differentiated instruction

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DIFFERENTIATED INSTRUCTION Presentation by Brandy Callegari Dr. Ramon E. Betances Elementary School Hartford, CT 06106

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What is differentiated instruction? According to Carol Tomlinson, differentiated instruction has the following characteristics…….. Proactive Qualitative Rooted in assessment Utilizes multiple approaches Student centered A blend of instructional methods ORGANIC

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PROACTIVE The teacher should provide a variety of learning activities based on student readiness and learning style. This should be prepared in advance, NOT done on the fly. For students to truly benefit from differentiated instruction, teachers MUST plan. Teachers can plan instruction using the model of multiple intelligences to provide instruction that fits each students’ learning preferences. Products or assessments activities should also take into account student learning styles.

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QUALITATIVE Instruction should focus on depth and quality of learning not on quantity of work completed. Struggling learners should be given support to reach the same learning objectives as their peers. Advanced learners should be provided the support and materials to dig deeper into concepts and make connections between new learning and prior learning.

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ROOTED IN ASSESSMENT PREASSESS PREASSESS PREASSESS Instruction must be based on assessment results. Preassessment should be utilized to find each students’ readiness level. Assessment should be formative not just summative. That is to say, assessment should take place throughout the learning segment not just at the end. Assessments should drive instruction and inform the teacher as to what adjustments need to be made to ensure student understanding of skills and concepts.

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UTILIZES MULTIPLE APPROACHES Look to Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences to create a variety of approaches to…… content: what students learn; process: how students learn; and product: how students demonstrate what they learn. http://surfaquarium.com/MI/profiles/index.htm gives an overview of the eight multiple intelligences and how to support each in the classroom. This becomes the root of differentiated instruction, where teachers begin their planning.

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STUDENT CENTERED Learning activities should be planned with the students in mind. ASK: Will my students be interested in this? Will this activity engage my students? (avoid worksheets!!!) Is this learning activity relevant to my students? (relevant means they can use this NOW!) Know your learners: Take time to learn about your students, their hobbies, the way in which they learn best (learning profile), their background and culture. By taking the time to find out who your students are as learners, you will be better able to meet their learning needs. – Chapman and King

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BLEND OF INSTRUCTIONAL METHODS Whole group when presenting mini lessons and introducing a new concept to the whole class. Even though it is easier, avoid using this method as your primary means of instruction Small group – when providing support for learning activities or mini lessons to build background for leaning activities. The whole group should not be waiting to begin work while this is taking place. Cooperative Learning Groups - Most learning activities should utilize this model as students work together to achieve learning goals. This may be with or without teacher support. Individual instruction – for struggling learners who need more individualized clarification to ensure success with the learning activity. This may also be used when getting advanced students ready to work on individualized learning activities.

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ORGANIC Learning is not stagnant. It is constantly changing and the teacher must change with it. Teachers must be aware of the match between learner and learning activity. As the needs of the student changes, the teacher must be prepared to make adjustments. PLAN - PLAN – PLAN – PLAN – PLAN

What can be differentiated? : 

What can be differentiated? Content Process Product Each of these three can be approached by looking at student readiness, interest and learning profile

Differentiating by Content : 

Differentiating by Content Content may be differentiated by interest. Students can look at concepts from the view of different subgroups. i.e. The history of the West and Manifest Destiny can be looked at from the view of the gold rush, the railroads, homesteading and immigration. Students could explore the history from the topic that interests them. Content may be differentiated by readiness. Students should work with materials that are at their independent level. i.e. Advanced readers should not spend all their time learning from grade level texts. Provide advanced materials and texts. Struggling readers should likewise not spend the majority of their time with grade level texts. Provide informational texts and materials at their independent level. Content may be differentiated by student learning profile. This would entail providing content in a variety of modalities so each student receives material in the way they learn best. This could include but is not limited to auditory, visual and kinesthetic.

Differentiating by Process : 

Differentiating by Process The process by which students make sense of their learning is usually in the form of a task or activity. Tomlinson calls them sense making activities Sense making activities can be differentiated by readiness when the complexity of the task reflects the skill level of the students. i.e. Student led literature circles as opposed to teacher led literature circles. Asking questions at the high levels of Bloom’s taxonomy as opposed to the lower levels of knowledge and comprehension. Sense making activities can be differentiated by interest when students are allowed to choose a facet of a topic or concept to become experts in. This would incorporate the jigsaw model of instruction. Students become experts on a portion of the learning and then chose a way to present the learning to their classmates. Sense making activities can be differentiated by learning profile would be similar to differentiated by content. The teacher should provide activities that allow the student to make sense of information using a variety of modalities. Examples of sense making activities that are easily differentiated are: literature circles, cubing, journals, graphic organizers and learning centers.

Differentiating by Product : 

Differentiating by Product Again, differentiating by product would include use of multiple intelligences and allowing students the use of a variety of modalities. The following charts giving product ideas are from Tomlinson.

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ASSESSMENT The cornerstone of differentiated instruction – without it, we are blindly leading our students.

PreAssessment : 

PreAssessment Teachers must provide preassess their students prior to starting a learning unit. This should ideally happen several weeks prior to the start of a unit so that the results can be factored into planning. Preassessment should be simple. Develop creative and interactive ways to ask students about their prior experience and attitudes towards a concept or topic. ASK: How does _____ relate to you? What do you know about _______? How do you feel about __________? What do you want to learn about _______?

Assessment during Learning : 

Assessment during Learning Homework or ELOs (Evening Learning Opportunities) as Chapman and King refer to them are great ways to assess students learning during a learning unit. These should not be simply worksheets full of practice problems, they should be activities based on learning profile and student readiness. ELOs if possible should also include parents into student learning. i.e. Students can interview parents or have parents help identify shapes in the home or neighborhood. Exit Slips or Common Formative Assessments can also be used to assess student learning during a learning segment. The difficulty here is to make sure that although you are assessing for the same learning objective you have differentiated the assessment to account for readiness and learning profile. Ask yourself – Is a written response the ONLY way my students can show me they know this concept? Model and teach students self-talk. This metacognition, when verbalized, gives the teacher a great insight into where each student is in their mastery of skills and concepts. Randomly ask volunteers to share their self-talk with the class. Remember this is a skill you will have to explicitly teach! For more ideas, see Chapman and King (see reference slide)

Assessment after Learning : 

Assessment after Learning Contracts A list developed with teacher and student that gives specific tasks to complete in a specific timeline. These tasks may be traditional or may be anything on the product possibilities list complied by Tomlinson. Chapman and King also provide multiple possibilities. Project Based A project based assessment incorporates several learning objectives into one product that demonstrates the students mastery of interconnected concepts and skills. Projects are often assessed using a rubric created by teacher and students and is often self scored as well as teacher scored. Cubing Each side of a cube has one term from Bloom’s taxonomy on it, terms are chosen based on student readiness. Students role the cube and choose a favorite way to respond to the term rolled. Example: Learning about pollution. One side of the cube may say define, one may say propose. Students might define various forms of pollution or students may propose solutions to types of pollution.

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Choice boards Teachers create a variety of assessment activities that incorporate a wide range of learning modalities, learning profiles and multiple intelligences. These activities are displayed visually on a board from which students can choose the activity they feel will best display their learning. Choice Board for The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe Example:

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Assessments will be more authentic and realistic when students are allowed to show their understanding in a variety of ways. A climate for assessment must be established. We all remember those nights cramming for a test and never recalling the information after the fact. It is imperative to establish a climate where assessment is part of learning, not punishment. In this way learning is retained. Students must view assessments as a way to show their learning or to identify their gaps so they can learn better. This atmosphere is established by the teacher. When you are positive so are your students. Remember that short, frequent assessments are less stressful and more authentic and useful than large paper and pencil summative assessments.

A Differentiated Lesson(Sample) : 

A Differentiated Lesson(Sample) Learning Objective: Students will be able to recognize and correct run-on sentences in their own writing and in isolation.

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Group A – advanced learners, those whose preassessment showed mastery and who seldom write using run- on sentences. REFLECTION: Students reported that activity was easy for them. This lesson should expand students knowledge of sentence construction, perhaps independent and dependent clauses rather than run-ons. Students were given sets of sentences and asked to choose the one written correctly and then to correct the others using transition words to create an original sentence. Next, students edited a piece of their own writing for run-on sentences using transition words to strengthen their piece.

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Group B – Students whose preassessment showed understanding but not mastery and who often use run-on sentences in their writing. REFLECTION – Students reported enjoying the activity and that it helped them in recognizing something they do often. This lesson was appropriate for the readiness and interest of the students. Students were given run-on sentences on strips. Students cut the strips to separate the ideas in the sentences and then corrected punctuation and capitalization. Students then worked on correcting run-on sentences while editing on paper. Students copied sentences correctly from poster. The next step would be to edit a section of their own writing specifically for run-on sentences.

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Group B extension – Students in Group B that work better by themselves. REFLECTION: Students enjoyed the activites and website so much they started to explore the other topics when they finished their assignment. Students were able to correct sentences in their own writing. Students worked on a grammar website http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/ They read instruction on run-on sentences and then completed online activities on the topic.

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GROUP C – Students whose preassessment showed no under- standing of sentence structure. Students whose writing reflects fragments as well as run-on sentences. Students were given mini-lesson on sentence components and given a poster for reference during the learning activity. Students used word cards to unscramble the complete sentence. Students wrote the sentence on their papers and circled the subject and underlined the predicate/verb. Students then mixed up the word cards to create four sentences of their own that had a subject and predicate. They copied as before and marked the subject and predicate. The next step would be to edit a section of their writing and correct for complete sentences. REFLECTION: Students were engaged in the activity and were able to locate the subject and predicate. This activity was appropriate to the readiness of the students. Students practiced a weak skill in a hands on way.

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Quick Note : The preceding lesson was conducted three days before the end of school. Although by this point, many students have disengaged from most learning activities, all students in this group were engaged and highly motivated. This is a testament to differentiated instruction. Had this lesson been done earlier in the year the benefits would have been tremendous. Students would have increased their skill and comfort in writing, as well as their motivation for writing activities. A lesson learned by this instructor.

REFERENCES : 

REFERENCES Chapman, Carolyn and Rita King. (2005) Differentiated Assessment Strategies: One Tool Doesn’t Fit All. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press, Inc. Darling, Dr. Charles. (2004) Capital Community College Foundation: Guide to Grammar and Writing. Retrieved June 15, 2008, http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/ McKenzie, Walter. Walter McKenzie’s One and Only Surfaquarium. Retrieved June 16, 2008, http://surfaquarium.com/MI/profiles/index.htm Tomlinson, Carol. (2001) How to Differentiate Instruction in Mixed-Ability Classrooms. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development