Coaching for Differentiation By Lori Comallie-Caplan
The success of education depends on adapting teaching to individual differences among learners. Yuezheng, in fourth century B.C. Chinese treatise, Xue Ji (Snow, 1982)
Differentiation Is a teacher’s response to learner’s needs Guided by general principles of differentiation Respectful tasks Flexible grouping Continual assessment Teachers can differentiate through Building Community Quality Curriculum Content Product Affect/Environment Process According to students’ Readiness Interest Learning Profile Through a variety of instructional strategies such as: Choice Menus, Anchor Activities, Cubing, RAFTS, 6 Thinking Hats, Structured Academic Controversy, The profiler, Tri-minder, etc
Ways to Differentiate Content • Reading Partners / Reading Buddies • Read/Summarize • Read/Question/Answer • Visual Organizer/Summarizer • Parallel Reading with Teacher Prompt • Choral Reading/Antiphonal Reading • Flip Books • Split Journals (Double Entry – Triple Entry) • Books on Tape • Highlights on Tape • Digests/ “Cliff Notes” • Notetaking Organizers • Varied Texts • Varied Supplementary Materials • Highlighted Texts • Think-Pair-Share/Preview-Midview-Postview Tomlinson – ‘00
WAYS TO DIFFERENTIATE PROCESS • Fun & Games • RAFTs • Cubing, Think Dots • Choices (Intelligences) • Centers • Tiered lessons • Contracts
Ways to Differentiate Product • Choices based on readiness, interest, and learning profile • Clear expectations • Timelines • Agreements • Product Guides • Rubrics • Evaluation
A Differentiated Classroom in Balance Teacher-Student Partnerships F L E X I B L E Solid Curriculum Shared Vision Shared goals Inviting Shared responsibility Focused A Growth Orientation Concept- based Product Oriented Sense Of Community Resource On-going assessment to determine need Feedback and grading Time Groups Respect For Group ZPD Target Approaches to teaching and learning Safe Respect for individual Shared Challenge Affirming Tomlinson-oo
Differentiation is responsive teaching rather than one-size-fits-all teaching.
“It means teachers proactively plan varied approaches to what students need to learn, how they will learn it, and/or how they will show what they have learned in order to increase the likelihood that each student will learn as much as he or she can, as efficiently as possible.”
What is differentiation? Differentiation is classroom practice that looks eyeball to eyeball with the reality that kids differ, and the most effective teachers do whatever it takes to hook the whole range of kids on learning. -Tomlinson (2001)
“Differentiation is making sure that the right students get the right learning tasks at the right time. Once you have a sense of what each student holds as ‘given’ or ‘known’ and what he or she needs in order to learn, differentiation is no longer an option; it is an obvious response.” Assessment as Learning: Using Classroom Assessment to Maximize Student Learning Lorna M. Earl Corwin Press, Inc. – 2003 – pp. 86-87
“It’s a way of thinking about the classroom with the goals of honoring each student’s learning needs and maximizing each student’s learning capacity while developing a solid community of learners.”
Differentiation doesn’t suggest that a teacher can be all things to all individuals all the time. It does, however, mandate that a teacher create a reasonable range of approaches to learning much of the time, so that most students find learning a fit much of the time.
At its most basic level, differentiating instruction means “shaking up” what goes on in the classroom so that students have multiple options for taking in information, making sense of ideas, and expressing what they learn.
It’s teaching so that “typical” students; students with disabilities; students who are gifted; and students from a range of cultural, ethnic, and language groups can learn together, well. Not just inclusion, but inclusive teaching. Based on Peterson, J., & Hitte, M. (2003). Inclusive teaching: Creating effective schools for all learners. Boston: Allyn & Bacon, p. xix.
Differentiating Instruction:Rules of Thumb • Be clear on the key concepts and generalizations or principles that give meaning and structure to the topic, chapter, unit, or lesson you are planning. • Lessons for all students should emphasize critical thinking. • Lessons for all students should be engaging. • In a diffentiated classroom, there should be a balance between student-selected and teacher-assigned tasks and working arrangements.
It Begins with Good Instruction Lynn Erickson: We know from brain research that students need to see patterns and connections, and any learner is looking at information and trying to pattern and sort it into what they already have in their brains as far as past experience, past learnings. And if they have no way to make sense of this massive amount of information that's coming at them, then they tend to get confused. We also know that they tend to forget a lot of what they have learned. It just becomes "traipsing over trivia" because it doesn't make much sense to them. So, moving to a conceptual level for the structure of that information is going to be beneficial to students.
Planning a Focused Curriculum Means Clarity About What Students Should … KNOW • Facts • Vocabulary • Definitions • UNDERSTAND • Principles/ generalizations • Big ideas of the discipline • BE ABLE TO DO • Processes • Skills
KNOW Facts, names, dates, places, information • There are 50 states in the US • Thomas Jefferson • 1492 • The Continental Divide • The multiplication tables
UNDERSTAND Essential truths that give meaning to the topic Stated as a full sentence Begin with, “I want students to understand THAT…” (not HOW… or WHY… or WHAT) • Multiplication is another way to do addition. • People migrate to meet basic needs. • All cultures contain the same elements. • Entropy and enthalpy are competing forces in the natural world. • Voice reflects the author.
Understanding Understanding is more a matter of what people can DO than something they HAVE. Understanding involves action more than possession. D.N. Perkins, Educational Leadership, 10/91
BE ABLE TO DO Skills (basic skills, skills of the discipline, skills of independence, social skills, skills of production) Verbs or phrases (not the whole activity) • Analyze • Solve a problem to find perimeter • Write a well supported argument • Evaluate work according to specific criteria • Contribute to the success of a group or team • Use graphics to represent data appropriately
“There is no such thing as genuine knowledge and fruitful understanding except as the offspring of doing… This is the lesson which all education has to learn.” --John Dewey
KNOW (facts, vocabulary, dates, rules, people, etc.) ecosystem, elements of culture (housing/shelter, customs, values, geography) UNDERSTAND (complete sentence, statement of truth or insight - want students to understand that . . .) DO(basic skills, thinking skills, social skills, skills of the discipline, planning skills---verbs) Compare and contrast Draw conclusions Work collaboratively Develop a timeline Use maps as data Compare and contrast Write a unified paragraph Examine varied perspectives Tomlinson • 02
Ongoing Assessment: The Key to A Differentiated Classroom
“Assessment is today’s means of understanding how to modify tomorrow’s instruction.” Carol Tomlinson
WHAT CAN BE ASSESSED? READINESS LEARNING PROFILE INTEREST • Areas of Strength • and Weakness • Work Preferences • Self Awareness • Interest Surveys • Interest Centers • Self-Selection Content Knowledge Skills Concepts
“Assessment should always have more to do with helping students grow than with cataloging their mistakes.” Carol Tomlinson
When Do You Assess? Most teachers assess students at the end of an instructional unit or sequence. When assessment and instruction are interwoven, both the students and the teacher benefit. The next slide suggests a diagnostic continuum for ongoing assessment.
On-going Assessment:A Diagnostic Continuum Preassessment (Finding Out) Formative Assessment (Keeping Track & Checking -up) Summative Assessment (Making sure)
Formative Assessment (Keeping Track & Checking -up) Summative Assessment (Making sure) Preassessment (Finding Out) On-going Assessment:A Diagnostic Continuum Feedback and Goal Setting Pre-test Graphing for Greatness Inventory KWL Checklist Observation Self-evaluation Questioning Conference Exit Card Peer evaluation Portfolio Check 3-minute pause Quiz Observation Journal Entry Talkaround Self-evaluation Questioning Unit Test Performance Task Product/Exhibit Demonstration Portfolio Review
Preassessment Is... • Any method, strategy or process used to determine a • student’s current level of readiness or interest in order to • plan for appropriate instruction. • Preassessment: • provides data that can determine options for students to • to take in information, construct meaning, and to • demonstrate understanding of new information • helps teachers anticipate differences before planning • challenging and respectful learning experiences • allows teachers to meet students where they are
Formative Assessment Is... • A process of accumulating information about a student’s • progress to help make instructional decisions that will • improve his/her understandings and achievement levels. • Formative Assessment: • depicts student’s life as a learner • used to make instructional adjustments • alerts the teacher about student misconceptions • “early warning signal” • allows students to build on previous experiences • provides regular feedback • provides evidence of progress • aligns with instructional/curricular outcomes
Summative Assessment Is... • A means to determine a student’s mastery and • understanding of information, skills, concepts, or • processes. • Summative Assessment: • should reflect formative assessments that precede it • should match material taught • may determine student’s exit achievement • may be tied to a final decision, grade or report • should align with instructional/curricular outcomes • may be a form of alternative assessment
Student Traits There are four student traits that teachers must often address to ensure effective and efficient learning. Those are readiness, interest, learning profile, and affect.
Student Traits Readiness refers to a student’s knowledge, understanding, and skill related to a particular sequence of learning. Only when a student works at a level of difficulty that is both challenging and attainable for that student does learning take place. Tomlinson, 2003
Student Traits Interest refers to those topics or pursuits that evoke curiosity and passion in a learner. Thus, highly effective teachers attend both to developing interests and as yet undiscovered interests in their students. Tomlinson, 2003
Student Traits Learning profile refers to how students learn best. Those include learning style, intelligence preference, culture and gender. If classrooms can offer and support different modes of learning, it is likely that more students will learn effectively and efficiently. Tomlinson, 2003
Student Traits Affect has to do with how students feel about themselves, their work, and the classroom as a whole. Student affect is the gateway to helping each student become more fully engaged and successful in learning. Tomlinson, 2003
Learner Profile Card Gender Stripe Auditory, Visual, Kinesthetic Analytical, Creative, Practical Student’s Interests Multiple Intelligence Preference Favorite Subject NOTE: Put the student’s name on the back of the card so decisions can initially be made without knowing the particular student.
Intelligence Preference Human brains are “wired” differently in different individuals. Although all normally functioning people use all parts of their brains, each of us is “wired” to be better in some areas than in others (Gardner, Sternberg). Differentiation based on a student’s intelligence preference generally suggests allowing the student to work in a preferred mode to develop that capacity further. Sometimes teachers also ask students to extend their preferred modes of working, or they opt to use a student’s preferred areas to support growth in less comfortable areas.
Sternberg’s Three Intelligences Creative Analytical Practical • We all have some of each of these intelligences, but are usually stronger in one or two areas than in others. • We should strive to develop as fully each of these intelligences in students… • …but also recognize where students’ strengths lie and teach through those intelligences as often as possible, particularly when introducing new ideas.
Anchor Activities A task to which a student automatically moves when an assigned task is finished, TRAITS OF EFFECTIVE ANCHOR ACTIVITIES: Important—related to key knowledge, understanding, and skill, Interesting—appeals to student curiosity, interest, learning preference, Allow Choice—students can select from a range of options Clear Routines and Expectations—students know what they are to do, how to do it, how to keep records, etc. Seldom Graded—teachers should examine the work as they move around the room. Students may turn in work for feedback. Students may get a grade for working effectively, but seldom for the work itself. The motivation is interest and/or improved achievement.
RAPID ROBIN The “Dreaded Early Finisher”
“I’m Not Finished” Freddie “It takes him an hour-and-a-half to watch 60 Minutes.”
One premise in a differentiated classroom: “ In this class we are never finished--- Learning is a process that never ends.”
Anchor Activities • Anchor activitiesare ongoing assignments that students can work on independently throughout a unit of study or longer.
The Purpose of an Anchor Activity is to: Provide meaningful work for students when they finish an assignment or project, when they first enter the class or when they are “stumped”. Provide ongoing tasks that tie to the content and instruction. Free up the classroom teacher to work with other groups of students or individuals.