Rachel Foreman, Kara Grote, Chandis Harp, Tina Winkle. Plan for Differentiating Literacy Instruction. Introduction.
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Serge Romanich, a 3rd-grade student and recent refugee from Serbia, has recently enrolled in a U.S. elementary school. His opportunities for formal education in his country of origin were limited, and this has affected his literacy development in his primary language. Serge is in the beginning stages of English language acquisition.
By differentiating the content taught, the process by which the students learn, and the products that allow the students to apply their knowledge we are helping the students learn in a more efficient manner.
Students gain support and learn from each other through differentiation.
“Cooperative Learning has been proven to be effective for all types of students, including academically gifted, mainstream students and English language learners (ELLs) because it promotes learning and fosters respect and friendships among diverse groups of students. In fact, the more diversity in a team, the higher the benefits for each student” (Colorado, 2007).
When students work together closely, they have conversations which lead to the development of new oral vocabulary for ELL students.
Students sometimes learn better from their peers. The students who are teaching their peers gain confidence and also review their own learning.
Colorado, C. (2007). Cooperative learning strategies. Accessed on Friday, October 19, 2012 from:
Lavadenz, M., & Armas, E. (2008). Differentiated Instruction for English Learners. California English, 13(4), 16-20.
Pérez, D., Holmes, M., Miller, S., & Fanning, C. A. (2012). Biography-Driven Strategies as the Great Equalizer: Universal Conditions that Promote K-12 Culturally Responsive Teaching. Journal Of Curriculum & Instruction, 6(1), 25-42. doi:10.3776/joci.2012.v6n1p25-42
Scigliano, D., & Hipsky, S. (2010). Three Ring Circus of Differentiated Instruction. Kappa Delta Pi Record, 46(2), 82-86.