Sunday, March 4, 2012

Teaching Teachers Differentiated Instruction Through a DI Model

We have all been there...sitting in the classroom of a professional development workshop or in the audience at a conference, listening to someone talk about engaged, student-centered, action-based, personalized, differentiated (I'm sure I am missing several other descriptors) learning. It is a rare treat when we are actually thrown into such learning in those experiences. 

I've been working with teachers at our school to further personalize the learning for each student, and this prompted me to attempt a differentiated model PD lesson on differentiated instruction. I think this way, we can experience it as a learner and gain tools to use in our classrooms. 

The Many Paths of Learning
Modeling DIFFERentiation for Teachers

Learning Goals--Teachers will be able to:
  • Understand the pedagogical philosophy and purpose of differentiated instruction.
  • Identify and experience the various tools through which classroom teachers can implement differentiated instruction.
  • Create lessons using the tools for DI and share them with others.  

**Note: You can make your own copy of the documents linked to this blog for editing by clicking on “File” -> “Make a Copy”. As you select various components, it will be necessary for you to make a copy for your records so this is helpful information. Copy/Paste or Downloading does work if you are not working in Google Docs. Click Here for the document link to this original doc or on this one if you want to view the whole folder of the activity documents contained in this lesson. 

Part 1:

As we proceed through this PD activity, you will see the following DI tools in use, indicted by the assigned graphic.

  • Tiered Activities
  • Choice Board
  • Project/Subject Menu
  • Experiential Learning/Lab -> Share  

  • Learning Contract X___
  • Flexible Grouping
  • Anchor Station

Part 2: I’m On-board Agreement X___

As part of my professional growth, I agree to complete this professional development activity according to my individual needs. I will document each activity I complete in this DI PD Journal. My goal is to earn ______ points in total out of 20. The point value is indicated throughout the learning contract for each activity.

Name: ___________________________    Date: ______    Est. Date of Completion: _______

Part 3: Pre-Assessment Tier Placement
Click on the  icon which best describes your level of understanding of each of the following DI concept sets. When you click on the star icon, it will take you to the place of learning based on that level. When you are done learning, you can click to return here for the next level of learning!

Tier 1 Ground Level Basics:
  • What is the philosophy behind Differentiated Instruction?
  • What is the definition of the methodology?
  • What learners benefit from DI?
Tier 1 Self-Assessment (Similar to Thumbs-Up, Thumbs-Down, but click on the STAR):
    Help, someone please enlighten me!
    I need some sparkle!
    I am a super nova already! (Skip Tier)

Tier 2, Probing Level, Understanding:
  • What are the three areas of a learning experience we can differentiate?
  • What are some methods of differentiation for each area?
Tier 2 Self-Assessment:
    Help, someone please enlighten me!
    I need some sparkle!  
    I am a super nova already! (Skip Tier)

Tier 3, Analysis & Synthesis Application:
  • How do I decide the best method to match the learner?
  • How can I create lesson plans which reflect these hallmarks of individualized learning?
Tier 3 Self-Assessment:
    Help, someone please enlighten me!
    I need some sparkle!
    I am a super nova already! 

If you have finished this Tier, congratulations, you have completed the whole unit! Thank you for sharing this journey with me and for any resources you have shared! If you want someone to look at what you’ve built and verify your in-service points, please let me know and I’m happy to help with the approval of your administration.

Tiffany Della Vedova