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The ABC's of Differentiation
Transcript of The ABC's of Differentiation
Content "Instruction begins where the students are, not at the front of the curriculum guide."
Carol Ann Tomlinson In Response
Readiness What is
Instruction? "I think differentiated instruction actually is just teaching with the child in mind."
Carol Ann Tomlinson Differentiating
Product "One of the keys to a differentiated classroom is that all students are regularly offered choices to demonstrate what they have learned."
Karen Burggraf In Response
Learner Profile "Anything that is worth teaching can be presented in many different ways. These multiple ways can make use of our multiple intelligences."
Howard Gardner Creating a Challenging Learning Environment
for Young Gifted Learners The ABC's of Differentiation References Useful Links http://differentiationcentral.com/
http://caroltomlinson.com/ Brussell, D. and Miller, J. (n.d.). Dare to differentiate: 50 terrific teacher tricks. Retrieved from api.ning.com/files/vRBIg5.../MillerDaretoDIshow.ppsx
Burggraf, K., (2005). Best practices in education: Differentiated instruction. Retrieved from http://www.dayonepublishing.com/educational/differentiationcard/diffcard.pdf
Chapman, C. & King, R. (2012). Differentiated assessment strategies: One tool doesn't fit all. (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.
Kelly, D. (2011). Differentiating instruction for gifted learners: A resource for classroom teachers. Retrieved from https://teacher.ocps.net/deirdre.kelly/teachers/supportclsmtchrfiles/Differentiating%20for%20Gifted%20Learners%20FINAL.pdf
National Association of Gifted Children. (2008). Hot topic: Differentiation of curriculum and instruction. Retrieved from http://www.nagc.org/index2.aspx?id=978
Smutny, J., Walker, S., & Meckstroth, E. (1997). Teaching young gifted children in the regular classroom. Minneapolis, MN: Free Spirit Publishing.
Tomlinson, C. (2001). How to differentiate instruction in mixed-ability classrooms. (2nd ed.). Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
Tomlinson, C. (1997). The dos and don'ts of instruction: What it means to teach gifted learners. Retrieved from http://www.nagc.org/index.aspx?id=659
Winebrenner, S. (2012). Teaching gifted kids in today's classrooms. (3rd ed.). Minneapolis, MN: Free Spirit Publishing. The
Gifted Learner "Differentiation is not only the answer to providing the best services and programming for gifted students in the classroom, but it is an essential part of ensuring that high-ability learners are adequately challenged and make continuous progress."
National Association of Gifted Children
Asks the questions
Is highly curious
Is mentally and physically involved
Has wild, silly ideas
Plays around, yet tests well
Discusses in detail, elaborates
Is beyond the group
Shows strong feelings and opinions
Needs 1-2 repetitions for mastery
Creates new designs
Is an inventor
Is a good guesser
Thrives on complexity
Is keenly observant
Is highly self-critical The Gifted Learner... When students are interested in something, they are more motivated to learn.
Interests can be general in nature or specific within the content area being taught.
Gifted students often have unusual interests and can be very passionate about them.
Knowing your students is an essential part of effective differentiation.
Try an interest inventory at the beginning of the year to learn more about all of your students... In Response
Interest Assessment Assessment and differentiation go hand in hand.
Teachers gather data before, during, and after instruction using formative and summative assessments.
The results of assessment are analyzed to plan differentiated instruction that is appropriately challenging for students at all levels.
Modifications for gifted learners can focus on content, process, or product. Every lesson will not differentiate all three.
Assessment data can be also be used to create flexible groups.
"The assessment of learning is valuable; however, ongoing assessment for learning is essential." Chapman & King, 2012. "If a student has a spark (or better still, a fire), a curiosity about a topic, learning is more likely for that student."
Carol Ann Tomlinson Readiness-Based Modifications
using Tomlinson's Equalizer Tool "Designing differentiated instruction is similar to using the equalizer buttons on a stereo or CD player...adjusting the 'buttons' appropriately for various students' needs equalizes their chances of being appropriately challenged..."
Carol Ann Tomlinson Content:
What is taught and how the students access information. Process:
How a student understands or makes sense of the information, ideas, or skills of the lesson. Product:
How students demonstrate what they know. They can succeed on their own.
They are self-motivated and therefore "teach themselves."
They love to teach other children.
They are proud to be held up as examples of model work and behavior.
They are naturally "loners."
They can't be identified until the third or fourth grade.
They should be held back so they won't suffer socially and emotionally.
They have no special needs because every child is gifted in the same way. Common Misconceptions About
Young Gifted Learners Source: Teaching Young Gifted Children in the Regular Classroom Source: Janice Szabos, 1989 Concept-based Teaching: Teach concepts and principles of a discipline versus a large quantity of facts. Focus on meaningful understanding of big ideas and spend less time on drill and practice.
Curriculum Compacting: Using pre-assessment, determine what the students already know and what they still need to learn. Students who demonstrate mastery before teacher-led instruction are offered substitute projects and activities.
Varied Texts and Resources: Make resources available with varying levels of difficulty. Gifted students can often read more complex/advanced materials.
Learning Contracts/Independent Study: An agreement between the teacher and student about independent work that will be completed during teacher-directed learning. Teacher and student agree on topic, method, product, and deadlines.
Open-ended Questions: Allow students the opportunity to take their mastery of content objectives and apply it in a creative way, such as journal writing.
Tiered Assignments: Provide activities with two or more levels of complexity/difficulty. Assign levels based on pre-assessment data to ensure all students are building on prior knowledge and demonstrating continual growth.
Learning Centers: Provide enrichment activities based on interest for students who demonstrate mastery of content objectives. Allows for student choice and independence. If each teacher in a grade level makes two or three different learning centers, you can rotate them throughout the year. Ways to Differentiate Content Interest Once you know your students' interests, you can use that information to make:
Interest-based cooperative groups.
Connections with your students, which promote a positive learning climate in the classroom. Establish a supportive, positive learning climate.
Develop a sense of community in the classroom, where ideas are valued and opinions are respected.
Encourage intellectual risk taking.
Set the stage for differentiation by providing a physical space conducive to student-centered instruction.
Start small, but start somewhere! Begin with a few low-prep strategies and use them consistently. Gradually add high-prep differentiated activities to your repertoire. Getting Started... Foundational
Basic, straightforward information about a topic.
Stretching and bending ideas, highlighting the intricacies of a topic. Concrete
Key information and concepts.
Understanding the meanings and implications of ideas and concepts. Simple
The "skeleton" of the topic.
The "muscle, bones, and nerves" of the topic. Fewer Facets
Tasks require few steps.
Tasks require multiple steps and the directions increase in complexity. Smaller Leaps
Reading information and using it in basic ways.
Reading information and applying it in complicated ways. More Structured
Activities are well laid out with few decisions.
Activities encourage exploration, improvisation, and creativity. Clearly Defined
Directions and expectations are clearly laid out in advance.
Students must work through ambiguity. Less Independent
Students need teacher support to make choices, follow directions, and complete tasks.
Students need minimal support to plan, execute, and evaluate tasks. Slow
More time is needed to master concepts.
Less time is needed to master concepts. If all your students are working on different tasks, how do you know when they need help? Product Choices Chart Source: Teaching Gifted Kids in Today's Classroom by Susan Winebrenner Here are some examples of
Choice Menus Tic-tac-toe boards: A variety of differentiated activities that appeal to student interest and learner profile are placed on a tic-tac-toe board. Students choose which assignments or products they want to complete, in order to have three in a row horizontally, vertically, or diagonally.
Choice menus: Students pick how they will demonstrate mastery of objectives or skills from a "menu" of teacher-selected choices.
Anchor activities: Learning tasks for students to work on independently at their desks when they finish early. Tasks should extend the concepts or skills of the unit.
Tiered activities: Several versions (entry level, advanced, and extension) of an activity that range in difficulty level so that all students are appropriately challenge.
Interest centers: Stations where students can explore areas of interest and extend their learning through independent work.
Literature circles: Students read and discuss a common piece of literature in small groups. The piece of literature can be selected by readiness or interest.
Orbital studies: Individual or small groups of students choose a topic to explore that "orbits around" the current unit of study. Once complete, the information is presented to the class.
Varied graphic organizers: Different ways to visualize and organize learning are incorporated into instruction.
Varied journal prompts: Journal prompts vary in complexity and are open-ended.
Web Quests: A short- or long-term inquiry-based project that focuses on internet research and problem-solving. At the end, students create a product that demonstrates what they learned.
Cubing: Students look at a topic from six different angles. An actual cube is created with a higher level thinking skill on each side, such as describe, compare, apply, analyze, pretend, and create. The student rolls the cube and completes the activity that comes up. Ways to Differentiate
Process Now What? "Gifted students should spend most of their time using learning processes that are more complex and abstract than is suitable for their age peers."
Susan Winebrenner Here's an
Good curriculum and instruction for gifted learners begins with good curriculum and instruction, period.
The pace of instruction is aligned with individual needs.
Instruction is at a higher level of difficulty for gifted students.
There must be "supported risk", meaning the teacher insists on intellectual risk-taking, but provides support to prevent frustration.
Ask students to do things they already know how to do, then ask them to wait for others to catch up.
Ask students to do more of the same, but faster.
Separate students from their peers and/or teacher for long periods of time.
Have students fill time by doing classroom chores, or busy-work.
Have students spend a substantial amount of time tutoring their peers.
Assign piecemeal learning experiences that do not extend or enrich the curriculum. Effective Teachers of
Gifted Learners Know... Ineffective Teachers of
Gifted Students... Gifted students need differentiation
in the regular classroom, not just during gifted resource services. It motivates them to work up to their full potential.
They feel empowered and invested in their learning.
When students are allowed to express themselves through their choices, it gives them a voice.
Some gifted students avoid written assignments because their brains move faster than their hands.
It makes learning engaging and fun!
According to Renzulli, gifted students need to produce "real-life products for appropriate audiences" in order to be challenged. Here are some choices of products that can be offered to all students in the classroom... Why Gifted Students
in their Learning: It's Not How Smart You are,
but How You are Smart! Howard Gardner suggests in his Theory of Multiple Intelligences that we all have varying degrees of strength in nine areas of intelligence.
Existential Instruction is more effective when student learning preferences are considered. MI Theory Gifted students need
to use higher level thinking skills as they learn. One Final Thought... Grade-level content may not meet the needs of your gifted learners. "There are two lasting bequests we can give our children. Once is roots. The other is wings."
Hodding Carter, Jr.