Published on January 22, 2008
One Size Doesn’t Fit All: Differentiating Instruction in Elementary Schools: One Size Doesn’t Fit All: Differentiating Instruction in Elementary Schools Presented to Eaton Elementary Faculty October 2004 Slide2: One Size? Slide3: The fact that students differ may be inconvenient, but it is inescapable. Adapting to that diversity is the inevitable price of productivity, high standards, and fairness to kids. Theodore Sizer, Brown University Slide4: We’re All Different! The biggest mistake of past centuries in teaching has been to treat all children as if they were variants of the same individual and thus to feel justified in teaching them all in the same way.: The biggest mistake of past centuries in teaching has been to treat all children as if they were variants of the same individual and thus to feel justified in teaching them all in the same way. -- Howard Gardner Addressing Diverse Learner Needs: Addressing Diverse Learner Needs 1. Describe one or two students you teach who have unique learning needs. 2. What would those learners need in their classes to make it a great year? Differentiation is...: Differentiation is... ...the recognition of and commitment to plan for student differences. A differentiated classroom provides different avenues to acquire content, to process or make sense of information and ideas, and to develop products. The Goals...: The Goals... ... of a differentiated classroom are to maximize student growth and to promote individual student success. Slide9: What are we doing now? Slide10: Our brightest are marching in place! Slide11: Brain Research Slide12: Brain Research Slide13: Brain Research Slide14: Brain Research Slide15: This doesn’t work… Slide16: When to Differentiate Some Basic Principles: Some Basic Principles We differentiate instruction when we use a variety of instructional techniques that enable us to meet the diverse learning needs of our students. It is not the cumbersome technique of individualization. It can be thought of as grouped individualization. Slide18: Some Basic Principles Some Basic Principles: Some Basic Principles Differentiation can be done by readiness, interest, or learning styles Rome wasn’t built in a day. Begin with areas with which you are the most comfortable. Differentiation is…: Differentiation is… Providing multiple assignments within each unit, tailored for students of different levels of readiness, interest, and/or learning style Having high expectations for all students. Aim high and differentiate down as necessary. Differentiation is…: Differentiation is… Permitting students to opt out of material they can demonstrate they know and to progress at their own pace through new material. Structuring the class assignments so they require high levels of critical thinking but permit a range of responses. Differentiation is…: 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…: Differentiation is… Implementing flexible grouping strategies that cluster students by achievement in a particular subject area, interest, learning style, personal choice, and/or ability. Differentiation is…: Differentiation is… Flexible. Teachers may move students in and out of groups after assessing students’ instructional needs. Differentiation isn’t...: Differentiation isn’t... Individualization. It isn’t a different lesson plan for each student each day. Giving all students the same work most of the time, even in achievement or ability grouped classes. Differentiation isn’t...: Differentiation isn’t... Assigning more math problems or more reading at the same level to high achieving students. Focussing on student weaknesses and ignoring student strengths. Differentiation isn’t…: Differentiation isn’t… Requiring students to teach material that they have already mastered to others who have not yet obtained mastery. Cooperative learning delivered in rigidly grouped formats, lacks individual accountability, and/or focuses on work that isn’t new to all of the students. Differentiation isn’t…: Differentiation isn’t… Depending solely upon the differences in student response to whole class assignments to provide differentiation. Limited to acceleration. Teachers need to able to use a variety of strategies to meet student needs. Assessment is Crucial to Success: Assessment is Crucial to Success Assessments should be planned prior to instruction – not an add on! Assessment is ongoing and diagnostic. Readiness levels are identified and lessons are planned accordingly. Students use assessment data to evaluate their own learning. Most Importantly…: Most Importantly… Assessment ALWAYS has more to do with helping students grow rather than recording their mistakes and failures! Assess in many ways for many reasons…: Assess in many ways for many reasons… Pre-assessment necessary for effective planning On-going assessment to determine effects of instruction and next steps for the student Assessment to evaluate student achievement Self-Assessment to help students see personal strengths and areas of need Instructional Strategies: Instructional Strategies tiered activities and/or products learning contracts anchor activities adjusted questions compacting cubing Slide33: Tiered Instruction Slide34: Tiered Instruction Tiered Instruction Slide35: Tiered Instruction Slide36: Tiered Instruction A simple tiered activity Grade K: Counting (skill): A simple tiered activity Grade K: Counting (skill) Task 1 Find a way to count and show how many people are in our class today. How did you get your answer? Task 2 Find a way to show how many people are in our class. How many are absent today? How many are here today? How do you know? Task 3 Find a way to show how many boys are in our class today. How many boys are absent today? How many girls are here today? How many girls are absent today? Prove you are right. From Carol Tomlinson Whole Group Activities: Whole Group Activities The teacher will read portions from Arctic Memories while showing the pictures. Whole class discussion questions: What does Inuit mean? (The people) How is the land and weather in Grosse Pointe the same as in Arctic Memories? How is it different? What did the Inuit people do for food? Shelter? How do they travel? What do the parents do for jobs? What do your parents do? Tiered Activity Groups: Tiered Activity Groups Group A: Find the Arctic Region on a map or globe or use the computer. Draw a series of pictures and write captions to: Show where the Arctic regions are. Does the place on the map effect the weather? How does the weather effect the way of life? What might happen if there was a big weather change? What themes do you see in the art over and over? How might the art themes change if the weather changed? Tiered Activity Groups: Tiered Activity Groups Group B: Draw a Grosse Pointe family activity and an Inuit family activity. In the pictures show one way that an Inuit family is similar to a Grosse Pointe family and one way that it is different. Go to the computer and use Write Along to make your own captions for your pictures. Print them and past them onto the pictures. Conclusion: Conclusion All students explain their pictures and captions to either the whole class or a mixed group. Pictures could be bound to make a class book. Instructional Strategies: Instructional Strategies tiered activities and/or products learning contracts anchor activities adjusted questions compacting cubing Differentiated Learning ContractsKey skills: Graphing and MeasuringKey Concepts: Relative Sizes: Differentiated Learning Contracts Key skills: Graphing and Measuring Key Concepts: Relative Sizes Read: How Big is a Foot? Apply: Work with a friend to graph the size of at least 6 things on the list of “ten terrific things.” Label each thing with how you know. Extend: Make a group story – or one of your own – that uses measurement and at least one graph. Turn it into a book at the authors’ center. Differentiated Learning ContractsKey skills: Graphing and MeasuringKey Concepts: Relative Sizes: Differentiated Learning Contracts Key skills: Graphing and Measuring Key Concepts: Relative Sizes Read: Alexander who Used to be Rich or Ten Kids, No Pets Think: Complete the math madness book which goes with the story you read. Extend*: Now, make a math madness book based on your story about kids and pets or money that comes and goes. Directions are at the authors’ center. *You can propose an extension of your own. Differentiated Learning ContractsKey skills: Graphing and MeasuringKey Concepts: Relative Sizes: Differentiated Learning Contracts Key skills: Graphing and Measuring Key Concepts: Relative Sizes Read: Dinosaurs Before Dark or Airport Control Apply: Research a kind of dinosaur or airplane. Figure out how big it is. Graph its size compared to yours on graph paper or on the blacktop outside our room. Label it by name and size. Extend: Make a book in which you combine math and dinosaurs or airplanes or something else big. It can be a number fact book, a counting book, or a problem book. Instructions are at the author's center. Poetry Contract: Poetry Contract Poetry Contract: Poetry Contract Instructional Strategies: Instructional Strategies tiered activities and/or products learning contracts anchor activities adjusted questions compacting cubing Slide49: Anchor Activities Slide50: Anchor Activities Instructional Strategies: Instructional Strategies tiered activities and/or products learning contracts anchor activities adjusted questions compacting cubing Adjusted Questions: Varying Journal Prompts: Adjusted Questions: Varying Journal Prompts Why did Max go to visit the wild things? Do you think that was a good or bad idea? Why did he decide to come home? Was that a good or bad idea? Why do you say so? If you were Max’s Mom or Dad, write about what you would think when he went to his room, when he went where the wild things were, when he came home? Adjusted Questions: Varying Journal Prompts: Adjusted Questions: Varying Journal Prompts Max sometimes talks to himself. Tell us what he says when he goes to his room, goes through his visit to the wild things, decides to come home and gets back to his room. What do he and his parents say the next morning? What does it really mean to go where the wild things are? Tell a story about a time when that happened to you or a friend. Tell enough so we can see how the two stories are alike or different. Instructional Strategies: Instructional Strategies tiered activities and/or products learning contracts anchor activities adjusted questions compacting cubing Compacting: Compacting Students take a simple pre-assessment. Quiz K-W-L Do a web with the key concept as the main idea Tell the teacher what they know about the topic The teacher develops an alternate assignment with the student Teacher and student put the alternative in contract form Slide56: tiered activities and/or products learning contracts anchor activities adjusted questions compacting cubing Instructional Strategies Slide57: Offer a different task at varying degrees of difficulty on each side of the cube. Slide58: Provide activities dealing with the same topic at tiered degrees of difficulty by cube OR by learning style (kinesthetic, visual, oral). Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Outcomes Observed by Elementary School Teachers: Outcomes Observed by Elementary School Teachers Greater understanding of the concepts All students experience challenge Ability to apply concepts/skills to new situations and daily life Students are excited Students have ownership Students are more independent learners Outcomes con’t: Outcomes con’t Students have more evaluative skills Students have more metacognitive skills Students have greater mastery of content Students have problem solving skills Students are able to initiate their own projects. Slide61: Things to look for: Hands-on projects Rubrics Learning contracts Student Choice The way to the end is not always the same for every student. Flexible Grouping Slide62: Wise Words… Final Thoughts: Final Thoughts Teachers moving toward differentiated instruction in an inclusive, integrated classroom find greater success if they (1) have a clear rationale for differentiation, (2) prepare students and parents for a differentiated classroom, (3) attend to issues of classroom structure and management as they move toward more student-centered learning, (4) move toward differentiation at a pace comfortable to both teacher and learners, and (5) plan with team members and other colleagues interested in differentiation (Tomlinson, 1995b). Questions?: Questions?