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Differentiated Instruction and the "Flipped" Classroom

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Morgan Hoven

on 11 May 2018

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Transcript of Differentiated Instruction and the "Flipped" Classroom

Differentiated Instruction

The Flipped Classroom
Why Differentiate?
" It is no longer possible to look at a group of students in a classroom and pretend they are essentially alike."
- Carol Ann Tomlionson
You must seize the opportunities to reach out to students of various abilities in your classroom and meet them where they are in order to get them to where you think they can be.
What is Differentiated Instruction?
Differentiated Instruction is composed of 3 Curiccular Elements:
Content :
What students learn.
How students make sense of ideas and information.
How students demonstrate what they have learned.
Within a differentiated classroom, educators are faced with the task of meeting the needs of two very large groups of learners.




learners with their own abilities, learning styles and learning preferences make up the student population of schools across the United States.
Well I get that we have to reach the struggling learners, but are there any recomendations for meeting their needs?
"Many students do struggle with school tasks, they are a diverse group who can challenge the artistry of the most expert teacher in listening deeply, believing unconditionally, and moving beyond a recipe or blue-print approach to teaching to shape classrooms that offer many avenues and time-tables to understanding."
-Tomlionson (2001)
Identify and Build on Learner Positives:
All students have individual strengths, it is up to the teacher to identify and build on these strengths to empower them to take on more difficult tasks.
Focus on Learning Big Ideas and Major Concepts
Relevance, Engaging and Interesting
Provide Many Opportunities to Learn Material in Different Ways:
Teach for Success:
I Believe In You!
If a struggling learner cannot learn all the "specifics" focus on teaching them the "big" ideas and "key" concepts.
If the material engages the students' mind, interests them and is relevant in some way to their lives, it becomes meaningful and they will have more of a vested interest to learn and work with information.
Great example of engaging students in the classroom!
Students have many different learning preferences; Some learn best through listening to lectures, others through reading maps and looking at pictures while others through hands-on activities. The goal in reaching struggling learners is to provide many opportunities to learn through different approaches.
Learning Style Surveys to Evaluate How students Learn:
Howard Gardner's Theory of Multiple Intelligences:
Once you understand how your students learn best, create activities for them to work on that are more difficult than you think they can accomplish then teach for success.

This approach should be structured with support so that the student will be able to attain this goal.

"A strong sense of self-efficacy comes not from being told we are terrific, but rather from our own recognition that we accomplished something we believed was beyond us."
- Carol Ann Tomlinson
"How bad do you want to be successful?"
Some students are constantly on their guard, and their personal apprehensions about themselves have a distinct influence over their performance.

It is up to the teacher to show them the love and encouragement to be successful.

Simply helping the students see that you believe they can be successful can make the biggest difference in their lives inside and outside of school.
Do I really have to focus on my advanced learners? I mean they already "get it," shouldn't I just focus on those kids that are struggling with the material?
"Advanced learners, like other learners need help in developing their abilities. Without teachers that coach for growth and curriculums that are appropriately challenging, these learners may fail to achieve their potential."

_ Carol Ann Tomlinson
Advanced Learners can become mentally lazy even though they do well in school:
The brain like the muscular system of the body needs to be "worked out" on a consistant basis. If this "exercise" does not occur the brain capacity like muscle capacity will begin to diminish.
These students may get caught up in success and negelect expanding their learning:
Advanced learners can fall into the trap that good grades supersede taking educational risks and making new discoveries.

Instructors must help advanced learners break out of this ideology and work towards stepping out of their comfort zones to expand their own abilities.
Advanced learners like all learners must be constantly working to develop a positive sense of self-efficacy:
The idea of self-efficacy comes from pushing yourself to accomplish a goal that you initially thought was unattainable.

It is important to have high expectations for advanced learners so that they can work to develop their own confidence in themselves to set and achieve short and long-term goals.
You never know what your students are capable of. It is important to provide opportunities to students to work on building their skills to improve their self efficacy.
Advanced learners must work on their coping and study skills:
Consistently raise expectations so that students compete against their own possibilities.

Give them exemplars so that they can see where excellence is and what they have to do to get there.

Provide students with adequate support to reach their goals.

Balance rigor and joy in student learning. It is important that advanced learners are pushed but they also need time to "sharpen the saw."
Working with Advanced Learners Links:
Now that we have established the two groups of learners we will have in a differentiated classroom let's revisit our original question:
What is differentiated instruction?
In order to have a better appreciation of what differentiated instruction is, it would be beneficial to have an understanding of the following question:
What isn't differentiated instruction?
Differentiated Instruction is Not:
The individualized instruction model of the 1970s:
I. Trying to do something different for each of the 25-30 students in a single classroom becomes overwhelming. The unnecessary load of work takes its toll on instructors.

II. This model chopped up instruction into skill fragments which led to irrelevant and fragmented learning.
It is Not:
I. Effective differentiated classrooms include purposeful student movement and talking.

II. They are not disorderly or undisciplined.

III. This common misconception, tends to make educators weary of delving into differentation in their classrooms.
It is Not:
A way to provide homogeneous grouping.
I. Eliminate the forever cardinals, buzzards, bluebird groups. With this type of grouping students who were buzzards only worked with buzzards, cardinals with cardinals and bluebirds with bluebirds.

II. Instead through DI, students work in a variety of flexible pairings and groups. Kind of like every student is a golden pheasant who works with all other golden pheasants in the classroom.
It is Not:

“Tailoring the same suit of clothes”
I. It is not asking some students easier/more complex questions for the same task.

II. It is not grading some students harder than others on the same assessment.
“Trying to stretch a garment that is far too small or attempting to tuck and gather a garment that is far too large is likely to be less effective than getting clothes that are the right fit.”
Now let us move on to the burning question:

What is differentiated instruction?
It Is:

Instructor assumes that different learners have differing needs. And works to identify and meet those needs to the best of his or her ability.
In the words of Stephen Covey: "Be Proactive"
It Is:

Quality over Quantity
Giving students qualitative assignments to complete is more meaningful than overloading advanced learners with monotonous busywork and cutting down on work for struggling learners.
It Is:

Student Centered
I. Teachers seek to provide appropriately challenging learning experiences for all their students.
II. Teachers must create an atmosphere where students take responsibility for their own growth. (learners must be able to make and evaluate their own decisions).
It Is:
Rooted In Assessment
I. Students are assessed in formal and informal ways.
II. Assessment drives instruction.
Some Unique ways of differentiating assessment:
Curriculum Compacting Model
Contract Model
Project-Based Model
Curriculum Compacting Model
Contract Model
Project-Based Model
More About Curriculum Compacting

This model is used when the teacher realizes thats the student knows the upcoming material.
A customized instructional plan is designed to enrich or extend learning experiences.
A contract is a work agreement between a teacher and a student that facilitates differentiated instruction.
Developed with a timeline to monitor and assess progress.
Must be understood and accepted by the instructor before the student begins working.
How Michigan State Uses Contacts for Undergrads:
This model fosters expanded independent study on a specific topic.
This can be designed as a class project, content centered project or a student choice project.
Project Based Learning:
Cubing activities are designed to offer students choices and to add novelty to thinking.
Through the use of Bloom's Taxonomy students or teachers create cubes and use these to review specific information and concepts.
Cubing Example:
A variety of centers, labs or stations can be used for quality focused assessments through manipulatives.
The best time to assess student ability is when they are engaged at his or her own pace.
Grouping Students:

Choice Boards are created with grids that vary in size according to students' needs.
Each section of the grid contains an assessment activity.
The teacher assigns the activities by offering learners many choices in selecting the sections they complete.
The Tic-Tac-Toe Choice-Board:

I. Differentiated instruction is constantly evolving to meet student needs.

II. Differentiated instruction is not a strategy but a way of life.
As we go through classes day to day we must constantly be aware that instruction should always be metamorphosizing to meet student needs so that they can grow.
Wow! This sounds great! But how would I go about using more technology in my room to differentiate? It seems like using technology more frequently in classes is becoming more of a common practice.
Technology is exponentially increasing in capability and in use in our everyday lives. Students are becoming more and more tech-savy and in order to engage them with relevant and meaningful instruction, educators must work to the best of their ability to include multiple forms of technology into the classroom.
But before we "jump in" to incorporating technology we must do some prior work to identify what type of technology we want to use more frequently and how we will implement in in our own classrooms.
Begin with The End in Mind
It would be foolish to start working on using more technology in the classroom without planning first. Here are some great links to websites which contain information on many different ways of utilizing more technology into differentiated classrooms.
And here are three great ways to incorporate new presentation technology into a differentiated classroom. These can be used by teachers to present material, or these formats can be used by students to complete project and present findings.
This all is great! But now that I have some ideas about incorporating technology in my room...What about time? I have 72 minute blocks, I know that others have 45 minute classes. Is there any way to maximize the instructional time I have with the students?
Here is an Idea to Consider:
The "Flipped" Classroom is a new method of teaching which literally turns the traditional style of teaching on its head!
What is the "Flipped" Classroom?
The "Flipped" Classroom changes traditional teaching techniques, where class lectures are given online outside of class and "homework" activities are moved into the classroom.
Essentially lectures become homework which takes the lecture portion out of the classroom leaving more time for activities.
The Flipped Classroom Infographic
*Adapted from the
Flipped Classroom Infographic
How did this idea come to be?
Taking the lectures out of the classroom and into homework through online lectures allows students to work with the information at their own pace. Furthermore, student achievement improves due to relevant and meaningful activities they participate in during class which calls on them to work with the materaial to make meaningful connections. This allows for a better understanding of the information.
As previously mentioned: Taking out the lecture portion of a class, this allows more time for activities!
In the previous scene from the movie "Step Brothers" the two brothers were building bunk-beds out of their already existing beds. The idea was that building bunk-beds would give them more space to do activities. Some activities that were mentioned were army man, aerobics, step class and so on. The fundamental basis of the "Flipped" Classroom strives to do the same thing. This model of teaching clears space during class time by having the students complete the lectures for homework which leaves a larger chunk of time to complete activities using the information in class.
A word to the wise about planning to "Flip" your classroom...

When I was introducing this idea to my students, after I showed the video from "Step Brothers" one of my students commented: "Mr. Hoven isn't that video kind of bad? I mean the bunk-beds collapsed at the end of the scene, So they never got to do the activities." This was a very good question and really put me on the spot. I explained to the whole class that we would be easing into the "Flip" gradually. If we rushed in and didn't take the time to plan and implement the model our "bunk-beds" would come crashing down on us. Neither of those brothers had any plans they just started hammering wood, nails and even hockey sticks together. They never had a solid base so the bunk-bends didn't hold.

When beginning the "Flip" in your classroom please take the time to plan this idea out. It is a great way of meeting the needs of your students through activity-based learning. However, rushing into the idea too quickly will lead to frustration, anxiety and possibly abandonment of the idea all together.
Take the time to plan your implementation of this idea before jumping in to the "Flipped" model.
Examples of the "Flipped" Classroom:
One of the Many "Flipped" Success Stories:
Clintondale High School near Detroit, Michigan employed this model and the results speak for themselves:
Before the "Flip:"
Before the "Flip:"
After the "Flip:"
After the "Flip:"
50% of Freshmen failed English
44% of Freshmen failed Math
19% of Freshmen failed English
13% of Freshmen failed Math
*Adapted from the "Flipped" Classroom Infographic
What are others saying about the "Flipped" idea?
"This is an excellent way for each student to self motivate, while encouraging discipline and dedication to a particular topic. I took my entire MA degree on-line, and found that early on in the program my motivation, discipline and dedication reached an entirely new level! We want to teach our students to reach, not simply engage in robotic learning (do this...do that...)."
"This is great! We were just discussing this with the new Sierra College Faculty last week in New Faculty Academy!"
"This is assuming all students have technology at home and can use it. It also assumes students want to learn and will do their homework. I like the notion of online lessons and maybe some independent application and discussion. Interesting concept for a HS. Could it be used for middle schools?"
What about students who don't have the technology at home?

This is where prior planning comes in to play. Take a survey of your students to identify those who do not have internet access or other forms of technology.

A solution to this is, burn a copy of the lectures on to a DVD and have the students stay after or come in during a study hall if scheduling allows to watch the online lectures.
And the students who seem unmotivated and often forget about homework or choose not to do it, what about them?
For the students who are frequent homework offenders check the homework at the beginning of class.

For the students who have not completed their work, have them take a DVD and work through the online lecture before joining in on the activities the class is doing.

This will serve as a motivator, if the students want to take part in the class activities they have an incentive to get the work done.

For those who do not, they will still be getting the information so they won't miss out on any material.
My Personal Testimony:
When I first learned about this idea I wanted to begin implementing it because I saw where the students would benefit from the inclusion of more technology in their learning. Furthermore, having more time in class would allow for more activities where I could differentiate learning for my students to meet their needs. I set out to make the "Flip" a reality in my classroom. I discussed the idea with classmates, fellow teachers and administrators. I took the time to plan out my implementation of the "Flipped" model. I have begun converting my class to a "Flipped" setting and already student achievement is increasing. Homework completion is improving rapidly and the students are more engaged with the activities we are working on in class. I am still working to make the change completely but I know that it is a working progress and can't be rushed. I would strongly recommend this idea to anyone in the education field.
Thank You!
I would like to personally thank everyone who has helped make this class an outstanding learning experience. Thank you to my fellow classmates who have given me advice and input throughout the course which has helped me in my own understanding of Differentiated Instruction. Thank you to Professor Murphy who has given me great feedback and encouragement throughout this course. I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season!


Morgan Hoven
Indiana School Goes Digital:
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30, 2011, from The Flipped Classroom Infographic: lihkj http://www.knewton.com/flipped-classroom/

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from Carol Tomlinson Ed. D.: http://www.caroltomlinson.com/

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