Teaching today calls for unrelenting, intense differentiation. Differentiation occurs through what you teach, how you teach, when you teach, and why you teach. As teachers we can differentiate every aspect of a each lesson, and we should. There is so much information that shows the increasing effectiveness of instruction when it is varied and teachers are aware of students needs. To give us more understanding of differentiation our ECS 410 class was split into subject groups and given real classroom teachers’ examples of assignments and activities Q: I wonder what benefits could have come from meeting practicing teacher from other subject groups?
Dr. Tana Mitchell spoke to the Social Studies pre-service teachers and her expertise is obvious and constructive. Tana gave us a booklet of resource that she uses in her classes, as well as templates and examples we can adapt to our future classrooms. Tana has such an organized, straightforward approached to her planning and execution for curriculum, so seeing her assignment outlines and rubrics really allows for understanding what our internship and future jobs will require. From tiered assignments to GRASPS tasks, it seems that every aspect of Tana’s classroom is differentiated for her students’ well-being. Q: How the HECK does a teacher find the time to differentiate every lesson, for every class, for each day, all semester?
|This is a flowchart that Tana gave to us to guide our instruction, as it shows how to differentiate, and in which ways. Courtesy of Carol Tomlison.
In my ECS 310 class we are developing a presentation for our colleagues on differentiate instruction and what that may look like in the classroom. Its funny how teachers college asks us to be experts and then asks us to meet with experts, like there is no difference between knowing how to differentiate, and knowing how to hear about it. Putting these ideas into practice is such an undertaking, I hope that we can showcase the practical ways of doing so in our presentation. I know I appreciate hearing from my classmates because we are all struggling to make sense of teacher from front to back, and that is not easy without collaboration.
I’ve developed a short list of some of the most interesting ways to differentiate, and some of the ways I’m excited to try out myself:
-Buddy work (Strong with Weak pairings)
-Choice board for projects (See Below)