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Differentiated Instruction Beginning Teacher Symposium WCU August 14, 2013 Kristin Menickelli

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Differentiated InstructionBeginning Teacher SymposiumWCUAugust 14, 2013Kristin


This is the value of the teacher, who looks at a face and says there's something behind that and I want to reach that person, I want to influence that person, I want to encourage that person, I want to enrich, I want to call out that person who is behind that face, behind that color, behind that language, behind that tradition, behind that culture. I believe you can do it. I know what was done for me. —Maya Angelou


Participants will:

  • Gain a deeper understanding of why (as a philosophy) and how to differentiate (what to do) instruction.
  • Brainstorm ideas and plan using differentiation strategies.
  • Share suggestions for effectively implementing differentiation in the classroom.
qualities of effective teachers
Qualities of Effective Teachers

The following are some of the key qualities of effective teachers:

  • Have formal teacher preparation training.
  • Hold certification of some kind (standard, alternative, or provisional) and are certified within their fields.
  • Have taught for at least three years.
  • Are caring, fair, and respectful.
  • Hold high expectations for themselves and their students.
  • Dedicate extra time to instructional preparation and reflection.
  • Maximize instructionaltime via effective classroom management and organization.
  • Enhance instruction by varyinginstructionalstrategies, activities, andassignments.
  • Present content to students in a meaningful way that fosters understanding.
  • Monitor students' learning by utilizing pre- and post assessments, providing timely and informativefeedback, and reteachingmaterial to students who did not achieve mastery.
  • Demonstrate effectivenesswith the full range of studentabilities in their classrooms, regardless of the academic diversity of the students.

Linking Teacher Evaluation and Student Learning

by Pamela D. Tucker and James H. Stronge

what is differentiation
What Is Differentiation?
  • A teacher’s response to learner needs
  • Responsive instruction
  • An approach to teaching that advocated active planning for student differences in classrooms.
  • The philosophy proposes that what we bring to school as learners matters in how we learn
one size doesn t fit all
One Size Doesn’t Fit All
  • “Students differ from one to another in size, shape, and social development. Students also learn differently. Teachers can no longer teach “The Lesson” and hope that everyone gets it.”
  • “Much has been researched and written about classroom climate and the need for a safe, nurturing environment with high challenge and low threat where all learners can thrive.”
  • Everyone needs feedback. Teachers and students need to exchange constant feedback to monitor progress and to adjust learning. It has been said that assessment drives the curriculum. Teachers need pre-assessment tools to plan for learning as well as ongoing assessment tools to use during and after the learning process.
  • After pre-assessment, teachers need to examine the data and adjust the learning based on students’ knowledge, skills, past experiences, preferences and needs. (adjusting, compacting, grouping)
discussion question
Discussion Question

What are the many factors you will take into account as you plan to differentiate instruction in your classroom?

Turn and share at your table.


Discussion continued… Schools are like airport hubs; student passengers arrive from many different backgrounds for widely divergent destinations. Their particular take offs into adulthood will demand different flight plans (Levine, 2002, p. 336)

What are the many factors you will take into account as you plan to differentiate instruction in your classroom?


Teachers Can Differentiate





According to Students’





Adapted from The Differentiated Classroom: Responding to the Needs of All Learners (Tomlinson, 1999).

academic learning time alt
Academic Learning Time (ALT)
  • Academic Learning Time refers to that portion of engaged time that students spend working on tasks at an appropriate level of difficulty for them and experiencing high levels of success (excludes time spent engaging in tasks which are too easy or too difficult). Evidence of success includes answering questions correctly in class and completing assignments with a high degree of accuracy. Academic learning time excludes the time that students make many mistakes or appear to be confused.

Review of the Literature on “Time and Learning”

The Core Academic Learning Time Group, March 2002


The Cogs of Differentiated Instruction

  • The Student Seeks:
  • Affirmation
  • Contribution
  • Power
  • Purpose
  • Challenge
  • The Teacher Responds:
  • Invitation
  • Opportunity
  • Investment
  • Persistence
  • Reflection
  • Curriculum and Instruction as the Vehicle:
  • Important
  • Focused
  • Engaging
  • Demanding
  • Scaffolded

Because teachers want to know…


How can I meet the needs of all my students?


A set of principles for curriculum development that applies to the general education curriculum to promote learning environments that meet the needs of all learners

universal design for learning

Universal design for Learning

UDL provides a blueprint for creating instructional goals, methods, materials, and assessments that work for everyone--not a single, one-size-fits-all solution but rather flexible approaches that can be customized and adjusted for individual needs.

UDL at a Glance


K.MD.2 Directly compare two objects with a measurable attribute in common, to see which object has “more of”/ “less of” the attribute, and describe the difference.




Multiple Means of


Multiple Means of


Multiple Means of


Modeling with students

Class search-what is longer than___?

Group poster project-what is shorter or longer than___?

Best Bug Parade by Stuart J. Murhy

Comparing teddy bears

Comparing rubber snakes or bugs

Label cards with snakes or bugs

Caterpillar line-up

MD Task 1a with Unifix cube trains

4 md 3 apply the area and perimeter formulas for rectangles in real world and mathematical problems
4.MD.3 Apply the area and perimeter formulas for rectangles in real world and mathematical problems.




Multiple Means of


Multiple Means of


Multiple Means of


Spaghetti and Meatballs for All by Marilyn Burns

Modeling with color tiles

“A New Pool for Noah” or “Mrs. Burk Perimeter Rap” on Teacher Tube

Design and produce own videos

“Flower Bed Challenge” or other real-world purpose

Chalkboard Splash

Role play/act out area and perimeter

Room Blueprint Design

differentiation strategies
  • All strategies are aligned with instructional goals and objectives.
  • Specific strategy selection based on
    • Focus of instruction
    • Focus of differentiation
assessment in the differentiated classroom
Assessment in the Differentiated Classroom
  • Ongoing
  • Instruction-dependent
  • Student-dependent
  • Informative for continuedinstruction
tips for implementing differentiated instruction your classroom
Tips for Implementing Differentiated Instruction: Your Classroom
  • Get to know your students
  • Start slowly
    • One subject/one technique
  • Organize your classroom space.




Teacher Station 1

Teacher Station 2



where do i go from here resources
Where Do I Go From Here?Resources


PBS Teacherline

Project Based Learning


Curriculum-based measurement

Curriculum and Instruction


A-Z Integrate to Differentiate

Gradual Release of Responsibility Model

21st Century 

Understanding Digital Children


MI For Example Interpersonal


next steps
Next Steps!

What differentiation strategies will you implement in your classrooms? Turn and talk to your table.