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Reach Every Student Through DIFFERENTIATED INSTRUCTION Grades 7/8 Training

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Reach Every Student Through DIFFERENTIATED INSTRUCTION Grades 7/8 Training. Getting to the core of teaching and learning Education Centre January 21, 22, 2008. Welcome and Meet the Team. Suzanne Cholasta – Curriculum Services Tina Elliott – Queen Elizabeth, Trenton

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Grades 7/8 Training

Getting to the core of teaching and learning

Education Centre

January 21, 22, 2008


Welcome and Meet the Team

  • Suzanne Cholasta – Curriculum Services
  • Tina Elliott – Queen Elizabeth, Trenton
  • Pearl Hucul – Curriculum Services
  • Richard Long – Curriculum Services
  • Cathy Portt- Special Education Services
  • Carla Ross – Prince Charles, Trenton
  • Mandy Savery-Whiteway – Student Success
  • Christine Zaporzan – Susanna Moodie

Three important characteristics of a learning community that assist teachers and students in developing resiliency include:

  • caring relationships,
  • opportunities for participation and contribution, and
  • opportunities to use strengths and interests as starting points for learning.
  • Bernard B. (2004) Resiliency: What We Have Learned


  • Provincial focus on Student Success
  • Grade 7 & 8
  • Spring 2007 – Regional Project Teams
  • Fall 2007 – Ministry training for HPEDSB team
  • Winter 2008 – HPEDSB Phase 1 and 2 implementation
  • Spring/ Fall 2008 – Grades 9 & 10

Why Differentiated Instruction?

  • Grade 7 & 8 – a time of complex student growth
  • Teachers supporting students through developmental changes
  • Student interests, preferred ways of learning and specific learning needs
  • Reach every student
  • Success for all students

Getting Started… Jan.21/22

  • improving student learning by recognizing and addressing the diverse learning needs of the students
  • understanding Differentiated Instruction
  • seeing the value of Differentiated Instruction
  • recognizing that Differentiated Instruction does not mean doing everything differently
  • taking new instructional actions, small or large, beyond current level of implementation

Agenda Review

  • Differentiated Instruction – What?
  • Kits
  • Knowing your students – Who?
  • Planning for Learning and Making Instructional Decisions – How?
  • Exit Cards
  • Phase 2 opportunities

What have you brought

in your backpack?

  • Who is a Grade 7 teacher? Grade 8 teacher? French teacher? ISRT? Administrator? Other?
  • Who has attended an in-service / workshop on DI?
  • Who has read a book related to DI?
  • Who has watched a webcast on DI?
  • Who has students with different abilities in their classroom?
  • Who knows students that are at risk?

Differentiated Instruction

Essential Question

Enduring Understandings

  • Differentiation is a prerequisite to effective curriculum planning, instruction and assessment.
  • Differentiation is teaching with student differences in mind.
  • In a differentiated classroom we choose to do what is fair, not what is equal.
  • How can differentiated instruction support success for all students?

Pages 2 to 7 in DI Teacher’s Guide


Creating an Effective

Learning Environment

A Sense of Community

  • positive, respectful, collaborative classroom environment
  • organization, routines and visible learning supports
  • students feel safe to take risks
  • students learning styles are accepted and respected

Page 18-20 in DI Teacher’s Guide


Learning About the Learner

Know your Students

  • Teachers can differentiate according to student’s:
    • Readiness
    • Interest
    • Learning Profile / Preferences

Students learn better if tasks are a close match for their skills and understanding of a topic (readiness), if tasks ignite curiosity or passion in a student (interest), and if the assignment encourages students to work in a preferred manner (learning profile).

Pages 8 -14 in DI Teacher’s Guide


Plan for Learning

Know the Curriculum

  • Framework for designing instruction, assessment and evaluation:
    • What do I want students to learn?
    • How will I know they have learned it?
    • How will I design instruction and assessment to help them learn
    • (Wiggins and McTighe – Understanding by Design)

What helps us differentiate instruction, assessment and evaluations is the knowledge we develop about our students’ learning preferences, interests, and readiness to learn new concepts.

Pages 15 – 17 Teacher’s Guide


Ongoing Assessment

Teachers use ongoing assessment to gather information to inform decisions about their students, their instructional approaches and the assessment forms they use before, during and afterlearning.

“The teacher does not try to differentiate everything for everyone everyday…Instead, the teacher selects moments in the instructional sequence to differentiate, based on formal and informal assessment.”

Tomlinson, The Differentiated Classroom: Responding to the Needs of All Learners


Differentiating Content

The “WHAT” of teaching.

  • awareness and use of essential skills to make sense of, think about, communicate and apply key concepts and principles
  • multiple materials are provided
  • multiple perspectives on ideas & events sought

“In differentiated classrooms, teachers begin [teaching] where students are, not at the front of a curriculum guide.”

Tomlinson, The Differentiated Classroom, 2000



Process and Product

The “HOW” of teaching and learning.

  • based on student readiness, interest and learning preferences
  • varied approaches, resources and instructional arrangements
  • proactive and thoughtful planning
  • flexibility in choice and time
  • alternate ways for students to demonstrate knowledge and skills

Differentiating for Process and Product means…the ‘how’



How of Teaching


How of Learning

Student Learning

Adjusting instructional approaches to match the needs of the learner using high yield strategies

Offering a variety of ways to represent knowledge and skills

Pages 21-30 DI Teacher’s Guide


Help students demonstrate

and learn from their learning 

Self Assessment and Evaluation



Assessment AS Learning

Self, diagnostic and formative assessment are essential to helping us differentiate instruction to meet the learning needs of all students in our classroom.

Pages 31 -33 in DI Teacher’s Guide


Content - and Learner-Centered Planning, Teaching, and Assessing

“If I am uncertain of the precise outcomes of a unit… I am also unable to pre-assess students’ proximity to those outcomes effectively – and thus I am not certain how to craft the start of the journey for students whose proficiencies vary.”

Tomlinson and McTighe, Integrating Differentiated Instruction and Understanding by Design


Bringing it all Together!

Learning Environment




Shared Reading

Who am I teaching?

What am I teaching?

How am I teaching?

Are my students learning?


As you work towards implementation of differentiation remember

to set realistic and attainable goals...

Pages 34 -37 in DI Teacher’s Guide


Knowing Your Students

What came first, the chicken or the egg?

Here is an easier question…What comes first in Differentiated Instruction?


Knowing Your Students - The Pillars

Your Task – “Connect the Cards”

Connect the “Know Your Students” activity to the “Readiness, Interests and Preferences” organizer using the Green Cards. Sort the information on your “Know Your Students” into:

Learning Preferences – Learning Styles



When you are done, read pages 10 and 11 of the Differentiated Instruction Teacher’s Guide.


“Connect the Cards”



Learning Preferences


Minds On

Strategy Focus:

  • Metaphor

Purpose of the Strategy:

  • Establish a positive learning environment
  • Connect to prior learning and/or experiences


Strategy Focus:

  • Jigsaw

Purpose of the Strategy:

  • Introduce new learning
  • Provide opportunities for practice and application of learning

Expert Groups

  • Core Questions, pp. 15-17
  • Learning Environment, pp. 18-19
  • Key Features of Diff. Instruction, pp. 22-24
  • Structures, pp. 26-27 and the Yellow Structures companion cards
  • Strategies, pp. 28-30, and Red Strategy companion cards
  • Assessment and Evaluation, pp. 31-33

Experts return to Home Groups so that experts can present their summary in the Home Groups, while others record the information in the appropriate section of the Jigsaw summary chart.



Strategy Focus:

  • Exit Cards

Purpose of the Strategy:

  • Provide opportunities for consolidation and reflection

Exit Cards

Reflect on the four guiding questions at your table:

What I learned/had confirmed about differentiated instruction .….

I wonder ……

What I plan to try in my classroom/school related to differentiated instruction ……

What I want/need to make this plan happen ……


Phase 2

  • Opportunities to be part of Professional Learning Community on Differentiated Instruction
  • Teachers will select their own focus area for further implementation
  • Four meeting sessions from February to May
  • Small teams – Minimum of two teachers from individual schools including ISRT’s
  • Please join us ……