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Module 3:

Module 3 Issues in literacy

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Differentiated Classroom: Responding to the Needs of All Learners, 2nd Edition by Carol Ann Tomlinson Table of Contents Chapter 1. What Is a Differentiated Classroom? Source 1

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In differentiated classrooms, teachers begin with two critical "givens": there are content requirements—often in the form of "standards"—that will serve as destination points for their students, and there are students who will inevitably vary as learners. Thus, teachers in differentiated classrooms accept and act on the premise that they must be ready to engage students in instruction through different approaches to learning, by appealing to a range of interests, and by using varied rates of instruction along with varied degrees of complexity and differing support systems. In differentiated classrooms, teachers ensure that students compete against themselves as they grow and develop more than they compete against one another, always moving toward—and often beyond—designated content goals.

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Ms. Handley studies her students persistently; she feels she must know them well to teach them well. She sets as her measure of professional success that every student engages in and contributes to learning every day and that every student makes observable progress every day. She works hard to gain her students' trust very early in the year and to prove herself worthy of their trust thereafter. She uses formative assessment, both formal and informal, as her primary understanding of what each student needs in order to connect with the curriculum and to grow as a result of class experiences. She says that formative assessment lets her know what she needs to do to make tomorrow's lesson work best for every student. Mrs. Wiggins assigns students to multiple spelling lists based on pre-assessment results rather than making the assumption that all 3rd graders should work on List 3. Mr. Owen matches homework to student need whenever possible, trying to ensure that practice is meaningful for everyone. He invites students to be part of determining which home tasks will best help them understand and apply mathematical concepts and principles. http://www.ascd.org/publications/books/108029/chapters/What-Is-a-Differentiated-Classroom%C2%A2.aspx

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Source 2

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Teacher testimonials

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Teacher testimonials

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Source Ania Lian and Amy Norman (2017). A Dialogic, Evidence-based Framework for Integrating Technology into School Curricula In: A.B. Lian, P. Kell, P. Black and Koo Yew Lie (2017). Challenges in global learning: Dealing with educational issues from an international perspective, pp. 314-349

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…, a more traditional concept of feedback is prominent in the literature. For example, in Hattie and Timperley (2007), feedback is defined as information provided by someone to the student or accessed by the student (p. 81) and “it occurs typically after instruction that seeks to provide knowledge and skills or to develop particular attitudes” (p. 101). Hattie and Timperley do not specify any intellectual framework which would support this definition, including the concept of information . It is therefore unclear why it was chosen, what impact is expected that feedback should have on the students and what would make it relevant to them. As pointed out by Dede (2007, p. 35; 2012), when playing a game, the players expect feedback instantly (just in time), otherwise the game would stop. The comparison helps make the point that in the context of a game, it is the players who construct the content (the way in which the game unravels). They construct meaning out of the various cues (signals) they judge to be relevant to plan ahead. A game makes room for many solutions and what the players see as feedback depends on how they read the game.

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This openness and exploration are missing in classrooms where there is only one way to play the game. In such classrooms, students are expected to re-create the game which plays itself out in the head of their teacher. In such contexts, feedback is a means to monitor and to regulate the accuracy of students’ performance according to what the teacher knows and sees, not necessarily the students. This is exactly the function that Hattie & Timperley (2007) attribute to feedback. They see its role as a means “to reduce discrepancies between current understandings and performance and a goal” (Hattie & Timperley, 2007, p. 88). The problem is that the understandings that teachers have of their students’ processing needs are not the same as those which inform students’ actual performance (teachers are not in students’ heads or bodies). It follows that for feedback to “speak to” to students’ meaning-making systems, student agency needs to be taken into account. This will include an explication of the role that students play in the process of formulating, acting on and understanding the goals they are to pursue. If these goals are owned by teachers, this is not co-construction that is taking place, but a form of didactics which denies students their own history. (p. 321)

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Alternative

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Source Ania Lian and Amy Norman (2017). A Dialogic, Evidence-based Framework for Integrating Technology into School Curricula In: A.B. Lian, P. Kell, P. Black and Koo Yew Lie (2017). Challenges in global learning: Dealing with educational issues from an international perspective, pp. 314-349

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The process of interpretation (meaning-making) revolves around the ability to reject that which does not matter Ambiguity (conflict) is experienced when students’ expectations or judgments compete for “truth”, i.e., when students experience signals as equally meaningful, which prevents them from differentiating between the important and unimportant elements (Lian & Lian, 1997).

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