1. Source: Carol Ann Tomlinson, Associate Professor of Educational Leadership, Foundations, and Policy; The Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
2. History Effective teachers have been differentiating instruction for as long as teaching has been a profession. It has to do with being sensitive to the needs of your students and finding ways to help students make the necessary connections for learning to occur in the best possible way.
In this day and age, we have extensive research available to us to assist us in creating instructional environments that will maximize the learning opportunities that will assist students in developing the knowledge and skills necessary for achieving positive learning outcomes.
3. Four Strategies Because "one size does not fit all," it is imperative that a variety of teaching strategies be used in a differentiated classroom. Among many teaching strategies that can be considered, there are four worth mentioning:
cooperative learning, and
information processing models.
4. Direct Instruction (DI) This is the most widely used and most traditional teaching strategy. It is teacher centered and can be used to cover a great amount of material in the amount of time teachers have to cover what students need to learn. It is structured and is based on mastery learning.
5. Direct Instruction Learning Visual Concept Diagram
6. Procedures Introduction/ReviewThe first step in DI is for the teacher to gain the pupils' attention. Sometimes this step is referred to a 'focusing event' and is meant to set the stage for learning to take place. At this stage, the pupils are 'informed' as to what the learning goal or outcome is for the lesson and why it is important or relevant. This step can either take the form of introducing new information or building upon what has been previously learned or covered as a review.
DevelopmentOnce the goal is communicated to pupils, the teacher models the behavior (knowledge or skill) that pupils are ultimately expected to demonstrate. This step includes clear explanations of any information with as many examples as needed to assure pupils' understanding (depending on pupils' learning needs) of what is to be learned. During this step, the teacher also "checks for understanding" by asking key questions relative to what is to be learned or by eliciting questions from pupils. At this stage, teachers can also use 'prompts' (visual aids, multimedia presentations, etc.) to encourage pupils to process information successfully.
Guided PracticeOnce the teacher is confident that enough appropriate examples and explanation of the material to be learned has been modeled with sufficient positive pupil response to the instruction, activities or tasks can be assigned for pupils to practice the expected learning with close teacher monitoring. It is at this stage that teachers can offer assistance to pupils who have not yet mastered the material and who may need more 'direct instruction' from the teacher (step 2 repeated).
7. ClosureAs a final step to this model, closure brings the whole lesson to a 'conclusion' and allows the teacher to recap what was covered in the lesson. It is meant to remind pupils about what the goal for instruction was and for preparing them to complete the independent practice activities that are then assigned by the teacher.
Independent PracticeActivities or tasks related to the defined learning outcomes are assigned in this step usually after pupils have demonstrated competency or proficiency in the 3rd step. Independent practice is meant to eliminate any prompts from the teacher and is meant to determine the degree of mastery that pupils have achieved. (Homework can be classified as an independent practice because it is meant to provide the opportunity for pupils to practice without the assistance or help from the classroom teacher.)
EvaluationEvaluation tools are used to assess pupils' progress either as it is occurring (worksheets, classroom assignments, etc.) or as a culminating event (tests, projects, etc.) to any given lesson. Evaluation of pupils' learning provides the necessary feedback to both the teacher and the pupil and can be used to determine whether expected learning outcomes have been met or have to be revisited in future lessons
8. Inquiry-Based Learning Inquiry-based learning has become very popular in teaching today. It is based on the scientific method and works very well in developing critical thinking and problem solving skills.
It is student centered and requires students to conduct investigations independent of the teacher, unless otherwise directed or guided through the process of discovery.
9. Inquiry-Based Learning Visual Concept Diagram
10. Procedures The first step in any inquiry is the formulation of a question or set of questions related to the topic of inquiry. The question can be posed by the teacher or by the pupil(s). Sometimes the question is referred to as a hypothesis or a problem statement.
Once a question is posed, pupils are encouraged to investigate the topic by gathering information from sources that either the teacher provides or within learning resources or tools that are readily available to the pupils.
When enough information related to the topic of inquiry is gathered, it is organized in categories or outlined by highlighting the important information relative to the topic. This helps the pupil make connections with new learning and prior learning.
The information is discussed and analyzed for further understanding. The teacher can direct the discussion and highlight the implications that arise from the investigation and show how it relates to the solution of the problem.
Conclusions are made and related back to the original question. Student reflections are encouraged and serve as a way to relate back to the inquiry and retrace the steps that led to the conclusion. This also serves to reinforce the model so that pupils can repeat the process in any problem-solving situation.
11. Cooperative Learning (Slavin,1990) Probably one of the most misunderstood strategies for teaching is "cooperative learning." Yet, if employed properly, cooperative learning can produce extraordinary results in learning outcomes. It is based on grouping small teams of students heterogeneously according to ability, interest, background, etc.
However, one of the most important features of cooperative learning is to pick the best strategy that will be used to assign the task for students to accomplish. The more popular strategies include JigsawII, STAD-Student Teams, or Group Investigation.
12. Cooperative Learning Visual Concept Diagram
13. Principles of Cooperative Learning Strategy Cooperative learning as a teaching strategy relies on the following:
Pupils are assigned to small groups or teams (ideally no more than 4 members in a group),
Teams are comprised of pupils of different ability levels.
The immediate intention is that each member of the "team" accepts the responsibility to achieve the goal(s) of instruction while helping any teammates who need assistance. Tasks or activities that are assigned can vary in nature depending on the grade level. The ultimate goal is to promote positive relationships and mutual respect among teammates, to foster accountability (both individual and group), and to provide a venue for problem solving as a team.
The more popular strategies used in cooperative learning include:
> Group Investigation > STAD (Student Teams- Achievement Divisions)
> Jigsaw II
14. Procedures Assign groups according to different ability levels or backgrounds keeping each team as diverse as possible.
Choose a cooperative learning strategy that the team will use to complete the task.
Assign a task to be completed defining the parameters and clearly identifying the goals.
Provide assistance when needed.
Provide an evaluation checklist with points to determine progress in achieving team goals.
Provide an opportunity for the team to share results of teamwork.
15. Information Processing Teaching students "how to" process information is a key factor in teaching students how to strategically organize, store, retrieve, and apply information presented. Such strategies include, but are not limited to:
scaffolding, or webbing.
16. What Teachers Can Do to ImproveInformation Processing Focus specific attention on important concepts. Strategies to accomplish this include both physical techniques (e.g., underlining important ideas, writing them on the chalkboard, flashing them on the computer screen, saying them more slowly or loudly) and psychological techniques (e.g., arousing curiosity by posing an interesting problem).
Give students the opportunity to overlearn basic skills. Strategies to accomplish this include practicing them in a gamelike atmosphere and seeing to it that the skills are practiced repeatedly as parts of subsequent lessons once they have been initially mastered.
Provide opportunities for meaningful practice. Help the learners see the connection between what they are currently learning and what they already know.
17. Provide opportunities for distributed review and practice. By using a wide variety of examples, you can facilitate both retention and transfer of information and skills.
Assign homework and other supplementary activities that will put into practice the preceding guidelines.
Be aware of occasions when current information is likely to be confused with previous or future information, and take steps to prevent proactive and retroactive interference.
18. Anticipate what misconceptions are likely to occur and ask questions to probe for them. Then help students overcome these incorrect understandings.
Prompt students to go beyond rote memorization. Reduce the incentives to memorize trivia and increase the incentives to integrate and recall useful information.
The following are examples of ways to move toward meaningful rather than rote recall of information:
Ask questions during class that require the application rather than recitation of principles. (When you do this, you'll have to wait longer for an answer, since it's a more complex task.)
Allow students to use concept maps, diagrams, outlines, or other notes when taking tests.
Don't ask trivial questions that can easily (or only!) be answered by rote memorization.
Give credit for "wrong" answers that are accompanied by truly plausible explanations.
19. Once students have completed a unit of instruction, review that material at a later time. You can accomplish this by using review questions on subsequent tests, but you can also accomplish it by seeing to it that the prior subject matter is discussed again and integrated into subsequent units.
20. Variety of Instructional Activities Engaging students in the learning process using activities that motivate and challenge students to remain on task is probably one of the most frustrating events in the teaching learning process. But if you know your students' profiles, you have a better chance at keeping them on task to completion of any given assignment or activity.
In a differentiated classroom, activities are suited to the needs of students according to the mixed ability levels, interests, backgrounds, etc.
For example, if you have English language learners in your class, you need to provide activities that are bilingual in nature or that provide the necessary resources for students to complete the activity with success. Good activities require students to develop and apply knowledge in ways that make sense to them and that they find meaningful and relevant.
21. Sites for Ideas http://www.teach-nology.com/teachers/methods/models/