Differentiation
A flexible approach to teaching
using teaching methodologies
for learners with different needs
Providing tailored instruction to
meet the differences among all
learners
Why we need to Differentiate
34% of 4th graders and 27% of 8th graders
score below basic level of proficiency (2007 –
NEAP)
Students reading below the basic level have
trouble:
Demonstrating understanding
Making obvious connections to their experiences
Extending ideas by making simple inferences
The Need to Differentiate
Increase in low-achieving students
Decrease in resources
On & Above-grade level students
Gifted students need engagement and in-depth
problem solving
Graduation Rates
“Georgia among 17 states with the lowest overall
graduation rates in the country.”
AJC, July 23, 2009
State Graduation rate: 79.9%
2010 – GA DOE
Lanier County Graduation rate 74.8%
Lower among minority populations:
72.6% - Blacks; 69% - Hispanics; Whites – 82%
Why do Kids Drop Out?
Not enough demanded of them
Could have if they had tried
58% had two or less years left
to complete school
Brain Research
We must use it or lose it
Provide the learner with the appropriate amount
of challenge to prevent anxiety or boredom
Appropriate level of challenge is needed to
ensure curiosity and learning
Response to Intervention
Tier I
Universal strategies for all children
Tier II
Customized intervention to meet the
specific needs of the student
Tier III
Intensive interventions for students
with severe or chronic needs
What it is…. What it isn’t….
What
it isn’t….
It is NOT doing something different for 30-plus
students in your class
It is NOT giving up control in your classroom
It is NOT classifying “like-learners” together
It is NOT “tailoring”
It is NOT giving MORE or LESS
What it is….
It is providing different avenues to
Acquiring content
Processing ideas
Developing Products
It is proactive
It is rooted in assessment
It is responsive
It is labor intensive at first
Myths
of ONE
differentiation
There is only
right way
You have to differentiate ALL of the time
Only for SPECIAL ED students
It is not FAIR to all students
Uses gifted & talented students as TUTORS
Makes assessment EASIER
Differentiation Scenarios
Content
What
students
learn?
Process
How do
students
make sense
of ideas and
information?
Product
How do students
demonstrate
what they have
learned?
How STUDENTS best learn:
The Engine that drives effective
differentiation is...
Wiggins &McTighe
Motivation
Motivation
increases
when we
feel a
kinship
with,
interest in,
or passion
about what
we are
attempting
to learn.
“Bridging the Gap”
Learner
Learning
Needs of Advanced Learners
SELFEfficacy
Failed
Coaching Advanced Learners
Continually raise the
ceiling of
expectation
Students need to compete against
themselves, rather than against a norm.
Maximize Capacity for the
Struggling Learner
Look for PositivesRelevance
Enhance StrengthsUse all avenues
Power LearningTeach UP
A Teacher’s Plan for Success
Avoid Teacher FOG
Set Goals
Make learning relevant
Teach using multiple
modalities
• Reinforce legitimate
success
• Think of multiple avenues
to learning
• Maximize growth for each
student
•
•
•
•
The Role of the Teacher
Organizers of Learning Opportunities
Create ways to learn that both capture students’
attention and lead to understanding
Gives students as much responsibility for learning as
they can handle, ...and then a little more.
A coach or mentor for your students
Understand students’ interest and learning
preferences
Create a variety of opportunities to
gather information, explore ideas, present information
Teach for Success
Build a Sense of Community
Organize and focus the
curriculum on essential
information
See and reflect on individuals as
well as the group
Know your students, look
beyond actions and erase
stereotypes
Share responsibility for teaching
and learning, ensure students
are prepared for their role
Move students among varied
work arrangements to help them
see themselves in new way
Give students a voice
Be flexible with time
Think of many ways to
accomplish a common goal
Craft learning experiences
based on diagnosed need
Think of what could go
wrong and structure to
avoid potential problems
Keep track of student
growth toward personal
and group benchmarks
Rules of Thumb
Be clear on the key
concepts and principles
that give meaning and
structure to the lesson
you are planning.
Think of assessment as
a road map for your
thinking and planning.
Lessons for all students
should emphasize
critical and creative
thought.
Lessons for all students
should be engaging.
There should be a
balance between
student-selected and
teacher-assigned tasks
and working
arrangements.
The Learning Environment
Everyone feels
welcomed
Mutual respect is
nonnegotiable
Students feel safe
There is a
pervasive
expectation of
growth.
Fairness is evident
Teacher and
students
collaborate for
mutual growth and
success.
The teacher
teaches for
success!
Strategies for Management
Understand student readiness,
interest, and learning profile
Create and deliver instructions
carefully
Begin at a pace that is
comfortable
Assign students into groups or
seating areas smoothly
Time differentiated activities to
support student success
Have a “home base” for students
Use and anchor activity
Plan how students will turn in
work
Be sure to plan for students to get
help when you are busy with
another student or group
Minimize noise
Teach students how to rearrange
the furniture
Minimize stray movement
Have a plan for “quick finishers”
Give students as much
responsibility as possible for their
learning
Make a plan for “Calling a Halt”
Let students talk about classroom
procedures and group work
Promote on-task behavior
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Differentiation - Education Designs