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Module 5: Differentiating Instruction to Meet the Needs of Students with ASD in the General Education Classroom. Module Overview. Defining differentiated instruction Framework for differentiating instruction Differentiating content Differentiating process Differentiating product.

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Module 5: Differentiating Instruction to Meet the Needs of Students with ASD in the General Education Classroom


Module overview l.jpg
Module Overview Students with ASD in the General Education Classroom

  • Defining differentiated instruction

  • Framework for differentiating instruction

  • Differentiating content

  • Differentiating process

  • Differentiating product


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Defining Differentiated Instruction Students with ASD in the General Education Classroom

  • Differentiated instruction is an approach to teaching a diverse group of students that meets the unique needs of each learner within the group

  • The rationale for differentiating instruction is that all students benefit from a variety of instructional methods and supports (Lawrence-Brown, 2004)


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Differentiating Students with ASD in the General Education ClassroomInstruction(Tomlinson, 1999)


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Definitions Students with ASD in the General Education Classroom

  • Content: What students are learning

  • Process: How students are learning

  • Product: How students demonstrate what they learned

  • Readiness Level: The level of learning that is developmentally appropriate for the student

  • Interests: What the students like

  • Learning Profile: Understanding the different ways students learn best (learning styles)


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Differentiating Content Students with ASD in the General Education Classroom

  • There are a variety of ways to differentiate what students learn to address their readiness levels, interests, and learning profiles

  • The table on the next slide shows some examples


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Differentiating Content Students with ASD in the General Education Classroom


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Identifying the “Big Ideas” Students with ASD in the General Education Classroom

  • Identifying the “big ideas” entails pinpointing what you want all the students to learn. You then provide opportunities for students to learn additional information based on their readiness levels.

  • For example, if you are teaching a geometry lesson on area and perimeter in third grade, your “big ideas” may be:

    • All students will measure the length of the sides of a rectangle/square

    • All students will add up the sides of a rectangle/square

    • All students will indicate that adding up the sides of a rectangle/square is called finding the perimeter

      In this example some students may also:

    • Identify the area of a rectangle

    • Measure items in the classroom to determine the area and perimeter of the items

      A few students may also learn to:

    • Create a floor plan of their bedroom and figure out the area and perimeter of their room

    • Figure out how much carpet they will need to cover the floor in their room and determine how much it will cost based on a flyer with prices


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Embed Instruction Related to IEP Goals Students with ASD in the General Education Classroom

  • As often as possible, try to embed instruction related to the students’ IEP goals into instructional lessons and activities.

  • For example, while the content for the class as a whole may be related to learning the phases of matter, a student with ASD may also be working on communication or social interaction skills during those lessons as well by:

    • Handing out materials to groups of students

    • Asking for materials from a peer

    • Sharing materials with others

    • Asking for help from a peer or teacher

    • Responding to comments and questions from a peer

    • Responding to comments and questions from the teacher


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Curriculum Compacting Students with ASD in the General Education Classroom

  • When compacting curriculum, you streamline the curriculum to allow students to move at a quicker pace and then have time to pursue an alternate topic or go into greater depth in an area of study.

  • This is for students who may get bored engaging in lessons in which they already know the material.

  • For example, if a student with ASD already knows all of the addition facts, but the majority of the class does not, you can provide a quick probe so the student can demonstrate mastery and then work with the student on learning how to add two digit numbers while the other students are working on basic facts.


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Tiered Lessons Students with ASD in the General Education Classroom

  • Providing tiered lessons means that you provide different activities for students to learn the designated content based on the readiness levels of your students.

  • For example, if you are teaching the concept of discrimination you may have three tiers such as:

    • Students engage in an activity or lesson in which they learn about the similarities and differences of different groups of people.

    • Students engage in an activity in which they learn the meaning of discrimination and how it effects individuals.

    • Students write a persuasive paper related to discrimination..


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Embed Students’ Special Interests Students with ASD in the General Education Classroom

  • When teaching academic content, it may be helpful to embed the students’ special interests into the learning activities when appropriate.

  • For example, if a student is passionate about trains, you can use an analogy of the cars on a train to explain the concept that all stories have a beginning, middle, and end.


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Allow Topic Selection Students with ASD in the General Education Classroom

  • When appropriate, allow students to select topics of study to demonstrate mastery of the content.

  • For example, if the content goal is related to learning research skills, the students can select topics for research in which they have a strong interest.

  • Another example is if the content goal entails learning how to collect data and graph, the students can select a topic for data collection based on interests.


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Note-taking Organizers Students with ASD in the General Education Classroom

  • Note-taking organizers (guided notes) provides the students with a document that is structured in a way that easily allows them to follow along with instruction and fill in important information throughout the lesson.

  • This is a good strategy for students with ASD because it is a way to keep them actively engaged.

  • For more information on guided notes visit: http://www.interventioncentral.org/htmdocs/interventions/study/gnotes.php


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Differentiating Process Students with ASD in the General Education Classroom

  • There are a variety of ways to differentiate how students learn to address readiness levels, interests, and learning profiles

  • The table on the next slide provides some examples


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Differentiating Process Students with ASD in the General Education Classroom


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Differentiating Product Students with ASD in the General Education Classroom

  • There are a variety of ways to differentiate how students demonstrate what they have learned to address readiness levels, interests, and learning profiles

  • The table on the next slide provides some examples


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Differentiating Products Students with ASD in the General Education Classroom


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Writing Assignment Rubric Students with ASD in the General Education Classroom


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Websites Containing Information on Differentiating Instruction

  • http://www.paulakluth.com/differentiating-instruction.html

  • http://www.cast.org/publications/ncac/ncac_diffinstruc.html

  • http://www.internet4classrooms.com/di.htm


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Summary Instruction

  • It is important to note that you can differentiate instruction for task completion within a single lesson or across a unit of instruction (McLesky & Waldron, 2000)

  • Learning to differentiate instruction is a process. It is important to be reflective in your present abilities to differentiate and continually strive to enhance your capabilities to differentiate while not expecting too much of yourself at first.


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Module 5 Activity Instruction

  • Select a lesson or a unit of study that you will be teaching to your whole class of students.

  • Provide a plan for how you will differentiate across content, process, and product to address readiness levels, interests, and learning profiles.

  • In addition, discuss how you will differentiate your content to embed IEP objectives for a student with ASD.

  • The next slide provides a sample worksheet you can use, or you can create your own.


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Differentiating Instruction Plan Instruction

Lesson/unit of study topic:________________________________________


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References Instruction

Lawrence-Brown, D. (2004). Differentiated instruction: Inclusive strategies for standards-based learning that benefit the whole class. American Secondary Education, 32, 34-62.

McLeskey, J., & Waldron, N. (2000). Inclusive schools in action: Making differences ordinary. 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


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