differentiated instruction in action. Heacox, D. (2002). Differentiating Instruction in the Regular Classroom. How to Reach and Teach All Learners, Grades 3-12 Minneapolis,: Free Spirit. Has reproducible handouts, examples, resources

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