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Differentiated Instruction

Kim

I have been teaching for about 9 years, and every year I try to do a little bit more differentiation. This year I am ramping up my DI but it's certainly a lot of work, trying to analyze students' individual learning styles, multiple intelligences, etc. and then create different tiers of instruction and assignments. I am curious to hear from the group at Edutopia if anyone has suggestions and advice for creating a completely differentiated classroom, along with the management and preparation that goes with it.

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ELA teacher and educational author

Not sure if we can blame

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Not sure if we can blame tracked or non-tracked instruction and/or if DI is the one answer. Differentiated Instruction is certainly not an easily-identified, monolithic movement. Indeed, the movement is multi-faceted. There is no DI uniform. Check out 23 Myths of Differentiated Instruction.

elementary tech teacher

After I retire, I am going to

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After I retire, I am going to hit the lecture circuit-

My keynote speech will be the new rage:

"Differentiated Coddling"

Look for it in ~ 2 years.

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I really enjoyed reading the blog and the comments. Differentiated Instruction was just coming to the surface when I was leaving to go on leave for my family. I am very excited to learn more about this philosophy and to read how teachers really feel and to get a sense of how it is working in the classroom and not just in a book.

The question of ability grouping is a complex one. My children attend a school where they are ability grouping. From a parent/teahcer it seems to be working nicely. My daughter made huge gains in second grade because she was working and reading in the correct group. I feel it takes the teachers to be on top of their ability to assess where the students are and where they need to be in order for the grouping to work. A teacher who cannot or is not good at "seeing" where a student is in their own level will have a hard year.

Thanks for all the comments,

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Thanks for all the comments, it is great to read them all.

elementary tech teacher

Teacher

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My quote - remains the same and doesn't change...

"Differentiated Instruction is simply a reaction to the failure of heterogeneous grouping."

Consider the poor Gifted student, whose new role is to sit by and "peer tutor" the special needs student. What a travesty! And all in the name of "better education". The question is for who ?

I really enjoyed reading all

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I really enjoyed reading all of the posts. As a first year teacher, in kindergarten, I am constantly trying to figure out what works best when trying to differentiate. One topic I find interesting is grouping students. I group my students differently each week at centers. Some weeks the high students are together and the low students are together and other weeks I will mix my groups. This allows students to work together and help each other learn.

One way I was able to meet different learning styles was on the monthly homework calendar I sent home. I would try to use different learning styles on it to meet the needs of all my students. My students really enjoyed this. Does anyone have suggestions for differentiation in kindergarten or first grade?

Marci – I am a first year

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Marci – I am a first year kindergarten teacher. I had five centers each week and our center time lasted 20 min. The students would visit only one center a day. I would work with students at one center each week. I also had helpers from an older grade that would come in and help students when needed. I am like you and constantly looking for ways to make it work more effectively. What types of literacy stations do you use? How many groups to do you have? How do you rotate stations? Do you set up stations weekly or a few days a week?

Rebecca – You talked about

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Rebecca – You talked about how some students finish work quickly and then you try to give them more work or when you give students work they may ask why it is different from someone elses. This year I created a packet for students. Each student had a different packet based on their skill. I tried to give them the same type of work but change the difficulty by creating my own activity or whiting out and then filling in the problems. I had a few students always asking to get their packet to work on it. A colleague of mine has also set up group activities structured like a web quest. She assigns students different tasks for the group project. The more challenging jobs are given to the more capable students in the group. This way everyone in the group is learning and everyone is working toward the same goal.

Kari – Wow, I had never heard

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Kari – Wow, I had never heard of this before. What grade do you teach? Do your students like it?

Power Teaching

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Being able to differentiate seems to be so helpful but also so time consuming. I have about 30% of my second grade class with some type of learning disability typically. Many of my assignments do need to be adapted for these students. Sometimes, I must admit, the adaptation is just a shortened assignment. Each year I am trying to truly adapt. My struggle is when I change the end project, I have to spend so much time explaining what I want (since I try not to just have different worksheets). does anyone have any good resource books?

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