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Differentiating Instruction

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Respectful Accommodations : 

Respectful Accommodations EDUC 4501 Class 13

Teachers can differentiate : 

Teachers can differentiate Content Process Product According to students’ Readiness Interests Learning Profile

Content : 

Content Content – refers to the concepts, principles, and skills that teachers want students to learn It also refers to the means teachers use to give students access to skills and knowledge, such as texts, lectures, demonstrations, and field trips (instructional strategies)

Process & Products : 

Process & Products Process – refers to the activities that help students make sense of, and come to own, the ideas and skills being taught Products – refers to how students show what they know

Readiness : 

Readiness What if you taught at a ski school?

Level 1 – Beginner slope : 

Level 1 – Beginner slope Ages 20 - 30

Level 2 – Intermediate slope : 

Level 2 – Intermediate slope Ages 31 - 40

Level 3 – Expert slope : 

Level 3 – Expert slope Ages 41 - 100

Readiness : 

Readiness The teacher assesses and constructs tasks at different levels of difficulty

Middle Schoolers Answer the Question, “What does it Feel Like When Classes Move too Slowly? : 

Middle Schoolers Answer the Question, “What does it Feel Like When Classes Move too Slowly?

Some Elementary Students Answer the Question, “What’s it Like When You Feel Lost in Class?” : 

Some Elementary Students Answer the Question, “What’s it Like When You Feel Lost in Class?”

Frayer Model : 

Frayer Model Definition Information Performers/Composers Personal Experience JAZZ

Readiness : 

Readiness The teacher assesses and constructs tasks at different levels of difficulty Pace or depth of instruction Resources based on reading level Scaffolding

Interests/Passions : 

Interests/Passions The teacher aligns key skills and materials from the curriculum with topics that intrigue students or offers choices

Learning Profile : 

Learning Profile The teacher addresses learning styles and multiple intelligences

MI & Learning Styles : 

MI & Learning Styles Multiple intelligence theory describes the ways in which people are smart and demonstrate ability and competence Learning styles have to do with how people are most comfortable learning and most receptive to learning

Learning Profile : 

Learning Profile

Knowing Yourself : 

Knowing Yourself Teachers must be careful not to confuse what worked for them as students with what will work for their students. You may need to examine whether your ideas about how you learn best get in the way of thinking broadly about how others learn best.

Differentiation is like… : 

Differentiation is like…

An example : 

An example After reading two versions of Cinderella from different cultures, students compare and contrast them and draw pictures of both similar and different elements of the two stories Find the Content, Process & Product

Content, Process, Product : 

Content, Process, Product After reading two versions of Cinderella from different cultures, students compare and contrast them and draw pictures of both similar and different elements of the two stories Make changes for readiness, interest, learner profile

The Teacher’s Challenge : 

The Teacher’s Challenge Developing-- “Respectful Activities” Interesting Engaging Challenging

Respectful Differentiation : 

Respectful Differentiation Read the assigned scenario Discuss Is this an example of respectful differentiation? Why or why not? How would you improve the assignment?

Scenario 1 : 

Scenario 1 Teacher A is helping students learn about simple machines and their uses in the real world. For most students, this is a fairly new topic. She does have a few students, however, who studied this in depth last year in the gifted pull-out class. When she assigns practice activities, she figures she will ask each experienced student to work in a small group with students who are new to the topic so that they can help those who are not as advanced in their knowledge of the topic. She figures that will help the advanced students, too, because students learn so much by teaching others.

Scenario 1 : 

Scenario 1 It is not a good idea to differentiate for advanced students primarily by asking them to tutor other students. The most important issue in this scenario, however, is that advanced students should also have the opportunity to expand their own knowledge, understanding, and skills with simple machines by completing more advanced activities.

Scenario 2 : 

Scenario 2 Teacher B is assigning math homework. Some of her students are still struggling to master converting fractions to decimals, some understand the process but need more practice, and some are fairly proficient. Because she knows that it will take longer for some students to complete the problems, she decides to assign 10 problems to struggling students, 20 problems to on-grade-level students, and 30 problems to advanced students.

Scenario 2 : 

Scenario 2 Generally, it does not feel respectful to students when we differentiate by quantity rather than quality. Rather than assigning fewer or more problems, assign different problems.

Scenario 3 : 

Scenario 3 Teacher C likes to give students options when completing a culminating project in social studies. She typically tells them they can write a report, prepare a PowerPoint presentation, or give a speech that reveals their knowledge, understanding, and skill with a unit of study. However, one of her students is a really poor writer, so she asks him to do a report to give him additional practice with that skill.

Scenario 3 : 

Scenario 3 If most students get a choice of product, it would feel disrespectful to a single student to tell him he does not get a choice. Furthermore, a good reason to offer choice in culminating products is so that students have the best possible chance to show their knowledge, understanding, and skill in a topic. The described student would be not have this opportunity as he is assigned the medium that he finds most difficult.

Scenario 4 : 

Scenario 4 Student D got 100 percent on a pre-test that assessed his ability to use PowerPoint. So instead of the class demonstrations and assignments, his teacher asks him to design a rubric that he could use to judge the professional quality of a PowerPoint presentation. His task, over several days, is to use that rubric to evaluate several examples the teacher found on the Web. For fun, the teacher also throws in a presentation that she herself has designed. Student D must choose one of the examples and redo it so that it looks more professional. He will present both the "before" and "after" versions to the class.

Scenario 4 : 

Scenario 4 The alternative activity seems respectful. It should provide the student with an opportunity to refine his understanding of an effective PowerPoint presentation. His presentation to the class will inform his peers as well, providing them with access to advanced material.

Scenario 5 : 

Scenario 5 Teacher E is teaching his students to design pop-up cards that exemplify the style of different artistic movements. He has differentiated the assignment so that students can choose the two movements that most interest them. The methodology for the project is quite complex, so he designs a version of the assignment that is much simpler to complete. Because three students are non-English speakers, he assigns them to the simple task.

Scenario 5 : 

Scenario 5 Providing a choice of artistic periods is respectful. What is not so respectful in this scenario is the assumption that students learning English should be automatically assigned to the "simpler" version of this activity. The activity they are assigned should depend mainly on their readiness to accomplish the task itself (designing pop-up cards), not their ability to read the directions.

Scenario 6 : 

Scenario 6 Teacher F is assigning a chapter in the science text. She knows that some students in her high school class read at an elementary level, some at a middle school level, some at grade level, and a few at postsecondary level. But she only has one textbook. She tells students that she knows that some of them will have a hard time with the reading, but just to do as much of it as they can.

Scenario 6 : 

Scenario 6 If students cannot understand the whole chapter because of their reading level, they probably can't understand half the chapter either! A better solution would be to adapt the reading selection to better match the varied reading levels in the class or to provide access to the material on tape.

Scenario 7 : 

Scenario 7 Teacher G is helping students learn about simple machines and their uses in the real world. A few students studied this in depth last year in an after school enrichment class, but this is a fairly new topic for most students. Teacher G does not want to bore the experienced students with introductory lessons and worksheets, so he lets them work with building materials in the back of the room to construct a Rube Goldberg device that incorporates each type of simple machine at least once. The rest of the students will complete a packet of worksheets.

Scenario 7 : 

Scenario 7 On the surface, this may seem like a better use of student time than having them tutor their peers, and it certainly seems like an activity the students would enjoy. The problem is that it will seem like a small group of students gets a "fun" activity while the others are relegated to something that appears dull. Respectful differentiated activities are equally engaging.

Scenario 8 : 

Scenario 8 Teacher H wants all students to complete outside reading. He asks each student to read 10 books per semester and record their reactions to the books in a journal. He provides a number of prompts to help them know what to write. Teacher H knows that a few students in his class read considerably above grade level, so he assigns them 20 books per semester.

Scenario 8 : 

Scenario 8 This is another example of differentiation by quantity rather than quality. A better solution would be to assign advanced readers more advanced books or books that are in a less familiar genre

Scenario 9 : 

Scenario 9 Teacher J likes to give students options when completing a culminating project. He typically tells them they can write a report, prepare a PowerPoint presentation, give a speech, design a Web page, write a skit, or design a series of posters. All work must meet a provided list of criteria. However, one of his students has a really hard time making choices, so he decides to limit this student's choices to three. He tries to pick three options that this student would find interesting.

Scenario 9 : 

Scenario 9 On the surface this might not appear to be respectful because one student does not get as many choices as the other students. But in this case, the student finds too many choices overwhelming. Therefore, it seems appropriate to provide fewer options for this student, especially since the teacher has taken care to provide options he knows the student will enjoy.

Scenario 10 : 

Scenario 10 One of Teacher K's students got a 100 on her word processing pre-test, so the teacher sends her to the library to do an independent research paper on the history of computers.

Scenario 10 : 

Scenario 10 Not every advanced student enjoys or is good at working on independent research. Furthermore, the differentiated activity appears to be unrelated to likely unit goals. Respectful differentiation leads students to the same - or very similar - outcomes

Scenario 11 : 

Scenario 11 Teacher L is assigning a project for which students will compare and contrast the musical styles of two composers of their choice. Two students in the class are classified as special education students, so she figures they will have trouble completing the fairly complex compare and contrast matrix that she has designed. She assigns these students to study one composer, instead.

Scenario 11 : 

Scenario 11 First, we should not automatically assign a student to a particular level of a task based on a label. Perhaps these students have a greater background in music than she supposes. Second, the goal of the task appears to have something to do with comparison of styles. If a student looks at only one composer, he cannot accomplish this goal.

Scenario 12 : 

Scenario 12 Teacher M is assigning a reading in the psychology text on the multiple intelligence theories of Howard Gardner and Robert Sternberg. She has prepared questions for students to answer based on their reactions to the reading. She believes the reading level of the text is appropriate for most of her students, so she asks them to read the section in the text on this topic. However, a few students read and comprehend at a much higher level, so she gives them a reading on this topic from the AP text she borrowed from her colleague down the hall.

Scenario 12 : 

Scenario 12 Teacher M has adjusted the level of reading for her advanced students so they not only have access to key information but also have the opportunity to refine their decoding of advanced text. Another respectful aspect of this scenario is the use of the same set of discussion questions for all students, facilitating common discussions even if the texts differ.

Evaluating Differentiated Activities : 

Evaluating Differentiated Activities Does each version of the task appear to lead to the same outcomes? If not, what changes need to be made? Is each version equally engaging? If not, what changes could be made to ensure equal engagement? Does each version require students to stretch as much as possible? If not, what changes could be made to ensure that each task is equally challenging?

Expect Diversity : 

Expect Diversity We PLAN to have students with a wide range of abilities, learning styles, talents, gifts, interests, and intelligences. We ADJUST when students abilities, interests, and/or problems do not fit our plan. We EVALUATE AND REVISE our instruction. When we design for diversity all students benefit!