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Transcript of Differentiated Instruction:
Student-Centered Learning in Math & Science
What Is Differentiated Instruction?
Four Trends in Differentiating Instruction for Math and Science
Instructional Issues: Educational Software & Websites
A frequent problem that many students can experience is a dependence on technology (Porter, 2013).
This can lead to situations where a student does not know how to solve the problem without the use of technology, which can minimize independence in some situations.
Some technologies have the potential of becoming a distraction to the student, which can minimize learning rather than increasing it (Porter, 2013).
According to Johnson and Johnson (n.d.) cooperative learning teams increase student effort, on-task behavior, intrinsic motivation, and educational achievement.
Extensive peer interaction also helps students learn the value of diversity and the importance of respecting different viewpoints.
Students from all academic levels benefit from this differentiation strategy:
More advanced students can use peer modeling to effectively teach their teammates a difficult concept
Students who need help in a particular subject area can practice skills, gain feedback, and discuss problems with different team members.
Students who normally struggle, work harder when grouped with higher achieving peers (Dahley, 1994).
Each student strives to provide support, share information, and encourage other group members (Tanner, Chatman, & Allen, 2001).
When utilizing this instructional strategy, teachers take on a facilitator role, as students become a source of knowledge and feedback for one another. This also allows teachers more time to work individually with students who need extra guidance.
Can be used in a variety of subjects including math and science.
Through differentiation teachers recognize that students have "different ways of learning, different interests and different ways of responding to instruction," (Differentiated Instruction, n.d.).
Cooperative Learning Groups
Some diverse learners struggle to engage in group activities. This lack of involvement can lead to reduced learning for these students ("Potential Challenges With Cooperative Learning", 2013).
Many diverse learners struggle with interacting with their peers and may feel a reduced sense of safety in the classroom when they are required to actively engage in group activities ("Potential Challenges With Cooperative Learning", 2013).
Cooperative learning requires students not only to engage with, but review their peers, which can make some learners uncomfortable ("Potential Challenges With Cooperative Learning", 2013).
Cooperative Learning Groups
Professor Tracy Choate
involves the ability to appropriately respond to and teach a variety of learners (Tomlinson, n.d.).
According to Tomlinson (n.d.) teachers can differentiate:
Content: The information or skills the student needs to learn.
Processes: The activities that help students learn.
Products: Assignments that require the student to apply what he/she has learned.
Learning environment: The physical surroundings of a classroom.
1. Cooperative Learning Groups
2. Educational Software & Websites
3. Tiered Instruction
4. Learning Styles
Educational Software & Websites
Educational software and websites can be used as instructional aids to differentiate lesson activities.
Benefits of educational software and websites:
Can be individualized to meet each student's educational needs.
Progress in levels so students can review topics or concepts that they have not mastered.
Sites such as Sumdog, Cool Math, Science Kids, Sheppard Software, and Scratch.mit.edu provide free educational games that students can access from any computer with internet access.
Can be used in a variety of classroom settings including math and science.
Instructional Issues: Learning Styles
Tiered instruction involves making slight adjustments within a lesson plan to meet the various educational needs of all students (On Target: Strategies That Differentiate Instruction, 2008).
Each tier has activities and assignments that appropriately challenge students while teaching the same skills and concepts.
Tiered instruction can be used in both math and science classes.
Tiered Instruction Addresses:
Cultural and linguistic differences.
Varied learning opportunities and experiences.
Different readiness levels (Tiered: Lessons, Activities, Instruction, 2009)
According to Kingore (n.d.) successful tiered instruction incorporates:
An appropriate number of levels (this can vary with subject, class, or activity)
Complex activities relative to the needs of each student
Promotion of higher-level thinking in each tier
Teacher support and modeling at every level.
"Learning styles can be described as a set of factors, behaviors, and attitudes that facilitate learning for an individual in a given situation," ("What are Learning Styles," n.d.).
Every student has a preferred learning style and these unique preferences affect student motivation and attitude.
The subject area, lesson plan activities, and presentation all influence a student’s perception of the learning environment (Redefining Smart: Multiple Intelligences, n.d.).
Instruction that considers individual learning styles increase student participation and interest because students are able to relate to the way information is presented.
When appropriate learning style activities are incorporated in the classroom, students become active participants.
Recognition of each student’s learning style can contribute to the development of effective lesson plan activities in any subject, including math and science.
Discovering which learning styles to implement can foster positive learning experiences that help students become more aware of the methods that work best for them.
All students benefit when teachers recognize different intelligent styles and effectively develop activities that engage each one.
Educators should focus on “What kind of smart are you?” This will help ensure that a variety of appropriate and appealing teaching strategies are being utilized to cultivate student understanding.
For example, students who are strong in kinesthetic/body movement intelligence may benefit from taking a walk while discussing a story’s plot. Movement for these students increases their ability to relate to and retain information (Kazu, 2009)
Differentiated Instruction. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.ascd.org/research-a-topic/differentiated-instruction-resources.aspx
Edutopia (2011, October 3). Differentiated Instruction in the Classroom at Mesquite Elementary [Video file]. Retrieved from youtube website:
Dahley, A.M. (1994). Cooperative Learning Classroom Research. Retrieved from http://alumni.media.mit.edu/~andyd/mindset/design/clc_rsch.html
Johnson, D.W. & Johnson, R.T. (n.d.). An Overview Of Cooperative Learning. Retrieved from http://www.co-operation.org/home/introduction-to-cooperative-learning/
Kazu, I.Y. (2009). The Effect of Learning Styles on Education and the Teaching Process. Journal of Social Science, 5(2), 85-94.
Kingore, B. (n.d.). Tiered Instruction: Beginning the Process. Retrieved from http://www.bertiekingore.com/tieredinstruct.htm
Multiage Learning (2012, August 21). Multiage - Differentiated Instruction and Grouping [Video file]. Retrieved from youtube website:
On Target: Strategies That Differentiate Instruction. (2008). Retrieved from http://meade.k12.sd.us/PASS/Pass%20Adobe%20Files/March%202008/StrategiesThatDifferentiateInstruction4.12.pdf
Pappano, L. (2011, May/June). Differentiated Instruction Reexamined. Harvard Education Letter, 27(3), . Retrieved from http://hepg.org/hel/article/499
Porter, A. (2013, January 28). The problem with technology in schools. The Washington Post. Retrieved from http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/therootdc/post/the-problem-with-technology-in-schools/2013/01/28/cf13dc6c-6963-11e2-ada3-d86a4806d5ee_blog.html
Potential challenges with cooperative learning. (2013). Retrieved from http://serc.carleton.edu/introgeo/cooperative/challen.html
Redefining Smart: Multiple Intelligences. (2009). Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/multiple-intelligences-introduction
Songs, H. (2011, December 14). AAB Pattern Song - Musical Math [Video file]. Retrieved from YouTube website:
Tanner, K., Chatman, L.S., & Allen, D. (2003, Spring). Approaches to Cell Biology Teaching: Cooperative Learning in the Science Classroom—Beyond Students Working in Groups. Cell Biology Education, 2(), 1-5. Retrieved from http:// www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC152788/pdf/03-03-0010_p001.pdf
Tiered: Lessons, Activities, Instruction. (2009). Retrieved from http:// http://www.pps.k12.or.us/files/tag/The_Common_Tiering.ppt.
Tomlinson, C.A. (2000). What Is Differentiated Instruction? Retrieved from http://www.readingrockets.org/article/263
What are Learning Styles? (n.d.). Retrieved from http://web.cortland.edu/andersmd/learning/Introduction.htm
All images and pictures retrieved from google images (http://www.google.com/imghp)
Some students may have difficulty with a lesson if it is inappropriately tiered to meet a level that is above or below their own (Pappano, 2011).
The student may tune out if he or she feels that they have already mastered the concept being taught.
Students may become frustrated with the concept if they continue to struggle with it.
Diverse learners may have problems understanding what is expected of them, because of the varying requirements of individual students within the classroom. They may become confused as to why the expectation is different for them than for another student (Pappano, 2011).
Due to the varying styles that exist in the classroom it is very difficult for a teacher to cater to each individual style (Kazu, 2009).
Diverse learners may have difficulty if their learning preferences are in opposition to other students (Kazu, 2009).
Title: Patterns—What Comes Next?
Math Standards-- Patterns, Functions, and Algebra
1.21 The student will recognize, describe, extend, and create a wide variety of patterns, including rhythmic, color, shape, and numerical. Patterns will include both growing and repeating patterns.
After completing the lesson the student will be able to identify, describe, and create
repeating patterns by using movement, objects, or letters.
Overhead projector, Book, Music video, Foam shapes, Foam letters, Colored blocks, Paper, Markers
YouTube video AAB Pattern Song Musical Math
Pattern Fish book by Trudy Harris
The purpose of this lesson is to understand the concept of patterns. Understanding patterns can help students develop reasoning and problem-solving skills. Students will learn patterns are everywhere around them (school and personal life).
Teacher will begin lesson by asking the students to “stand, now sit down, stand, and now sit down” repeat this a few times then ask the students if they can identify what concept was being performed.
Discuss the facts about patterns with the entire class.
Write pattern facts on board, and students write facts in journal.
Teacher create repeating patterns on board by drawing circle, square, triangle (repeat).
Teacher will discuss what makes up the pattern, and the rule of the pattern.
Teacher read Pattern Fish by Trudy Harris to provide pictures and examples of patterns.
Teacher draws another pattern on board using students’ suggestions. Teacher provides guidance when needed.
Entire class will discuss the pattern and its rule
Teacher shows students YouTube video AAB Pattern Song Musical Math to provide another example of patterns.
Teacher shows YouTube video again, and students mimic moves.
Teacher divides students into functioning groups to collaboratively work to complete activity on creating patterns using manipulatives
Students will collaboratively work in groups, to choose manipulatives (blocks, foam letters, foam shapes) or movements (hand claps, snaps, foot stomps) to create a pattern.
Students will collaboratively work to decide the sequence and how many times the pattern will repeat.
Students will discuss the facts about the pattern they created.
After the students have created a pattern, the students will display or demonstrate their pattern to the class.
Finally, the students will continue to work collaboratively, using different manipulative to create a different pattern, as often as time allows.
Students will be grouped based on their ability. Advanced students can model behavior and abilities for peers.
Teacher will provide guidance and modeling for struggling students.
Groups will choose which manipulatives to create their
patterns. Students will choose sequence/repetition of the pattern. LEP students will use
personal dictionaries and vocabulary cards (with pictures) for assistant.
Accommodations for Special Needs Students will consist of step-by-step instruction,
visual aids, and other modifications specified by IEPs.
Teachers will assess students’ progress as they collaboratively working together.
Teachers will assess group work as they display and demonstrate their patterns to the class.
Homework—Students will locate a pattern at home. Students will draw the pattern in their math journal or write a sentence detailing the pattern sequence and rule.
Differentiated Instruction in Mathematics and Science:
--Promotes effective classroom management
--Motivates students to learn
--Builds confidence in students' math and science abilities.
Although issues exist within each instructional strategy, educators should focus on the benefits of curriculum differentiation in order to maximize each student's educational experience.