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he is too distracted by an activity and/or other students. His “old” table by the side-
wall will be right behind him so that he can turn his chair around and use the table
Up until this time, Renee has not grouped her students except for reading
instruction. She has a reading corner so she has placed students together for reading.
This has been based on their reading ability. Renee is not quite ready to “let go” of her
ability groupings for reading. She decides to keep this grouping the same for a few
months but will focus instead on trying various types of flexible groupings for maths
focusing on such things as different-sized and mixed-ability groupings for maths.
If Renee worked in a classroom with benches that could not be moved, she
could ask students to work with neighbours.
Differentiated instructional processes
After reviewing her physical arrangement, Renee realises that her focus on differenti-
ated instruction in maths begins with her need to use flexible grouping arrangements
within and outside her classroom setting. She would like to start using cooperative
learning because of her interest in helping to develop social and leadership skills
within her class. Renee decides to start with learning cooperative social skills such
as how to give positive feedback to each other, to take turns, and to listen to and en-
courage/cue for peer responses. She will start slowly with one social skill at a time.
She plans to develop activities to help emphasize the particular social or leadership
development skill she is working on for that particular time period.
Since Renee has not had much familiarity with grouping she will start small
and begin with groups of three. Renee will form fifteen maths groups consisting of
three students each. When she and her students become comfortable with working in
groups of three, she then will introduce larger member grouping arrangements.
Content Modifications. In maths, Renee has been working on one of her
school’s outcomes for second year “understanding the concept of time.” Her lessons
have addressed goals and objectives related to telling time to the hour, minute and
second and solving time-related problems. Even though the majority of her students
have been part of these whole group lessons, many of them have not been successful,
even on her time-related maths facts. Renee decides to assess the content related to
the concept of telling time and determine how she will include all students in her
maths lessons on time. She plans to change her method of whole-class instruction and
individual seatwork activities to differentiated instructional activities based on their
readiness. Renee will use “anchoring activities.” Anchoring activities are pre-made
tasks such as games, puzzles, worksheets, activity cards with questions, notebook ex-
ercises, and board work) that students can do independently and/or in groups once
they have finished any assigned tasks. These activities will also be available to rein-
force as well extend concepts.
Renee will assess her students with a pre-assessment checklist to determine
what time-telling skills each student has mastered and which skills each student needs
to develop. Since Jacqui, her student with moderate mental retardation, does not have
the background of experience yet to tell time, Renee is prepared to implement alter-
native curriculum for Jacqui. Jacqui has a number of personalized objectives which
can be incorporated in the telling time maths lessons. For example, she is learning
to match numbers from one to five, to take turns, to use turning motions such as
turning doorknobs and keys in doors, and to initiate requests using her picture com-
munication board. Another student, Brian, who has been identified as having specific
T Changing Teaching Practices, using curriculum differentiation to respond to students’ diversity
difficulties in maths, is learning to count by fives and recognize numbers from 1–50.
His content will be simplified to accommodate his number skills and readiness to tell
time. Renee expects that after all students are assessed, a few other students may need
the content adapted for them.
Process Modifications. After assessing her students, Renee decides to use
learning centres and multi-level instruction. Her maths learning centre on telling
time will include a variety of materials and tasks at different levels of ability. Activi-
ties will be colour-coded and numbered to reflect the knowledge and experience re-
quired for completing each activity. Also, Renee will set up learning centre contracts
with each student or for groups of students where she will choose some activities that
students will complete and allow students to choose some activities for themselves. A
time line will be developed for each student to keep track of his/her own activities
and schedules for completion.
Renee will also plan a number of multi-level instructional activities. She
will incorporate these in her group activities. For example, Jacqui will be placed with
two other students. Each student within the group will have his or her own colour
cards. They will be mixed-up and as the student’s colour card comes up on the pile
that student will perform the task requested on the card. One student will be checker,
one student will be facilitator and one student will be the encourager. Jacqui’s cards
will be read by another student in her group. Some of her tasks are based on her per-
sonalized objectives. For example, Jacqui will be requested to turn the hands of the
clock and when she stops another student in the group must tell the time to the hour,
minute and/or second. Jacqui will also be requested to point to the correct number:
1, 2 or 3 on her table when another student in her group points to one of the numbers
on the clock. Also, before receiving the clock for her turn, Jacqui will initiate or be
requested to point to the clock on her picture communication board.
Brian will also need similar changes to his tasks cards and activities dur-
ing these group lessons and practice sessions. His tasks will reflect his entry point in
the instruction. Some students within the group will have entry points which require
higher level skills. Their tasks in the groups will be more advanced where they will
be expected to perform such tasks as indicating what time it will be in 3 minutes, 35
minutes, and 1 hour and 20 minutes, giving the correct time using pictures of clocks
without numbers, and solving word problems using various time terminology such as
“quarter past the hour.”
Product Modifications/Assessment. Renee plans to use three types of assess-
ment to check students’ understanding of the concept of time. First, she will devise
checklists for the checker in each group to record data. Each student’s checklist will
reflect the tasks that individual performs in the group and at the learning centre. Re-
nee will move from group to group to give individual and group instruction and also
to listen to the students’ verbal responses and randomly to monitor their perform-
ance as indicated on their checklists.
Second, Renee will request that each student select one activity completed
from the learning centre to demonstrate a time concept that they have learned to the
class. Therefore, the products will vary from student to student and may include such
products as drawings, demonstrations, oral reports, practice worksheets with answer
keys, and “time” games.
Third, Renee will use performance assessment. She will check each student
on time-related problems in real life situations throughout the unit on time to assess
generalization and application of the time concepts that each student is learning. She
will use varying levels of questions to elicit responses. Jacqui will be allowed to use her
picture communication board to provide her answers.
U Sample Lessons
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