Differentiating Instruction A FAS Lesson Plan Tool Tutorial. Roadmap to Excellence 2008-2013. Career-Ready Graduates. Annual Targets (Performance and Process). District Improvement Action Plan. Fresno Unified School District Goals. Board Core Beliefs and Commitments.
(Performance and Process)
District Improvement Action Plan
Fresno Unified School District Goals
Board Core Beliefs and Commitments
The purpose of this FAS tool is to help you cognitively plan a lesson (or series of lessons) that
best meets the diverse academic needs of your students by focusing on four specific areas:
Stage #1 Content Standard
Stage #2 Standards-Based Summative Assessment(s)
Stage #3 Instructional Strategies/Activities
The information and data that you collect with the Differentiating Instruction tool will translate into a
Lesson Plan that will help to maximize student success. Let’s look at these areas and see how each
affects what you teach, how you teach it and how you measure the success of your teaching .
The Pre-State (or Pre-Assessment) portion of the FAS Tool has you review the following questions: What do my students already know? What are their strengths and challenges? Divided into four types, this information lists the demographics of your classroom.
Type #1 helps you examine the cultural, linguistic, and educational history dimensions of your students. This includes whether you have any students who were retained, any EL students, any students receiving special services (RSP, Speech), and any students with a 504 in place. The information about your classroom can be a bulleted list or a brief paragraph that outlines the information.
Type #2 helps you to look at the personal dimensions of your students. Do you have any ASB leadership students? Members of a sports team? Any of them holding jobs? Are they living with both parents, a single parent, grandparent, or foster parent? Are there any other circumstances that could impact learning? A bulleted list works fine here
Type #3 directs your thoughts to the metacognitive dimensions of your students. How do they learn—are they visual learners, kinesthetic learners, or interpersonal learners? Do they easily transfer known concepts to new situations? A list format will be most helpful here. Do any of them verbalize a goal of higher education? Is there or can you create a friendly competition for good grades?
Type #4 will have you revisit your students’ academic literacy dimensions (current proficiencies per standardized assessments). Data collected from the AiS, STAR, GLAS and OARS as well as classroom assessment scores are important planning tools. A bulleted list of the number or percentage of your students at each level of proficiency for this particular skill for this particular lesson is key to successful differentiation and maximizing ALL students’ academic success. Will you need to frontload vocabulary? Will you need to activate any prior knowledge or experience? You can briefly describe vocabulary or prior knowledge in this space also.
Stage #1 Content Standard will help you identify the content standards your students will need to know to use as building blocks for the new information to be introduced in this lesson as well as the Standards for this lesson. You should review the following areas:
Standard(s) Students Need to Know: What Standards have your students learned that will scaffold and be built on for this lesson? These should not be a secret—let your students know that they have already learned what they need to go on to today’s lesson.
Which of the Design Facets of Understanding will your students need to demonstrate?
Enduring Understanding(s): anchor a unit (or lesson) and represents the BIG IDEA. It answers the question “why do we have to learn this”?
Essential Question(s): are the focus of your lesson; it requires your students to make a decision or plan a course of action.
Stage #2 will help you determine what authentic performance assessment(s) students will complete in order to demonstrate that they have met the standard(s) Assessments can be divided into two categories:
Formative assessments are those checks for understanding along the way during the lesson. Formative assessments can be as simple as a thumbs up/thumbs down response, individual responses on whiteboards, a teacher spot check while circulating the classroom to a group-produced synopsis of the new concept or non-linguistic representations of content vocabulary. Practice book pages can also be used as formative assessment(s).
Summative assessments are given at the end of the lesson or unit. Summative assessments can be paper and pencil, performance, or project-based. Student-selected summative assessments designed to meet the criteria of a standards-based rubric encourage creativity as well as demonstration of learning objectives.
Stage #3 helps you answer the question of what learning activities will the students undertake in
order to progress toward the Standard(s). How will the students show that they have learned what
you have set out for them to learn? How will they take that concept and make it their own? Think
about the following areas:
Flexible Grouping Strategies : elbow partners; whole class; individual seat work; self-
chosen partners/groups; pre-determined groups based on a common need/criteria. Working in
groups is not just an elementary tool!
Language Development: ELD and grade level academic language instruction: frontloading of
content specific vocabulary; non-linguistic representations; multiple opportunities to read, write,
speak, and hear; questioning strategies specific to EL levels; graphic organizers; content journals. The
implementation of any of these best practices will benefit both EL AND EO students
Multi-tiered interventions, accommodations, and/or positive behavior supports: who requires
preferential seating, proximity control, works better on their own, needs one-on-one instructions,
Modified assignments, additional scaffolding, etc.? Will you implement or maintain system of group
and/or individual points? Will exemplary samples of work be posted ? Will you have a gallery walk
at the end so that everyone’s work is displayed?
Other Strategies: any other strategies that need to be in place or upfront in your mind while you
teach this particular lesson i.e. how to rotate students through computer station(s) or library?
BIG6 or Super3 format to be used? Are all of your materials ready and easily accessible to ALL of
your students? Do you have peer helpers/coaches/tutors? Do you have a contingency plan if you
Run out of time, materials, patience?
Now that you have thought about and recorded all of the aspects of your classroom demographics
that will affect your teaching of this particular lesson, you have the bare bones of an actual Lesson
Plan. By reviewing the Stages of this FAS tool, you have deliberately set up a learning experience that
will maximize the academic success of ALL of your students.
And while this FAS tool isn’t required for every Lesson Plan, it is an excellent way to create those
“habits of mind” that all great teachers practice.