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Strategies for Managing Differentiation

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  1. Strategies for Managing Differentiation Peg Curtis Hall Memorial School Willington, CT

  2. Differentiation because…

  3. Thinking about who we teach and where we teach Who we teach How we teach Where we teach What we teach Tomlinson ‘01

  4. What is differentiated instruction?

  5. Differentiated instruction means… • Changing the pace • Level • Kind of instruction To Meet the individual needs, styles and interests of learners.

  6. Essential question for differentiated instruction… How do I create a place that dignifies the possibilities of each student who shares it? • A place where it’s good to be who you are • A place where it’s possible to see who you can become • A place that casts each student as a worker, winner and contributor, • A place where there is always a journey and always support for the journey.

  7. Start small, start someplace, but don’t start over Heacox 2007

  8. K U D o ‘S What do you want your students to … Know Understand Be able to DO Heacox 2007

  9. What can be differentiated? • Content • Process • Product

  10. What you need to consider… • Student readiness • Student interest • Student learning styles

  11. Content Start with: Pre-testing, KWL, self-assessment, brainstorming Continue by : Compacting, providing mini lessons to re-teach or extend Use: student interest to hook and build enthusiasm.

  12. Content example Science night – Long term project whose purpose was to show understanding of scientific method Brainstormed, researched ideas Mini lessons to teach/extend scientific method ideas Students chose individual project

  13. Process Start with: What you want students to know and understand Continue with: Tiered activities/labs, independent studies, jigsaw, problem-based learning Use: Continual assessment to monitor progress

  14. Process example… Tiered Density Labs Students solve same problem BUT One lab requires students to identify exactly how they will solve the problem Another version of the same lab asks questions to prompt students to solve the problem

  15. Product Start with: Instruction that helps students know and understand Continue with: a menu of ways students can show understanding by doing Use: a common rubric to access the understanding

  16. Product examples: What are atoms? Objective: show structure of an atom and how the subatomic particles interact Project choices: • Create the atoms family album • “Who Am I” flip up book/poster • Atomic poetry • Fiction (write a story – model on “What is Smaller than a Pygmy Shrew) • Make a game – board or card game • Create word puzzles including vocabulary • Write and perform a skit • Make a quiz board

  17. Easy, Lo-prep ideas for differentiation… Choices of books Homework options Reading buddies Varied journal prompts Student-teacher goal setting Flexible seating Varied supplemental materials Design-a-day (students create goals, timeline and assess their own progress) more…

  18. More getting started activities… Negotiated criteria (Teachers set criteria, students add activities based upon interest) Options for varied modes of expression Think-pair-share by readiness, interest, learning profile Open-ended activities Mini workshops to re-teach or extend learning Jigsaw Explorations by interest Multiple levels of questions Tomlinson 2001

  19. Hi-prep ideas… Tiered activities/labs Tiered products Independent studies Multiple texts Alternative assignments Learning Contracts Multiple intelligence options Compacting Webquests Entry points more…

  20. More high prep ideas Community mentorships Interest groups Tiered centers Interest centers Personal agendas Literature circles Stations Tape recorded materials Teams, games, and tournaments Choice boards Tomlinson 2001

  21. Burning Questions

  22. Resources • Heacox, , Diane. Differentiating Instruction int the Regular Classroom. Minneapolis: Free Spirit Publishing Inc., 2002. • Tomlinson, Carol Ann . How to Differentiate Instruction in Mixed-Ability Classrooms. Alexandria: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 2002. • Tomlinson, Carol Ann, dir. Best Practices Institute. <>.