Many teachers continually strive to find the best methods to meet the needs of all students. What has worked best for you? Do you have a favorite management technique that enables you to differentiate instruction? What are some instructional strategies that have proven successful in the classroom. Please share your ideas here.
I so agree with your suggestion. I want to be able to have more differentiation in presenting to a whole group. I feel somedays, I get it and other days I don't. I'm not sure exactly what it is that I'm doing right on the somedays and wrong the wrong days.
I would like to hear from others who are able to differentiate during whole group as well.
I agree with your strategy of using hands-on instruction for learning. The more students are engaged in their learning, the more ownership they will feel in the process.
I really like the article, "Awesome Chart on the Difference Between Personalization, Differentiation, and Individualization," in Educational Technology and Mobile Learning that features a chart written by Barbara Bray and Kathleen McClaskey, co-founders of Personalize Learning, LLC, that compares the terms Personalization, Differentiation, and Individualization.
What do you think of their comparisons between these three terms?
I am no longer in the classroom, but I am working as a technology integrationist. Last year, however, at the end of the school year I flipped my math classroom. I created videos with guided notes for students to do at home and gave them class time to work on the assignment. This allowed me to spend more one-on-one time with students. The students that finished early were given an activity to do such as taking a set of cards and finding the matching fraction and decimal pairs. In a 1:1 classroom (which we are not), they could be directed to a site to do more practice.
I found out that I can differentiate effectively by informally conferencing with the student at their desk or at my desk. In addition, I can offer enriching options to other students via Passkeylearning.com. I have found difficulty in planning lessons with more than 2 different levels of content and process. I have been more successfully in providing options for final product assessment.
I have found that the best way to differentiate in my special education middle school classroom is to break into 3 small groups. I work with one group on an activity at their level or a skill they don't understand. Another group is working on a project that relates to the current lesson and the last group is doing some sort of computer skills based instruction or worksheets. In this way, we hit multiple learning styles and are able to target specific skills that need either enrichment or remediation.
Thanks everyone for sharing these great strategies and ideas! We know this is so important to address in the classroom and yet not the easiest thing to implement. I think for me I usually tried for a 3 group minimum but used the 1:1 conferencing as a great way to keep my finger on the pulse of each student. Most of all what I think we need to also keep in mind the student role as the learner and get them to take ownership. I think I'll get a discussion going on that topic to see how folks are facilitating the student role.
Can digital technology make differentiated instruction easier?
Teachers are faced with the challenging task of differentiating instruction to meet the various learning styles of their students. Is there a way for digital technology to make it easier for teachers to differentiate instruction? What do you think?
Literacy Beat features an article called "A Planning Process for Differentiated Instruction with Digital Tools" by Thomas DeVere Wolsey. He maintains that a three-step plan can help teachers use technology to differentiate instruction:
He has prepared a video that provides an example of high-quality differentiation using technology. Take a look and share your opinion!
What are some other ways you can differentiate instruction for your students?
I think it is important to remember the points he mentions at the beginning of the video. Assessment linked to standards used to create respectful tasks create equal growth. I think sometimes the simple use of technology is seen as differentiation when we really need to be looking more carefully at the tasks and what data was used for designing them. Formative assessment to really discover who your students are is essential and one could use many tools to assess students. Interest inventories and surveys are mentioned and those can be quickly and efficiently administered online for timely and effective data collection. Additionally web sites and interactive tools can be used when needed. For me a key component of differentiation is knowing where students are and then selecting a technology tool that will help them move forward in their learning.
Are you looking for online tools to assist with differentiating instruction? Check out these suggestions from David Kapuler in his post "10 Sites for Differentiated Instruction" in Tech & Learning, August 8, 2013.
Do you see possibilities for using any of these with your students?
If you are already using one or more of these tools, please share your ideas and success stories.