Differentiated Instruction

Agenda (9 to 3:30)

  • (1) What is Differentiated Instruction?

    • Research: As you begin to embrace the idea of differentiation practices, it’s important for you to know the research that supports this kind of instruction. Knowing the research will enable you to select materials & to build your own background knowledge while expanding your understanding of how to plan, create, deliver, monitor, and assess differentiated instruction.

        1. Make your audio/video lessons a common teaching practice. In addition to being just for fun, read-aloud materials, videos, demonstration lessons will become your go-to strategy, setting the stage for differentiation. Use them to build background knowledge and to show students how you apply strategies (Beck & McKeown, 2006; Robb, 2008; Wilhelm, 2001, 2005). You can also use them to introduce issues and invite students to respond to these issues in their journals, in audio recordings, video demonstrations, posters, poems, etc. Making your audio/video lessons will ensure that every student has access to the information and skills they need to become a better familiar with the content. It will also allow them to learn at their own pace. Pacing is a key element of differentiation.

        2. Teach with diverse materials. Avoid using one text for the entire class. Instead, use multiple texts, audio lessons, videos, graphics, demonstrations at diverse levels for your units of study.

        3. Organize for instruction so you meet all learning styles and reading levels. Whether you use a differentiated whole-class instructional approach or have students work in small groups, you’ll need to organize each unit of study around a genre, issue, media type or topic — rather than teaching “the book.”

        4. Value independent practice. Set aside 15 to 30 minutes of class time, at least three times a week, for students to utilize instructional materials at their comfort levels — and these levels vary from student to student.

        5. Show students how to construct meaning. Students can become better learners only if they understand how to construct meaning from diverse materials. By modeling the ways you think about content during your multimedia lessons, while you work with small groups, and in your one-to-one instructional conferences with students, you are offering students mutliple opportunities for learning how to consruct meaning

        6. Encourage discussion. Discussion is especially important in a differentiated classroom because it provides a powerful way to build on every student's understandings and knowledge of facts. It also provides them with opportunities to clarify meaning and to build comprehension. By asking students to move beyond memorizing the facts to applying those facts to issues and problems through discussion, students deepen their understanding and recall. In-depth discussions among small groups, and with the entire class, can show students how their peers think and reason, can build background knowledge, and can make the facts relevant to their own lives.

        7. Write to explore, think, learn, and improve comprehension. Learners can write and then create audio or video products only when they know and understand (Alvermann & Phelps, 1998; Robb, 2002; Self, 1987; Vaughan & Estes, 1986). If they haven’t absorbed a lesson, they will have little to say. It’s crucial for teachers to know that everyone in a class does not absorb the same information from a demonstration or a lesson (Clay, 1993). Reading students’ journals or viewing student products can provide insights into whether students can think inferentially and analyze chunks of content. These insights support planning interventions for individuals, pairs, small groups, and, at times, the entire class.

        8. Use ongoing assessments to support each student. Study the assessments students complete for a unit to discover their successes and their areas of need. Then support each student in your class by getting to know him or her so you can provide targeted instruction. Ongoing assessments allow you to do this.

        9. Plan your units carefully. Thinking through each unit of study enables you to understand what you want students to learn about a genre, an issue, and reading strategies (Tomlinson, 1999). It will also ensure that you have gathered or created additional materials that meet the needs of each student. This is a continuous process which allows you to tweak and adjust your presentations from class to class and year to year.

  • Learning within the inclusive classroom is further influenced by a student’s gender, culture, experiences, aptitudes, interests and particular teaching approaches (Guild, 2001; Stronge, 2004; Tomlinson, 2002, 2004b).

What are the BEST ways to Differentiate Instruction?

(2) Differentiated Instruction through:

    • Create a SHARE (anyone who has the Link) Folder

      • Create a Google Doc with text you will use in your Audio Lesson.

    • A. Audio Lessons (Audacity & Garage Band)

      • ADA Compliance

      • LAME: \\host03\share\Teachers\Software\LAME-AUDACITY

    • B. Audio/Video Concept Lessons

    • C. All Interactive Boards

        • Epson Wireless with iPad & Smart Notebook & annotation

                  • \\host03\share\teachers\software\Epson_Projector

                  • Copy and paste this address into the search box above the START button (bottom left screen) on your PC

                  • You will see two software programs

                  • The first one allows you to be a Moderator. The Moderator choose which 4 computers are able to share their screens on the projector. The second software piece allows just a single PC to project. These "single" machines are seen by the Moderator. They are the machines that the Moderator can select for sharing their desktops. The Moderator is in control and allows up to 4 PCs to share at the same time. You may want students to practice being Moderators OR you may only want to download the Moderator software on your Teacher machine and you maintain control. Its up to your and your learning environment.

                  • In the Math Classroom (subtitles)

    • D. Using Google Comments to Monitor & Adjust

      • Sharing Student Resources

      • Monitoring & adjusting for all types of learners

    • Updating Curriculum Website with Media

    • Updating Curriculum Calendar(s)

    • Formative Assessments with Google Forms & Data Analysis