Differentiating Instruction: The Journey. "In the end, all learners need your energy, your heart and your mind. They have that in common because they are young humans. How they need you however, differs. Unless we understand and respond to those differences, we fail many learners." *
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"In the end, all learners need your energy, your heart and your mind. They have that in common because they are young humans. How they need you however, differs. Unless we understand and respond to those differences, we fail many learners." *
* Tomlinson, C.A. (2001). How to differentiate instruction in mixed ability classrooms (2nd Ed.). Alexandria, VA: ASCD.
“StudentsFirst: Successs for All” Conference
Kennesaw State University
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
Yesterday you got really really mad at me in class. I didn’t argue with you, because that just makes you madder and being yelled at makes my stomach feel funny and I can’t think. But I want to say what happened. Maybe you will understand why it looks like I don’t pay attention in class.
You told us to open our books to chapter 4 and read silently. Then you asked everyone to put your hand up if we had finished the third page and Sean didn’t. You waited for him to finish the page. Then you told us to take turns reading out loud. When you got to me, I asked you what paragraph to start on, and you started yelling at me. You asked me a lot of questions but you didn’t let me answer any of them. You answered them yourself but the things you said weren’t true answers!
This is what happened. I started reading when you said. I finished the chapter and stopped because you get mad if I read any more. I didn’t get out another book because that makes you mad too. I didn’t doodle or do math or talk to Sarah or get up or walk around because those things make you mad. So I worked on my greek in my head until you called on me.
You said you got mad because I was wasting everybodies time. But I just asked “which paragraph Miss Brin?” Look at your watch and say it too. It takes 2 seconds. You could have said “the third paragraph.” That takes 21 seconds. I timed it too. Then Sarah and Amy R and Amy B would have 6 minutes to read aloud. Instead you yelled at ME for 6 minutes and they did not get to read any thing!
Peter takes almost a whole minute to read “Ben heard the bear cough behind him.” I timed him. It’s a game I made up to pay attention instead of doing Greek or making up poems in my head. If I ask you what paragraph and you tell me it still takes me less than half a minute for me to read a whole paragraph. So I guess I don’t understand why you are mad or why you used 6 minutes to tell the class what a bad stupid mean person i am because I wasted their time for 4 seconds. I think YOU wasted their time!!! And I think YOU were mean to call me those names in front of everybody!!!!
your sad student,
I know it’s been a long time since you heard from me. I wanted to let you know what I am doing now and that I think of you often, even though I have not been a particularly faithful correspondent.
When you last saw me, you must have had some doubt about what I might do with my life. The interesting thing, though, is that if you did have doubts, you never let me know about them. You treated me as though I had all the possibilities in the world in my hands. The fact that I could not pass a vocabulary test seemed incidental to you. What mattered was what I could do.
I didn’t get that at the time. I was too exhausted from years of lugging around my disabilities.
You need to know that I will be receiving a Masters Degree in just a few days. My mom asked who I wanted to know about that from back home. You need to know. Your belief in me when I had no belief in myself opened the door that led here. . .
South end of Hundred Mile Wilderness… Warning!!!
Who will help or support you?
“Differentiated instruction is a teaching philosophy based on the premise that teachers should adapt instruction to student differences. Rather than marching students through the curriculum lockstep, teachers should modify their instruction to meet students’ varying readiness levels, learning preferences, and interests. Therefore, the teacher proactively plans a variety of ways to ‘get at’ and express learning.”
Carol Ann Tomlinson
Is a teacher’s response to learner’s needs
Guided by general principles of differentiation
Teachers Can Differentiate Through:
According to Students’
Through a range of strategies such as:
Multiple intelligences…Jigsaw…4MAT…Graphic Organizers…RAFTS
Compacting…Tiered assignments…Leveled texts…Complex Instruction… Learning Centers
Think of DIFFERENTIATION as the lens you look through when using any materials, programs or instructional strategies. If you have high quality curriculum and materials, then it isn’t so much WHAT you use as it is HOW you use it to meet the varying readiness, interests and learning profiles of your students.
must be an extension of
Differentiated instruction is more QUALITATIVE than quantitative.
Differentiated instruction provides MULTIPLE approaches to content, process, and product.
Differentiated instruction is STUDENT CENTERED.
Differentiated instruction is a BLEND of whole class, group, and individual instruction.
Differentiated instruction is "ORGANIC".
Chaotic or new
Just another way to provide homogenous instruction (You DO use flexible grouping instead)
Just modifying grading systems and reducing work loads
More work for the "good" students and less and different for the "poor" studentsWhat Differentiated Instruction…
The Student Seeks
The Teacher Responds
Carol Tomlinson, 2002
Carol Ann Tomlinson
Respectful tasks recognize student learning differences. The teacher continually tries to understand what individual students need to learn most effectively. A respectful task honors both the commonalities and differences of students, but not by treating them all alike.
A respectful task offers all students the opportunity to explore essential understandings and skills at degrees of difficulty that escalate consistently as they develop their understanding and skill.
elements of culture (housing/shelter, customs, values, geography)
UNDERSTAND (complete sentence, statement of truth or insight – want students to understand that . . . )
All parts of an ecosystem affect all others parts. Culture shapes people and people shape culture.
DO (Basic skills, thinking skills, social skills, skills of the discipline, planning skills --- verbs)
Write a unified paragraph
Compare and contrast
Examine varied perspectives
Develop a timeline
Use maps as data
Tomlinson * 02
People-oriented/task or Object oriented
Easily distracted/long Attention span
Group achievement/personal achievement
Grade 3Differentiation According to Sternberg’s Intelligences
Know:What makes a Tall Tale
Definition of fact and exaggeration
Understand:An exaggeration starts with a fact and stretches it.
People sometimes exaggerate to make their stories or deeds seem more wonderful or scarier.
Do: Distinguish fact and exaggeration
Listen to or read Johnny Appleseed and complete
the organizer as you do.
Think of a time when you or someone you know was sort of like the Johnny Appleseed story and told a tall tale about something that happened. Write or draw both the factual or true version of the story and the tall tale version.
Creative Task --- RAFT Assignment
Role Audience Format Topic
Someone Our Diary entry Let me tell you
in our class class what happened while Johnny A. and I were on the way to school today….
Varied texts by reading level
Varied supplementary materials
Tiered tasks and procedures
Flexible time use
Small group instruction
Tiered or scaffolded assessment
Negotiated criteria for quality
Varied graphic organizers
How the character looks
How the character thinks or acts
Most important thing to know about the character
What the character says or does
What the character really MEANS to say or do
What the character would mostly like us to know about him or her _____________________________________________________________________________________
Clues the author gives us about the character
Why the author gives THESE clues
The author’s bottom line about this character ______________________________________________________________________________________________________
to Differentiate Content
Tomlinson – ‘00
Choose an activity from each shape group. Cut out your three choices and glue them
Below. You are responsible for finishing these activities by _________. Have fun!
This contract belongs to _____________________________________
yourself as a good
friend. Use words and
pictures to help make
people want to be your
friend. Make sure your
name is an important
part of the poster
Make a two sided
circle-rama. Use it to tell
people what makes you a
good friend. Use pictures
and words and make
sure your name is an
important part of the
Make a mobile that
shows what makes you
a good friend. Use
pictures and words
to hang on your mobile.
Write your name on the
top of the mobile in
Get with a
friend and make
a puppet show
about a problem and
the solution in your book
Get with a
friend and act out
a problem and its
solution from your
Meet with me
and tell me about a
problem and its solution
from the story. Then tell
me about a problem you have
had and how you solved it
Draw a picture of a problem
in the story. Then use words
to tell about the problem and
how the characters solved
Write a letter to one of the
characters in your book. Tell
them about a problem you have.
Then have them write back with
a solution to your problem.
Think about another
problem one of the
characters in your book
might have. Write a new
story for the book about the
problem and tell how it
to Differentiate Product
of her rules on the first day of class
Best Practices forStandards-based InstructionBest Practice, New Standards for Teaching and Learning in America’s SchoolsZemelman, S., Daniels, H. & Hyde, A. (1998). Portsmouth, NH:Heinemann
Student Voice and Involvement
in decision making
(for fun and problem solving)
Should be purposeful:
Make an appointment with 12 different people – one for each hour on the clock. Be sure you both record the appointment on your clocks. Only make the appointment if there is an open slot at that hour on both of your clocks.
Tape this paper inside a notebook, or to something that you will
bring to class each day.
Write – a letter, poetry in your Writer’s Notebook, a story, a comic, etc.
Practice your cursive or calligraphy
Help someone else
Create math story problems or puzzles
Work on independent study of your choice
Play a math or language game
Find out how to say your spelling words in another language
Practice ACT / SAT cards
Solve a challenge puzzle with write it up
Get a jump on homework
Use your imagination and creativity to challenge yourself!Anchor ActivitiesWhat Do I Do If I Finish Early?
because the system works for them!
Remember to think of DIFFERENTIATION as the lens you look through when using any materials, programs or instructional strategies.
How will you use what you learn about today to differentiate for YOUR students?
1. Sharpen the curriculum
2. Assess the students
4. Match tasks to learner need
6. Reflect and refine
Adapted from C. Tomlinson
To Differentiate Instruction By Readiness
To Differentiate Instruction By Interest
To Differentiate Instruction by Learning Profile
CA Tomlinson, UVa ‘97
Who will help or support you?
ASCD.org, Educational Leadership magazine, ASCD video series
Brandt, Ron (1998) Powerful Learning. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
Cooper, J. David (2000). Literacy: Helping Children Construct Meaning, Fourth Edition. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Co.
Cummings, Carol (2000). Winning Strategies for Classroom Management. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
Erickson, H. Lynn (1998). Concept-Based Curriculum and Instruction: Teaching Beyond the Facts. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press, Inc.
Erickson, H. Lynn (2001). Stirring the Head, Heart, and Soul, Second Edition. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press, Inc.
Gibbs, Jeanne (1995). Tribes: A New Way of Learning and Being Together. Sausalito, California: Center Source Systems
Jensen, Eric (1998). Teaching With the Brain in Mind. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
Keene, Ellin Oliver $ Zimmerman, Susan (1997). Mosaic of Thought: Teaching Comprehension in a Reader\'s Workshop. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann
Levine, Mel (2002). A Mind at a Time. New York: Simon and Schuster.
Marzano, Robert J. (2000). Transforming Classroom Grading. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
Marzano, Robert J. & Pickering, Debra J. & Pollock, Jane E. (2001). Classroom Instruction That Works: Research-based Strategies for Increasing Student Achievement. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
Silver, Harvey & Strong, Richard W. & Perini, Matthew J. (2000). So Each May Learn: Integrating Learning Styles and Multiple Intelligences. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
Reeves, Douglas B. (2004). Accountability for Learning: How Teachers and Leaders Can Take Charge. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
Sternberg, Robert. (1998). Successful Intelligence: How Practical and Creative Intelligence Determine Success in Life.
Stiggins, Richard J. (1997). Student-Centered Classroom Assessment, Second Edition. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall Inc.
Strachota, B. (1996). On Their Side: Helping Children Take Charge of Their Learning. Greenfield, MA: Northeast Society for Children.
Stronge, James H. (2002) Qualities of Effective Teachers, Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
Tomlinson, C. (1996). Differentiating Instruction for Mixed Ability Classrooms; A Professional Inquiry Kit. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
Tomlinson, C. (1999). The Differentiated Classroom: Responding to the Needs of All Learners. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
Tomlinson, C. & Allan, Susan D. (2000). Leadership for Differentiating Schools and Classrooms. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
Tomlinson, C. & Eidson, Caroline Cunningham (2003). Differentiation in Practice: A Resource Guide for Differentiating Curriculum, Grades K-5. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
Tomlinson, C. (2003). Fulfilling the Promise of the Differentiated Classroom: Strategies and Tools for Responsive Teaching. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
Wiggins, Grant & McTighe, Jay (1998. Understanding By Design. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
Winebrenner, S. (2001). Teaching Gifted Kids in the Regular Classroom (revised, expanded, updated edition). Minneapolis, MN: Free Spirit.
Winebrenner, S. (1996). Teaching Kids With Learning Difficulties in the Regular Classroom. Minneapolis, MN: Free Spirit.