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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Differentiated Instruction

Differentiated Instruction

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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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Angela Ward's picture

Amber, I love your power teaching format. What grade do you teach and how long have you been teaching? Also, how long does it take you to plan a lesson?

Angela Ward's picture

Kari,tell me more about Envisions.I struggle with activities for my students during group, especially fast finishers.Envisions sound like something I could use. Do you have any other suggestions?

Tabetha's picture

Amber, your idea sounds really interesting about power teaching. I struggle with having the time to do activities beyond the basic lesson. Can you tell me how much time you spend in math each day? Is this something you do every day?

Monique's picture

The problem I continue to face it that there is not enough time in the day. I truly believe in the importance of differentiated instruction. I usually have my students work in leveled groups and set up various stations throughout the classroom. Most of the work station must be kid-friendly so that my students can work independently. My issue is, how do I create lesson activities that are easy to assemble, break-down, and clean-up while still maintaining a level of difficulty and interest for my students?

Monique's picture

My students usually work in level-based groups and participate in various work station activities throughout the day. How can I develop new and more engaging activities and are easy to assemble and clean-up, yet still provide a level of difficulty and interest?

Ellen's picture

Karen,
One way in which I differentiate writing is to have differentiated criteria sheets. I have either 3 or 4 ability groups within my classroom. Whatever is expected of them on their criteria sheet is what I give for a small group mini lesson. For example, a mini lesson I might give to a low group might be using words other than "said". While my higher group may get a lesson on using introductory clauses. When we recently wrote our Tall Tales, my lower group was expected to have time and place when they created their setting, while the middle group needed to have time, place and atmosphere and the high group had to have all 3 elements and it needed to be sprinkled throughout their story like published authors do. For this I gave different mini lessons and I created differentiated graphic organizers.

Jennifer Morrow's picture
Jennifer Morrow
Title 1 Coordinator, Sabina, Ohio

Amber, is the Power Teaching program you use through the Success For All Foundation?

Mark Pennington's picture
Mark Pennington
ELA teacher and educational author

Both the "what and how" of differentiated instruction instruction are crucial to successful implementation of DI in the classroom; however, the "how" must be teacher-directed and make pedagogical sense. Check out Differentiated Instruction-the What and How
to read this important dialogue between DI authors Mark Pennington and Rick Wormeli.

Mark Pennington's picture
Mark Pennington
ELA teacher and educational author

Both the "what and how" of differentiated instruction instruction are crucial to successful implementation of DI in the classroom; however, the "how" must be teacher-directed and make pedagogical sense. Check out Differentiated Instruction-the What and How
to read this important dialogue between DI authors Mark Pennington and Rick Wormeli.

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