Module IV Differentiating Curriculum for the Elementary Gifted Learner Differentiation By Karen McCollister, M.S. Ed. firstname.lastname@example.org
Goals for MODULE 4 • Identify key features of an effectively differentiated classroom. • Explain some of the concepts and principles of differentiated instruction. • Analyze some strategies for differentiating for skill work vs. strategies for differentiating new content. • Explore Kaplan’s Framework for Depth and Complexity.
Learning Profile Surveys Loud, exuberant situations increase your energy. Loud, exuberant situations quickly drain your energy. 1) Write your grade level once on each chart. Select the single category on each that best describes you.
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A mistake we often make in education is to plan the curriculum materials very carefully, arrange all the instructional materials wall to wall, open the doors of the school, and then find to our dismay that they’ve sent us the wrong kids.Donna Whyte
“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.”– Lorna Earl “Zone of Proximal Growth” - Vygotsky
The Differentiated Classroom The Differentiated Classroom
Differentiation is... a positive, supportive learning environment in which a teacher provides different avenues for students to acquire content, process (or make sense of) information and ideas, and develop products demonstrating evidence of their learning.
Differentiation is… • Allowing students to choose, with the teacher’s guidance, ways to learn and to demonstrate what they have learned. • Providing students with opportunities to explore topics in which they have strong interest and find personal meaning.
Differentiation is... • Teachers offering tasks that are interesting, engaging, and accessible to essential understanding and skills. • Each child feels challenged most of the time.
Needs of the Student • Challenge • Purpose • Engagement • Power • Contribution • Affirmation
Student needs, teacher role, and curriculum work together like a well-oiled machine. Each gear turning the next in constant motion of equal importance.
Teachers differentiate through content, process, product, environment, and assessment.
Content • legally mandated curriculum students are expected to learn: • skills, • concepts • content knowledge
Access to the content is the key. The variation seen in a differentiated classroom is most frequently the manner in which students gain access to important learning.
Content Can Be Modified by • Sophistication • Methods specific to the discipline • Biographical explorations • Varying the resources to match readiness, interests, and learning profiles • Different perspectives • Novelty • Metacognitive strategies
Process Process is the variety of ways in which students explore, investigate, and learn the curriculum.
The Process might include: • Digital storytelling • Independent study • Small focus group – discussion/in-depth study/sharing • Hands-on investigations • Preparing and conducting interviews • Sending e-mail correspondence to experts through the teacher • Mentors
The Process might include: • Audio books • Viewing/discussing short film clips • Generating original samples (math, poetry, etc.) • Tutors • Seminars • Video-conferencing (across the school/district/state/etc. )
Process Flexible grouping is consistently used. • Gifted learners interact and work together. • Students construct knowledge of new content. • Groups may be coached from within or by a teacher. Dynamic groups are a foundation of differentiated instruction.
Grouping Gifted students make greater academic gains when interacting with intellectual peers.
Process Possibilities • On-line mini-lectures. (Khan, Teacher Tube, Teacher) • Face-to-face meetings. • Teacher/student conferences. • Chat meetings, such as Edmodo. • Optional video meetings, such as Skype. • Study choices: alone, paired, or with a small group. • Projects – usually a choice in product/content/ or process. Individual/paired/small group. • Flexible time with absolute deadlines. • Check-in points through required posted reflections.
Product Students prove they have learned the content through their products, demonstrating their understanding, while using their talents.
Product Note 1: • Gifted students should not have to produce more work than peers. Their assessment should be based on the development of deeper subject understanding and expertise.
Product Note 2: • A product should be authentic, designed for a stated purpose for a real audience, and allow the students to reflect application of new knowledge.
Product Modifications: • Compacted/compressed work • Tiered Work • Alternate Choices • Extensions • Independent research • Portfolios • Live or video/audio presentations • Creative expressions of understandings
Learning Environment The learning environment, includes the operation and tone of the classroom(s), as well as access to resources, including purposeful technology, well-matched mentors and study trips.
Environment • The environment should be configured to provide optimal learning, with program objectives and student needs in mind. • Students must feel challenged and safe to explore and express their uniqueness.
Learning Environment Examples • Level of independence supported • Arrangement of physical space and time • Access to resources available, including technology and experts
Learning Environment Examples • Consideration of various culture groups • Establishing routines that allow students to get help when teachers are busy with other students and cannot help them immediately
Hallmarks of Duck Dynasty and a Differentiated Classroom • Flexibility • Flexible grouping
Assessment Differentiated instruction begins with preassessment.
Goals of Preassessment • Accurately identify students’ current levels of learning (readiness) • Determine modifications ( ) needed for the next stage of learning IMPORTANT NOTE: Preassessment is NOT always paper and pencil.
Assessment • Use assessment as a teaching tool to extend learning rather than simply as a way to measure for mastery. Assessment should occur before, during, and following the instructional episode to enable the teacher to identify student needs and provide optimal guidance to enhance student learning.
Assessment Guides Instruction • Group Formation • Content Selection • Process Selection • Product Choices
Assessment Students provide evidence of their learning of the content through their planning, research, product development, discussions, responses, and reflections .
Assessment Guides… • Instruction • Group Formations • Content Selections • Process Selections • Product Choices • Environmental Options
Question to Discuss: How might these ideas look different in a K-2 environment as opposed to a 3-6 environment? What adjustments would need to be made?
Role of the Student • Establish goals • Construct knowledge • Share knowledge • Self-assess • Reflect • Establish goals
Role of the Teacher • Provide opportunity • Extend invitations • Facilitate • Encourage • Assess • Guide reflection
Role of the Curriculum • Engage • Scaffold • Challenge
Role of the Learner • Focus • Question • Explore • Research • Assess • Reflect