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Differentiation. Addressing the Diversity of Learning Needs in the Classroom. Learning by Doing Food for Thought. Researchers believe that the interactive experience greatly increases students’ ability to retain what they are taught reading 10% listening 20% looking at pictures 30%

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Addressing the Diversity of Learning Needs in the Classroom

learning by doing food for thought
Learning by DoingFood for Thought
  • Researchers believe that the interactive experience greatly increases students’ ability to retain what they are taught
    • reading 10%
    • listening 20%
    • looking at pictures 30%
    • watching something being done 50%
    • talking 70%
    • doing 90%
brain research summary we learn and remember after one month
14% of what we hear

22%of what we see

3O% of what we watch others do: demonstrations or modeling

42%of sensory redundancy: rituals that repeat, seeing, hearing and doing important skills or concepts

72% of movies of the mind: learning is linked to remembered or imagined life experiences of the learner

83 % of a performance of a life challenge activity: first time or demanding action that applies the new learning.

92% of what we teach others.

BRAIN RESEARCH SUMMARYWe learn and remember after one month:
learning styles
Learning Styles
  • Concrete Sequential (practical, organised, detailed)
  • Concrete Random (independent, creative, inventive)
  • Abstract Sequential(thinker, logical, evaluative)
  • Abstract Random(sensitive, imaginative, flexible)
learning styles1
Individual styles are unique

Each style has equal value

Independent of intellectual ability

We tend to teach as we learn

We need to provide “bridges” between styles to enhance student learning

Differences in ways we perceive and process information

Students need to be taught in all 4 ways to feel comfortable

Learning Styles
supportive education program differentiation
“Supportive Education” Program Differentiation
  • based on premise that each student should receive an education that best meets their needs
  • students access the curriculum based on their unique learning styles, areas of strength, areas of difficulty
program differentiation requires
Program Differentiation Requires:
  • Creativity
  • Flexibility
  • Task Analysis
  • Ability to Structure Learning in a Variety of Ways
  • Understanding of Stages of Child Development and Learning
  • Understanding of Characteristics of Exceptionalities
  • Ability to Assess and Evaluate (On-going Basis)
differentiation depends on student need
Differentiation depends on Student Need
  • Program differentiation can occur at several stages throughout the teaching & learning process such as:
    • When planning or developing learning activities or units of study
    • During instruction by using a variety of strategies
    • After observing or interviewing students
    • Following the recommendations of the school team or IPRC Process
planning for diversity
Planning for Diversity
  • What is everyone doing?
  • Can _____ participate like everyone else?
  • If no, what can we do to include ______?
  • Who can help? (adult, peer)
  • Can we use different materials?
  • What else can ______ do that is related to what the class is doing?
two approaches to differentiation
Layered Curriculum


determining the essential expectations or content for all

web-site links www.help4teachers.com

Understanding by Design principles

Universal Curriculum Design

based on brain research

provide multiple means of




Two Approaches to Differentiation
what does this mean in the classroom
What Does This Mean in the Classroom?
  • Spoken & Written material presented digitally (software, variation in font, spacing, colour, access to dictionaries, graphics, e-mail)
  • Auto format for all written material (tapes- independence, repetition)
  • Multisensory approaches to learning
  • Strategic skill learning (active models, scaffolds to support the learner)
  • Range of ways of showing what the student knows
  • Accommodations are the specific supports or services that will help the student access the curriculum and demonstrate learning. They are usually cross-curricular. The learning expectations of the students remain the same as their peers but the way the material is presented or the way knowledge is demonstrated is different.
  • Modifications are changes to the learning expectations for students. They would include alternate expectations (reading or writing expectations at a different grade level, alternate expectations, individualized or alternate programs, directed skill teaching-vocational skills, life skills)
a modification or an accommodation
Extended Time to finish a task

Use of a Scribe

Handouts or Text on Audio-tape

Reduced Number of Expectations

Reduced Number of Tasks Required

Use of Spell Checker

Reference Sheet for Mathematical or Scientific Formulae

Repetition and Rephrasing

Substitution of a Portfolio for a Written Exam

Substituting Alternative Expectations- Alternative Program

Reduced Penalties for Spelling Errors

Including previous grade expectations in a subject

Spreading a Credit Course over 2 Years or 2 Semesters

Compacting Credit Course to be Completed Individually

Evaluation Based on Different Expectations

Individualized Reading Program

Use of Thesaurus and Word lists

Prompting and Pacing in Instruction

Compulsory Credit Substitution

Use of Peer Tutoring

A Modification or An Accommodation?
differentiation matrix
Differentiation Matrix
  • Environment (WHERE)
    • Attitudes and conditions surrounding the student
  • Content (WHAT)
    • knowledge skills and expectations to be achieved
  • Process (HOW)
    • teaching and learning strategies best suited to the student”s learning style
  • Product
    • demonstration of learning
  • Assessment & Evaluation
    • measurement of student achievement and performance
  • Resources
purpose of differentiation
Purpose of Differentiation
  • It should ENHANCE student learning
  • not “Make it easier”
million dollar analogy
Million Dollar Analogy
  • Fairness
  • Equality = Equity
  • Fairness = Providing what the student needs to meet their potential
List questions that need to be asked for clarification or additional information

List student strengths

Identify the areas of concern

Clearly identify what the student needs

Using the differentiation matrix, identify a variety of accommodations or modifications for the student

List other considerations

activity case study
Activity: Case Study
  • Your group is a collaborative school team. Using the information provided start to work through the problem-solving process to address this student’s needs. The following framework may help to guide your discussion. Please identify a reporter and a recorder for your group.