4. Content, Process and Products

Content is the information that the students are required to learn as stated in the Ministry of Education IRP (Integrated Resource Package). Students on a regular dogwood program will need to learn the content, but the way it is delivered may be adjusted. The following are suggestions for students with different needs:


  • Audio / Video - Can be used as a way to expand the knowledge of gifted learners. They can integrate their knowledge with technology. For struggling learners, textbooks can be loaded onto an MP3 player and listened to and those who have difficulty writing can record their projects as an adaptation.
  • Cornell Notes - Providing a graphic organizer such as Cornell Notes can assist those students who find note taking difficult. It is also beneficial to visual learners. This is the system used by our AVID program, so please seek out a team member if you have any questions.
  • Curriculum Compacting - After pre-assessing student knowledge, content can be "compacted" for those who have mastery of the material. The time can be used to do enrichment activities such as independent study to expand their knowledge base.
  • Highlighted Material - Providing material with highlighting on the main points can reduce the stress on a struggling learner and allow them to focus on the main points of the content. It can make a large chapter less overwhelming.
  • Mini-lessons - Reteaching parts of a lesson to those students who struggled with the content will target those with holes in their learning.
  • Varying Texts - Using various texts, or supplemental texts that are written at different grade levels, can convey the same meaning as the standard textbook. Consider keeping copies of older textbooks in a class library. The internet is also a valuable source of information as long as students are given search parameters to keep them on track.
  • Vocabulary Lists - Struggling students can be overwhelmed by new vocabulary. Providing a list, or a fill in the blank, allows the student to focus on the words.
(Tomlinson, 2001)
Process is the means for students to interpret the content and ideas that are outlined in the curriculum. Each student needs time to think about new material and make sense of it.
  • Activities - The activity portion of a lesson allows time for the students to make sense of the information that has been presented. Providing time to complete an activity allows the student to process and internalize the information. It is important to ensure that the activity is meaningful and is promoting new learning at an appropriate level for the students. This means it should match a student's readiness level. The activity portion of a lesson is a great time to tap into different learning styles.
  • Group Work - Talking and interacting with peers allows information to be processed and can tap into higher learning as the discussion progresses.
The following in a list of strategies to focus on processing in the classroom as suggested by Carol Ann Tomlinson:

(Tomlinson, 2001)

Product is the assignment that shows what the student learned over the course of a unit. The product can be used as a means of evaluating and marking a student's understanding. Generally, assignments are a better way to assess learning than tests, because the stress is reduced and motivation can be higher due to a sense of "ownership" with a project. Assignments require students to meet prescribed learning outcomes, but should fit student readiness, interest and learning profiles. In addition, the product should synthesize ideas found in the unit of study. The following are types of products that created with differentiation in mind: 
  • Build a powerpoint or webpage
  • Conduct an experiment
  • Create a game
  • Creating a model
  • Draw a cartoon
  • Give a speech
  • Make a brochure
  • Make a photo collage
  • Make a poster
  • Write a newspaper story
  • Write an essay
  • Write journal entries
  • Write a song or poem

(Tomlinson, 2001)