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Differentiating Instruction

SPE 304

What we call differentiation is not a recipe for teaching. It is not an instructional strategy. It is not what a teacher does when he or she has time. It is a way of thinking about teaching and learning. It is a philosophy. Carol Ann Tomlinson

The steps to differentiation . . .


Pre-assess: determine students ability level (readiness, entry point), interests, learning profile/styles Differentiate Content: Knowledge, skills, and attitudes we want children to learn Differentiate process: Varying learning activities/instructional strategies to explore concepts: graphic organizers Differentiate Product: Varying the complexity of performance expectations to demonstrate mastery of concepts Differentiate Environment: Manipulating the environment to accommodate individual learning styles: multiple intelligences

Step 1: Pre-assess Determine students ability level (readiness, entry point), interests, learning profile/styles
Interest Surveys Multiple Intelligence Surveys Socio-cultural perspectives Observation notes Learning Styles inventories Skill Checklists Life Timeline Journals Reading Assessments Ask students/parents to write a profile

And consider your students learning styles and preferences. . .


(from Dunn & Dunn)

Learning modalities: Visual Auditory Kinesthetic Tactile Learning preferences/styles: Environmental: sound, light, temperature, design Emotional: structure, participation, responsibility Sociological: self, pair, group, with adult, varied Physiological: time, mobility

Step 2: Differentiate Content: Knowledge, skills, and attitudes we want children to learn
Tiered Lessons Learning Contracts Learning Centers Independent Study Orbital studies Varied Texts/resources Simulations/Role Play and simulations Flexible Grouping Demonstrations Lectures and Discussions Diverse Points of View

Nine Types of Curriculum Adaptations


Quantity*
Adapt the number of items that the learner is expected to learn or complete. For example: Reduce the number of social studies terms a learner must learn at any one time. Add more activies or worksheets.

Time*
Adapt the time allotted and allowed for learning, task completion, or testing. For example: Individualize a timeline for completing a task; pace learning differently (increase or decrease) for some learners.

Level of Support*
Increase the amount of personal assistance to keep the student on task or to reinforce or prompt use of specific skills. Enhance adult-student relationships; use physical space and environmental structure. For example: Assign peer buddies, teaching assistants, peer tutors, or cross age tutors.

Input*
Adapt the way instruction is delivered to the learner.

Difficulty
Adapt the skill level, problem type, or the rules on how the learner may approach the work. For example: Allow the use of a calculator to figure math problems; simplify task directions; change rules to accommodate learner needs.

Output*
Adapt how the student can respond to instruction.

For example: Use different visual aids, enlarge text, plan more concrete examples, provide hands-on activities, place students in cooperative groups, pre-teach key concepts or terms before the lesson

For example: Instead of answering questions in writing, allow a verbal response, use a communication book for some students, allow students to show knowledge with hands on materials.

Participation*
Adapt the extent to which a learner is actively involved in the task. For example: In geography, have a student hold the globe, while others point out locations. Ask the student to lead a group. Have the student turn the pages while you are reading to the group.

Alternate Goals
Adapt the goals or outcome expectations while using the same materials. When routinely utilized, this is only for students with moderate to severe disabilities. For example: In social studies, expect a student to be able to locate the colors of the states on a map, while other students learn to locate each state and name each capital.

Substitute Curriculum
Provide different instruction and materials to meet a learners individual goals. When routinely utilized, this is only for students with moderate to severe disabilities. For example: During a language test a student is learning toileting skills with an aide.

Step 3: Differentiate process: Varying learning activities/instru ctional strategies to explore concepts
Learning / Interest Centers Station teaching Contracts Checklists Parallel teaching Alternative teaching Taped materials or videos Learning contracts Varied time allotments Use graphic organizers Use of computers/technology Collaborative/varied groupings Peer tutoring Daily Oral Language Demonstrations Varied Levels of Questioning (using Blooms taxonomy)

Step 4: Differentiate Product: Varying the complexity of performance expectations to demonstrate mastery of concepts
Varied Homework Varied Journal Prompts Varied Quizzes/Tests Different Rubrics Choice on tests Choice of products Varied checklists Multiple intelligence assessment Assignment options Varied Research Projects

Step 5: Differentiate Environment: Manipulating the environment to accommodate individual learning styles: multiple intelligences

Flexible seating Schedule time of day for activities Mobility Heat Visuals Lighting Sound Student interest driven Multi-sensory Text-driven Displays of student work Touch-rich artifacts

What makes a good differentiated lesson?


What is my goal what do I want students to know or be able to do after I have taught the lesson big ideas and varied levels of understanding [Bloom} (content)? What are the abilities/styles/interests of the students in my classroom? Based on what I know about my students, what different activities or tasks can help them learn the content (process)? Am I starting at the appropriate levels to meet my students needs? Are materials at varied levels to meet students different needs? Do students have varied opportunities for showing that they have accomplished the curricular goal (product)?

References
Shaw, K. The five components of differentiated instruction. Retrieved from http://www.uhseport.net/published/k/sh/kshaw/collection/1/ on October 23, 2009. Tomlinson, C. (1999). The differentiated classroom: Responding to the needs of all learners. Alexandria, VA: ASCD. NJEA Professional Development Instructional Issues Division (2007). The differentiated classroom. NJEA.