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Differentiated Instruction

Introduction to DI in the general education classroom.

Shelby Denman

on 19 October 2018

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Transcript of Differentiated Instruction

August 29, 2017
Differentiated Instruction

tailoring instruction to
meet individual student needs
differentiated instruction:
Pre- Assessment
"I might have heard of differentiated instruction before."
"I could define differentiated instruction, and give maybe one example."
"I am confident I could implement differentiated instruction into my class."

Changing Education Paradigms
Sir Ken Robinson
So where do I start?
what interests the student?
readiness level
learning style
what is the student's current ability at this specific task?
multiple intelligences
auditory, visual, kinesthetic
analytical, creative, practical intelligence
what information is taught
how information is presented
what the student produces
When do I have time to differentiate??
Should there be limits to scientific experimentation?
Who has the right to decide what these limits should be?
What ethics should guide science?
What are “ethics”? What is “science”?
What are some of the possible benefits of genetic engineering?
What are some of the potential consequences of genetic engineering?
What makes us as humans continually push forward the boundaries of knowledge?
Prompting Questions for Genetic Engineering Socratic Seminar
Students read different readings about the ethics of genetic engineering, differentiated according to student readiness in science– one from a popular magazine (such as People) or newspaper, one from a high-school level textbook, and one from an advanced scientific journal.

Students do a “quick write/ I think” reaction to the reading in their journals.
Socratic Seminar: Genetic Engineering
Seminar prompting questions:
Do you think Romeo and Juliet were really in love? Why or why not?
What is love? Are there different types of love?
Is love a basic human need, as basic as the need for food and water?
How is love portrayed in the media? How is this similar to or different from how love is portrayed in Romeo and Juliet? How accurate is this portrayal?
How much do you think the vision of love depicted in Romeo and Juliet has influenced our society’s vision of romantic love?
Does loving someone make us better people? More selfish? How does it affect us?
How do we choose who we love? Do we choose who we love?
Can love be a destructive force? Is it always a constructive force?
How are love and conflict related?
Socratic Seminar: Love stinks…
Do not raise your hand during discussion.
Do not interrupt another person. Begin speaking when he or she has finished.
Be respectful of all participants’ opinions.
Disagreement is fine. Do so in a respectful manner.
Don’t direct your comments to the teacher– direct them to everyone.
Support your opinions with evidence from the text.
Use all of your “talking chips” (each student gets “x” amount of chips to use during seminar)
Don’t be afraid to ask questions!
Remember… there’s no one “RIGHT ANSWER.”
Socratic Seminar: Suggested Rules
What do you do if you have a particularly shy student who hates to talk in class?
How do you make sure that all students– not just the really verbal ones– get to participate equally in the seminar?
What do you do if no one talks?
What makes an appropriate text for Seminar discussion?
How do you make sure that your students are really “learning”?
How do you– and should you– assess Socratic Seminar?
Some questions for thought…
The group sits in a circle, allowing all participants to make eye contact.
Only students who have prepared for the seminar should participate in the discussion.
Silence is not a negative.
Allow discussion to flow on its own.
Mutual respect is a key to successful seminars.
One student speaks at a time.
Allow for post-seminar reflection time.
Socratic Seminar: Guidelines
Facilitator, not director
Teacher’s sole responsibility is to pose well thought out, open-ended questions
The teacher gives no response, negative or positive, to the students’ discussion
The teacher can pose more questions to “move” discussion from stalemate positions
Socratic Seminar: The teacher’s role
Center seminars around themes or concepts rather than specific materials. (readiness)
Assign preparatory materials/texts/ readings at varying levels of difficulty, linked by a common theme. (readiness)
Ask questions requiring a variety of kinds of perspectives/expertise/knowledge. (interest/ readiness/ learning profile)
Use a variety of types of thinking prompts to provoke discussion. (learning profile)
Integrate “break-out” groups into the seminar format. (interest/ readiness/learning profile)
Differentiate follow-up activities. (interest/readiness/learning profile)
Ex: You might differentiate this based on readiness (i.e. providing more and less difficult background materials to students based on their readiness levels) and learning styles (students might look at the issue from a creative, practical, or analytic angle depending based on prompts).
Differentiation and the Socratic Seminar: Is it possible?
Although this seems most applicable to English and social studies classes, how might this also be applied to math and science? Think about potentially controversial issues or issues that have no definite right or wrong answers.
Socratic Seminar Across Content Areas
Do not raise your hand during discussion.
Do not interrupt another person. Begin speaking when he or she has finished.
Be respectful of all participants’ opinions.
Disagreement is fine. Do so in a respectful manner.
Don’t direct your comments to the facilitator– direct them to everyone.
Support your opinions with evidence from the text.
Use all of your “talking chips.”
Don’t be afraid to ask questions!
Remember… there’s no one “RIGHT ANSWER.”
Guidelines for the Seminar
A teaching strategy to encourage students to engage in critical thinking, listening, communicating, and wonder
A forum in which students determine the flow of classroom discussion and teachers serve as facilitators
An atmosphere of intellectual engagement, cooperation, and conversation where students learn the difference between DIALOGUE and DEBATE
The goal is not to answer questions, but to generate more questions
What is Socratic Seminar?
5. Socratic Seminar: The Power of Questions
The first is the most basic, the last the most difficult.
The next 3 slides show tiered character maps
Tiering a Lesson
For Advanced Students

Level: Provide more expert-like readings/materials (level, vocabulary, form, etc.) on same topic

Pace: Ask students to examine author/innovator-information or a similar piece/problem and to look for connections or patterns

Creativity: Provide more open-ended assignments – give students room to experiment with how they want to go about reaching a well-specified goal (same goal as rest of the class).

Complexity – Increase level of complexity of an assignment
English: “Fragments and Run-ons” Advanced students may be asked to work with coordinating conjunctions to combine or restructure sentences OR they may be asked to examine a piece of fiction for these errors and theorize why they are “acceptable” in this context.

Math – Advanced students work to discover multiple means of solving a problem or to create concrete models to articulate/ represent the abstract principles behind a mathematical concept (NRC, 2000).
Simple Strategies for Differentiating According to Readiness
For Struggling Students

Level: Provide more accessible readings/materials (level, vocabulary, form, etc.) on same topic; use recorded readings

Structure: Provide highlighted texts; Utilize graphic organizers to direct reading and problem solving

Complexity: Enhance the degree of structure in an assignment that will guide them through the various steps necessary to reach a well-specified goal (same goal as rest of the class).
“Chunking” – giving students only one facet/step of the assignment at a time

Graphic organizers – Assist planning and self-checking at each phase of an assignment
Simple Strategies for Differentiating According to Readiness
Lesson Topic: Multiplication
Steps to setting up and illustrating a multiplication problem
Multiplication is another way of doing addition.
Change an addition problem to a multiplication problem.
Tier I (Straight Ahead): In the word problems provided, identify the addition problems present. Rewrite the addition problems as one multiplication problem. Write a brief paragraph explaining your thought process (use illustrations and diagrams if necessary)
Tier II (Uphill): Create 2 word problems that each include at least 3 separate addition problems. How might you rewrite this word problem so that instead of separate addition problems, only one multiplication problem is solved? Write a brief paragraph explaining your thought process (use illustrations and diagrams if necessary).
Math Example:
Here is one… you may have more:

Cubes can turn into glorified worksheets– but not if all activities are purposeful and focused on getting students to understand a concept in a multitude of ways.
Cubing gives students who like to use their hands and move around a chance to feel like they are “playing” while learning.
Cubing gives students a chance to look at a concept from a series of different perspectives.
Cubing allows the teacher to differentiate for readiness in a very un-obvious way. Since all students are working with cubes, students are not aware that their neighbors might be doing something a little different. This way, teachers could use more or less difficult prompts on cubes and assign these to groups or students based on readiness.
What is the point?
Cubing originally was created to have students use a variety of thinking skills to consider a single concept.
When used this way, each side of the cube has a different prompt: describe it, compare it, associate it, analyze it, apply it, evaluate it.
Using Cubing to Hone Thinking Skills
Students can work alone, in pairs, or in small groups with the appropriate cube.
In pairs or small groups, each student takes a turn rolling the cube and doing the activity that comes up. Students have the choice to roll again once if they don’t like the activity that turns up.
Students each roll the cube 2-4 times, depending on the magnitude of the assignments.
How it works:
Not all students receive the same cube.

You can differentiate cubes according to readiness, learning profile, or interest (see differentiated cubing examples included).
How is Cubing differentiated?
Sample RAFT Strips
Learning menus outline a variety of instructional options targeted toward important learning goals.
Students are able to select the choices which most appeal to them.
The teacher directs the menu process, but the student is given control over his/her choice of options, order of completion, etc.
What are Learning Menus
Empowering students through CHOICE (and learning preference) while ensuring adherence to important LEARNING GOALS
1. Learning Menus
Seminar prompting questions:

What does it mean to “explore” something?
What can we gain by “exploring” something?
Is “discovery” always a good thing?
Why do you think people like to explore and discover?
Do you think other creatures in nature like to explore and discover, or does this seem to be something that only humans like to do?
Should there be rules about exploring and about discovery?
Socratic Seminar: A New Land
Topic: A New Land

Purpose: To begin a unit on exploration and to spark interest in pursuing a research quest about explorers.

Focus Concepts: Exploration, change

Lesson Sequence:
Students read stories about Columbus’ discovery of America, differentiated according to reading level

Socratic Seminar on exploration (see questions). Students should always be guided to use specific examples from the article that they read to provide evidence for their responses.
Socratic Seminar

UNDERSTAND: That the aerodynamics of an object has a direct impact on movement.
KNOW: Basic Vocabulary, Key principles of Aerodynamics
DO: Construct objects that project themselves through space in the different directions as a demonstration of the key principles
Paper Airplanes
That fly for distance Easier
That fly for hang time
That fly for tricks Harder
Box Easier
Layered Harder
Pin Wheel: Tilt propellers different ways to create:
Forward motion Easier
Backward Motion
Upward Motion Harder

Great Opportunity to make teams of theoreticians, scholars, designers and builders.
New World Explorers
Names of New World Explorers
Key Events of contribution
Principle / Generalization

Exploration involves risk
Exploration involves costs and benefits
Exploration involves success and failure

Group A:
Using a teacher provided list or resources and a list of product options, show how two key explorers took chances, experienced success and failure, and brought about both positive and negative change. Provide proof/evidence.

Group B:
Using reliable and defensible research, develop a way to show how the New World explorers were paradoxes. Include and go beyond the unit’s principles.
Describe it * Compare it * Associate it * Analyze it * Apply it * Connect it * Illustrate it * Change it * Solve it* Question it * Rearrange it * Satirize it * Evaluate it * Relate it to something else * Contrast it * Investigate it * What is the significance of it? * Put it in historical perspective * What are the cause/effects of it * Cartoon it * Tell the parts of it * Argue for/against it *
Cube Sides Suggestions…
Cubing is an instructional strategy that asks students to consider a concept from a variety of different perspectives.
The cubes are six-sided figures that have a different activity on each side of the cube.
A student rolls the cube and does the activity that comes up.
What is “cubing”?
Rolling for Success
3. Cubing
Following the RAFT activity, students will share their research and perspectives in
mixed role groups of approximately five. Groups will have a “discussion agenda”
to guide their conversation. -Kathryn Seaman
Feudal System Raft
Sample RAFT strips
Be differentiated in a variety of ways: readiness level, learning profile, and/or student interest
Be created by the students or Incorporate a blank row for that option
Be used as introductory “hooks” into a unit of study, as sense-making tasks, or as assessments.
Keep one column consistent while varying the other columns in the RAFT grid
RAFTs can…



2. R.A.F.T.
MENU: Main Dishes, Side Dishes, and Desserts (for younger learners).
AGENDA: Imperatives, Negotiables, and Options (for older learners).
THINK TAC TOE: Complete a row, column or diagonal line of activities.
WINDOW PANES: Selection of different product options in rows, columns allow for readiness differentiation.
All four options can be differentiated according to interest, learning profile, or readiness (see enclosed examples).
Post-seminar activities help kids make personal connections based on the insights gained during the seminar and apply these connections to their own lives.

Strategies might include:
  Journal writing
  Self-assessment narratives
  Authentic follow-up projects (such as writing an
editorial for a local newspaper on the topic covered in the seminar . . . from several perspectives)
4. Tiering Examples
Start by deciding which part of your unit lends itself to optional activities. Decide which concepts in this unit can you create a cube for. Is it possible for you to make 3 cubes for 3 different interests, levels, or topics?
First Step: (use one of the cubes)
Write 6 questions that ask for information on the selected unit.
Use your 6 levels of Bloom, intelligence levels, or any of the cubing statements to design questions.
Make questions that use these levels that probe the specifics of your unit.
Keep one question opinion based – no right or wrong.
Second Step: (use other cubes)
Use the first cube as your “average” cube, create 2 more using one as a lower level and one as a higher level.
Remember all cubes need to cover the same type of questions, just geared to the level, don’t water down or make too busy!
Label your cubes so you know which level of readiness you are addressing.
Hand your partner the cubes and ask if they can tell high, medium, or low. If they can’t tell, adjust slightly.
Third Step:
Always remember to have an easy problem on each cube and a hard one regardless the levels.
Color code the cubes for easy identification and also if students change cubes for questions.
Decide on the rules: Will the students be asked to do all 6 sides? Roll and do any 4 sides? Do any two questions on each of the 3 cubes?

Places to get questions:
Old quizzes, worksheets, textbook-study problems, students generated.
Creating a Cubing Exercise
Biology: Cell Structure and Function
Know: Parts of cell & functions of each part
Understand: Cells contain specialized structures necessary for life.
Do: Explain function of each structure and relate to the organism as a
… an engaging, high level strategy that encourages writing across the curriculum
… a way to encourage students to…
…assume a role
…consider their audience, while
…examine a topic from their chosen perspective, and
…writing in a particular format
All of the above can serve as motivators by giving students choice, appealing to their interests and learning profiles, and adapting to student readiness levels.
A RAFT is…
Wherefore art thou Romeo?
Topic: Love stinks, yeah yeah...
Purpose: To bring the whole-class reading of Romeo and Juliet to a close and to spark interests to pursue in independent readings.
Focus Concepts: Love, conflict
Lesson Sequence:
Socratic Seminar on the nature of love. Students should always be guided to use specific examples from Romeo and Juliet and other texts read in class to provide evidence for their responses.
Seminar follow-up
a. Students list two important, unresolved questions that the seminar provoked in them and that they’d like to explore further
b. Students then use one or both of these “burning questions” as the basis for their end-of-play analytical essay.
Socratic Seminar: 9th grade Literature
Pre-seminar activities help kids make personal connections, activate prior knowledge, increase motivation and interest, and become personally knowledgeable about the topic.
Strategies might include:
Personal and group research
Reader Response (brief discussion)
Free (or fast) writing activities
Thought Questions
The author’s bottom line about this character ______________________________________________________________________________________________________
Why the author gives THESE clues
Clues the author gives us about the character
Character Name____________
Character Map
What the character would mostly like us to know about him or her _____________________________________________________________________________________
What the character really MEANS to say or do
What the character says or does
Character Name____________
Character Map
Most important thing to know about the character
How the character thinks or acts
How the character looks
Character Name____________
Character Map
Always start with what you believe will challenge your most able learners
Tiered activities, tiered tasks or experiences, tiered products
In a heterogeneous classroom, a teacher uses varied levels of activities to ensure that students explore ideas at a level that builds on their prior knowledge and prompts continued growth. Student groups use varied approaches to exploration of essential ideas.
-Carol Tomlinson
Useful Instructional Strategies
That Support Differences in Readiness…
Or you can . . . .
Rearrange it
Illustrate it
Question it
Satirize it
Evaluate it
Connect it
Cartoon it
Change it
Solve it
Describe it: Look at the subject closely (perhaps with your senses as well as your mind)

Compare it: What is it similar to? What is it different from?

Associate it: What does it make you think of? What comes to your mind when you think of it? Perhaps people? Places? Things? Feelings? Let your mind go and see what feelings you have for the subject.

Analyze it: Tell how it is made? What are it’s traits and attributes?

Apply it: Tell what you can do with it. How can it be used?

Argue for it or against it: Take a stand. Use any kind of reasoning you want – logical, silly, anywhere in between.
Sample RAFT Strips
This differentiated review/synthesis task is based on Va. SOLS for science:
1.6 The student will investigate & understand the basic relationships between the Earth and sun, Including *the sun is the source of heat & light *night & day are caused by the rotation of the Earth. 1.7 The student will investigate and understand the relationship of seasonal change (light and temperature) to the activities & life processes of plants and animals.
Based on Unit by Bette Wood, Charlottesville, Virginia City Schools.
Create One
Pick a Way to Explain
A Planet “Show & Tell”
(Each student must pick one square from each horizontal row and use the two together)
Format based on the work of Doug Buehl cited in Teaching Reading in the Content Areas: If Not Me Then Who?, Billmeyer and Martin, 1998
Language Arts
Sample RAFT Strips
Window Pane: The Maturation of Tom Sawyer
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
Boy, I wish I had learned this in elementary school…
Ideas for Cubing in Math
Describe how you would solve ______
Analyze how this problem helps us use mathematical thinking and problem solving
Compare and contrast this problem to one on page _____.
Demonstrate how a professional (or just a regular person) could apply this kink or problem to their work or life.
Change one or more numbers, elements, or signs in the problem. Give a rule for what that change does.
Create an interesting and challenging word problem from the number problem. (Show us how to solve it too.)
Diagram or illustrate the solutionj to the problem. Interpret the visual so we understand it.
Arrange ________ into a 3-D collage to show ________
Make a body sculpture to show ________
Create a dance to show
Do a mime to help us understand
Present an interior monologue with dramatic movement that ________
Build/construct a representation of ________
Make a living mobile that shows and balances the elements of ________
Create authentic sound effects to accompany a reading of _______
Show the principle of ________ with a rhythm pattern you create. Explain to us how that works.
Ideas for Cubing

A TOPIC related to curriculum
content in greater depth.

Through a FORMAT that is
written, spoken, drawn, acted, etc.

An AUDIENCE of fellow writers,
students, citizens, characters, etc.

The ROLE of writer, speaker,
artist, historian, etc.
Side Six

Research the origin of the
word “onomatopoeia.”
Where does it come from?
What do its parts mean?

Side Three

Write a letter to Webster’s
Dictionary from
onomatopoeia on the
topic, “We are words,
too! Include us!”

Side Two

Make a list of all the
examples of onomatopoeia
that you can think of in two
minutes. Have your partner
time you.
Side Five

Why do you think writers
use onomatopoeia? What
purpose does it serve?
Side Four

Write a limerick, concrete
poem, or haiku using at
least one example of

Side One

Find an example of
onomatopoeia in a poem
from our anthology
Example: Onomatopoeia

Side Six: Illustrate It

Create a children’s
picture book
about fractions. Use “Give
Me Half!” as an example.

Side Five: Think About It

When dividing fractions,
why do we have to “invert
and multiply”? Show your
thinking on paper.

Side Four: Analyze It
What are the parts of a
fraction? Define each
part and describe their
relationships to one

Side Three: Solve It

Complete fraction problems
1-10 on page 65. Have
your partner check your

Side Two: Define It

What is a fraction? How
would you explain what
a fraction is to a first

Side One: Locate It
In two minutes, make a list
of all of the places in
which we find fractions in
every day life. Have your
partner time you.
Example: Fractions
Share two ways that scientists study atoms. Suggest any new ways you might think of.
What is the correct symbol for the element helium? Research the history of this element and create a timeline showing what elements were discovered just before and after helium.

What does the periodic table tell us about calcium? How can this help us in our everyday lives?
How are physical and chemical properties different? Why?

Which is higher, an element’s atomic number or its mass number? Why?

Name three types of physical changes. Create a list with at least two examples of each that are different from the examples in the book.
Science Lesson
ThinkDOTS – Matter
Why do you think scientists used the term “cloud” to describe the position of electrons in an atom?
P. Goolsby & K. Brimijoin, Amherst County Schools, 2000
Carbon is atomic number 6. How are two carbon atoms with mass numbers of 12 and 14 different? Why are these atoms called isotopes?
How do the atomic numbers in the periodic table change from the top to the bottom? From left to right across the table?
There are three jars in the front of the room. Each has a substance with a strong odor. One is a solid, one is a liquid, and one is a gas. Which odor would students in the back of the room smell first? Why?
Suppose you were given some sugar cubes, a grinder, some water, a pan, and a hot plate. What physical and chemical changes could you make in the sugar?
Predict as many properties for potassium as you can. To make your predictions, look at the information in the box for this element and consider its location on the periodic table.
Science Lesson
ThinkDOTS - Matter
Apply it:
Shelby Denman

pre-assessments/ exit cards
tiered lessons
Fixed Intelligence
Growth Mindset
Assistant Principal
Life School Lancaster



playing an instrument
quantum physics
Interactive Game
know your students as individuals.

Build relationships with your students!!

Take the next 20 minutes to review the "Differentiated Instruction Resource page". Choose at least one link from each category to explore.
Use the lesson plan template to plan your own differentiated lesson (you can modify or create an extension for a previous lesson).
How does the brain work?
Why does that matter?
(readiness level)
(learning style)
a mindset
content: Carol Tomlinson; www.caroltomlinson.com
Create a
conducive to differentiation.
Full transcript