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Differentiation EdAd 202A Pat Stelwagon February 10, 2010 Gardner’s Eight Intelligences Logical/mathematical Verbal Kinesthetic Musical Interpersonal Intrapersonal Spatial Naturalistic Existential (being developed) Curriculum Differentiation Overview: Essential Elements Pre-assessment: identify students’ academic needs and interests at the beginning of the year and at the beginning of each new unit of instruction Tiered Assignments: Adjusting assignments into various levels of academic difficulty in order to meet the varying readiness levels of students. Every student should feel slightly uncomfortable with the challenge being presented. Project Menus: Offering students a variety of choices for unit projects that extend their learning. The selections should be crafted to meet a variety of students’ pre- assessed interests and learning profiles. Differentiation’s Core Concepts (Dr. Sandra Kaplan, USC) Novelty: Activities to make the curriculum personally relevant Depth: Extending the unit of study into an exploration of details, rules, patterns, trends, ethics, and ideas Complexity: Activities that require students to make connections between disciplines, perspectives, and eras. Acceleration/Deceleration: Speeding up/slowing down rates of learning and increasing/ decreasing difficulty of materials used for academic tasks. Begin Differentiation Slowly if You Like – but Do Begin Low Preparation High Preparation Book choices Tiered activities and labs Homework options Tiered products Work alone or together Multiple tests Varied scaffolds Multiple intelligence options Multiple levels of questions Interest groups Varied journal prompts Learning centers Mini-workshops to re-teach Literature circles or extend skills Project menus Varied pacing with anchors Problem-based learning The Equalizer: Adjusting Assignments to Create Appropriate Depth for Students Foundational Transformational Concrete Abstract Simple Complex Few facts Many facets Smaller leap Greater leap More structured More open Clearly defined problem Fuzzy problem Less independence Greater independence Slower Quicker Approaches to Greater Depth (Sandra Kaplan, USC) Language of the discipline (experts’ nomenclature) Details (parts, factors, attributes, variables) Patterns (repetition, predictability) Trends (influences, forces, direction, course of action) Unanswered questions (discrepancies, missing parts) Rules (structure, order, hierarchy, explanation) Ethics (points of view, judgments, opinions Big ideas (generalizations, principles, theories) What Can be Tiered? Assignments Activities Homework Learning centers Experiences Materials Assessments Writing prompts Supporting Struggling Learners (Carol Tomlinson) Look for struggling learners’ positives (e.g., slower kinesthetic readers might benefit from pantomime) Make the learning relevant for today Don’t let what’s broken extinguish what works (avoid constant remediation) Go for foundational learning: the big idea Give strugglers assignments that are a bit harder than you believe they can accomplish Use many avenues to learning (learning cycles, profiles) See students with unconditional expectations and unwavering vision of total potential Supporting Struggling Learners (Jim Burke) Be multimodal and use multimedia Sequence activities and assignments logically Provide a weekly assignment check off sheet Check frequently for understanding Discuss learning strategies that might help specific students Allow strugglers more time to answer or react to questions; allow practice time too Break assignments into small units Use small groups Provide immediate feedback Do not depend on verbal directions; use the board Supporting Struggling Learners (Jim Burke, continued) Let students work with a partner Use graphic organizers to help with reading Provide clear and logical transitions between ideas and units Provide lots of concrete examples to illustrate ideas Seat them away from distractions One Last Flexible Grouping Option Oral work and written work groups (Many students are most comfortable demonstrating their learning through speech, yet most all of what we grade in school is what gets written down. Given that adults communicate most often in oral – not written – formats, it’s important to let students practice oral language skills regularly.) Complexity: Making Connections (Sandra Kaplan, USC) Relationships over time (between past, present, and future, within a time period) Points of view (multiple perspectives on the same event, opposing viewpoints, differing roles and knowledge) Interdisciplinary relationships (within the discipline, between disciplines, across the disciplines: aesthetics, economics, history, philosophy, psychology, mathematics, science) How do we evaluate differentiated products? Provide differentiated rubrics for all assignments (or guide students into creating them) For a semester grade, you might wish half a student's grade to reflect standards-based achievement and the other half to reflect the student’s growth in your subject area Some districts give two marks: a letter (A-F) indicating the student’s grade based on individual progress in the subject and a number indicated whether the student is working (1) above grade level, (2) at grade level, or (3) below grade level Choices for RIGOROUS guided practice: Prepare to share 1. Create a project menu for your students 2. Create a tiered assignment for your students 3. Create pre-assessment tools for your students The Elements of a Rigorous, Well-Defined Assignment PROCESSING SKILLS (ask students to build, create, invent, analyze, problem-solve, or evaluate in order to make sense of the new content New and rigorous CONTENT to explore facts, concepts, principles, attitudes, skills Appropriate RESOURCES (and use appropriate research skills) A well-designed PRODUCT A suitable project proposal and RUBRIC Remember to take SMALL STEPS. Don’t try to differentiate every assignment every day!
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