"Differentiated instruction is also responsible teaching in that it acknowledges not only the strengths and differences among learners, but also the increasing diversity in the modern classroom and the ethnic, cultural, and linguistic factors that can influence learning. Through the incorporation of group work, tiered lessons, multimodal techniques and study aids (e.g., graphic organizers, hands-on activities, guided practice and discussion, oral presentations, technological supports), and varied methods of assessment, students from culturally diverse backgrounds and/or who speak English as a second language can have equal opportunities to participate in, and benefit from, the instructional process alongside their peers."

 

Differentiation can be accomplished in a number of ways:

The methods you use should be based on the student's needs:

 

Some teacher tools here:  Dare to Differentiate Site 

 

The following strategies are cited as examples of Differentiated Instruction for inclusion in lesson planning (Dr. Castro  9 /27 /10) as part of teacher accountability may be found at Here and from her e-board the following link --  HERE

 

 

Scaffolded Instruction   Modeling  Cooperative Learning  Having Choices  Independent Reading and Writing Modes of Reading  Prior Knowledge Activation   Responses to Literature  Adjusting Questions   Curriculum Compacting  Learning Contracts  Anchoring Activity  Cubing & Extension Menus   Flexibility  Literature Circles  Assessment  Socratic Seminar  Choice Activities    Grouping  Tiered Lessons/Activities  Independent Study  Centers

 

 

 

Useful Instructional Strategies for Literature-Based Instruction Here

There are many different strategies that research has shown are effective in literature-based instruction (Cooper, 1993). These include scaffolding of instruction, modeling, cooperative learning, student choices, self-initiated reading and writing, using different modes of reading, activation of prior knowledge, and student responses to literature.

 

Differentiated Instruction
Created by Marianne Tillman
Spring 2003
HERE

You will know that you have been successful at differentiating when: you begin to see yourself as an
organizer of learning opportunities rather than the “sage on the stage”; your assessment and instruction become inseparable; you have created a community of learners who respect the individual differences within your classroom and can work independently according to the working conditions developed for your classroom; and finally, all your students, whether they are below, at, or above grade level, are feeling challenged and motivated to reach their maximum potential by learning new, meaningful, and essential concepts, principles, and skills.

Scaffolded Instruction   

Scaffolded Instruction  

Scaffolded instruction is a concept that has grown out of research on how individuals learn (Collins, Brown, & Newman, 1986; Vygotsky, 1978). This concept is based on the idea that at the beginning of learning, students need a great deal of support; gradually, this support is taken away to allow students to try their independence. This is what Pearson (1985) called the gradual release of responsibility. If students are unable to achieve independence, the teacher brings back the support system to help students experience success until they are able to achieve independence (Cooper, 1993).

The concept of support in scaffolded instruction is much broader than the modeling and teaching of strategies and skills; this is only one part of the scaffolding process. Providing support takes place in a number of ways - the way in which the selections are organized in a theme, the amount of prior knowledge activation that is provided, the way in which the literature is read by the students, and the types of responses students are encouraged to make.

 

Adjusting Questions   

Adjusting Questions 

This is one of the easiest ways for a teacher to help students meet with success but also a way to challenge higher-level students with the use of open-ended, divergent questions. By asking questions appropriate to a student’s readiness or ability level, questions can be adjusted to the level of complexity or abstractness that fits that child. Good questions are worthy of being answered. It is important to give students wait time and to sometimes allow students the opportunity to pair with a partner for discussion before answering a question. Essential, thoughtprovoking questions can connect a new concept with the content to be learned and drive the success level upward for students by creating important connections between new content and content previously learned.

 

Modeling  

Modeling

Modeling has been shown to be a vital part of helping students learn the process of constructing meaning and of helping them learn the various strategies and skills involved in this process (Bandura, 1986). Modeling takes place first through the literature itself (Walmsley & Walp, 1990) and the way it is organized in thematic units. Modeling of specific strategies and skills is also provided by the teacher for those students who need it. This is done by using literature that has been read as models to show the use of strategies and skills (Walmsley & Walp, 1990). These lessons are known as mini-lessons and they may be formal or informal (Cooper, 1993). Modeling by the teacher is also done through reading aloud (Anderson, Hiebert, Scott, & Wilkinson, 1985), through demonstrating response activities and discussions (Martinez & Roser, 1991), and through shared writing (Cooper, 1993). Students also provide modeling for each other through cooperative learning.

 

Curriculum Compacting  

Curriculum Compacting 

The most important thing to remember about curriculum compacting is that it is not meant to provide an
opportunity for busy work or leisure time. It is meant to give students time to accomplish meaningful work rather than relearning material they may already know. Compacting can be used in any subject area in which the teacher can assess competency or knowledge about a given topic to be studied. It is also most useful for high-ability learners or any student with an unusual knowledge base on a given topic. By giving students a chance to show what they know we can then provide them with interesting, creative, and challenging work equal to their ability. Compacting means that the teacher needs to:
1. Pre-assess all or some of the students for pre-existing knowledge and understanding of the selected learning objectives. “The most difficult first” strategy is another method for allowing students to prove mastery. (The classroom teacher will have to decide who to test and what constitutes mastery – 90%, 95%?).
2. Provide extension activities and lessons for more in-depth learning of the topic or, in some cases, accelerate the student through the material.
3. Keep records of student progress and what the student is learning in place of the mastered material.
4. Be sure that students understand the rules for working on alternate activities.

 

Cooperative Learning  

Cooperative Learning

Cooperative learning is also a very effective instructional strategy that works well in literature-based instruction (Slavin, 1987). Students learn to read, write, and think by having meaningful engagements with more experienced individuals (Wells, 1990). Many times these individuals may be their peers.

A variety of group work is also indicated including partner and  independent work.

 

Learning Contracts  

Learning Contracts

A contract is an agreement made between the teacher and the student in which the student agrees to
accomplish certain assignments. This is a way to match student readiness with the skills and content being taught. It also means that students must be able to plan and organize themselves in order to complete work that may be interdisciplinary, problem-based, or require research. This strategy is often used to extend learning at a higher level or to integrate thinking skills into assignments for those students whose work may be being compacted (see compacting). An Extension Menu can also be used as a contract. You may ask various students to complete a set number of extension boxes in a day or in a week, depending on their pace and/or ability. Most importantly, vary the length of the contract so that it matches a student’s readiness to handle such responsibility.

 

Having Choices

Having Choices

Having choices in learning to read and write helps students meet their own individual needs (Johnston & Allington, 1991). By giving students options to choose from in what they read, how they read, and how they respond to a piece of literature, we allow them to actively construct their own meanings (Martinez & Roser, 1991).

 

Anchoring Activity  

Anchoring Activity 

An anchoring activity is exactly what it sounds like – a meaningful activity that is meant to be done by
students independently in order to allow the teacher to work with individual students or small groups of students. In other words, students are anchored to an activity. Students must be well versed in the ground rules of working independently. The teacher must make adequate preparations so that students are quite clear about the task, and the instructions for completing the task, and have a plan for monitoring and managing the activity. Examples of anchoring activities may include the following:
• Reading
• Journal Writing
• Keeping a Process Log
• Working on a Portfolio
• Working on a Learning Packet or Task Card
• Working at a Learning or Interest Center
• Practicing skills related to content that students learned in their small group lessons
• Working on an Extension Menu or Cubing activity, or Task Cards

 

Independent Reading and Writing 

Independent Reading and Writing

Self-initiated or independent reading and writing are also important instructional strategies to use in literature-based instruction.

                    See also Independent Reading and Self-Initiated Writing

The Need For Independent Reading

Children and young adults learn to read and write by having meaningful, authentic reading and writing experiences and by getting support from more experienced individuals. In order for students to become expert readers and writers, they must have time to practice and apply what they are learning - reading and writing. Therefore, it is essential that the literacy-centered classroom provide time for students to read independently in self-selected books and to engage in self-initiated writing.)

 

Cubing & Extension Menus   

Cubing & Extension Menus

Both of these strategies serve the same purpose and that is to provide alternate activities to students who have finished their work or are doing alternative work while you are meeting with small groups. Cubes and extension menus can also be part of learning/interest centers. The menu boxes or the sides of the cube provide possible activities for students to complete. A “menu of possibilities” can be organized around a current topic of study or provide extension activities related to a topic. Students must know the rules for working independently. The following is an example of a menu of alternative activities, covering many different subject areas, created by our own teachers at a Differentiation workshop.

 

Modes of Reading  

Modes of Reading

The term modes of reading refers to the different ways literature may be read -- aloud by the teacher, shared, guided by the teacher, cooperatively, or independently (Cooper, 1993). By changing the modes of reading used for different students, we are able to scaffold instruction and provide different levels of support for students in order to make them successful in reading a piece of literature (Cooper, 1993; Cullinan, 1992; Tunnell & Jacobs, 1989).

 

Flexibility  

Flexibility 

Flexibility may be the key element to effectively implementing differentiated instruction. Flexibility
implies the ability to make adjustments and that’s what differentiated instruction is all about. This flexibility may manifest itself in the form of the flexible use of time, materials, approaches or groups. Flexible groups can be determined by readiness, interest, skill, student, teacher, or by learning style. Flexible grouping requires pre-assessment in order to make decisions about students’ instructional needs. Examples of pre-assessment strategies may include: pretests created by the teacher or the use of a post-assessment test prior to beginning a new topic/unit; KWL charts; writing prompts; questioning; “exit cards”; debates; focus groups; teacher observation/checklists; student demonstrations and discussions; questionnaires; interviews; student products and work samples; and
portfolios. By varying groups, the teacher can ensure that all students will learn how to work collaboratively and cooperatively. By assigning different roles within groups students will also learn how to work independently and with responsibility towards a group of their peers. The ways to group students is endless – in fact there is a video entitled Small Group Activities for Differentiating Instruction available through The Office of Teaching and Learning (created by Teacher Education Resources).

 

 

Prior Knowledge Activatio  

Prior Knowledge Activation

Activating prior knowledge is another instructional strategy that is important in literature-based instruction (Cooper, 1993). Many different strategies can be used in activating prior knowledge; most of these strategies help students become independent in activating their own prior knowledge. Research on schema theory and prior knowledge has clearly shown that students construct meaning by using their prior knowledge to interact with the text (Anderson & Pearson, 1984). A thematic organization in which themes are carefully developed with related pieces of literature also supports the activation and development of prior knowledge; by reading several related selections, students build on their prior knowledge from previous selections as they read the next selection.

 

Literature Circles  

Literature Circles

Literature Circles is an excellent strategy for getting students together to talk about a book they are reading. This strategy can help students build comprehension and verbal expression. Once a book group is formed students read at a set pace and come together for discussions. At each meeting children are assigned a different role. Roles can have many titles but students must come prepared to share with their group. 

 

Responses to Literature  

Responses to Literature

Responses to literature are also important to literature-based instruction (Martinez & Roser, 1991). By encouraging and allowing students to respond to literature, we promote the active construction of meaning.

(http://www.eduplace.com/rdg/res/literacy/lit_ins4.html)

 

Additionally lessons should include elements to address a the following styles 

Oral 

Visual 

Kinesthetic or Tactile

 

Assessment  

Assessment 

Many teachers think of assessment as “summative”, that is, something we determine at the end of teaching. In a differentiated classroom we need to think of assessment as diagnostic and informative. In order to be informed about how learning is progressing teachers need to think of assessment as on going and varied and ideally embedded in the curriculum (a lab report is a good example). By varying the types of assessment procedures all children can be given an opportunity to show their learning. It is also helpful to think of assessment along a continuum that begins with what is to be taught and ends with opportunities to show learning has taken place. Preassessment, checks for understanding along the way (this could be a simple thumbs-up or an exit card with a question about what was leaned today or what a student didn’t understand today), teacher observation and questions, on-going assignments, peer and self assessment, quizzes, tests, performance and alternative assessments, all contribute to fully understanding a student’s grasp of material.

 

Socratic Seminar   

Socratic Seminar

Socratic seminars are conversations that are stimulated by open-ended questions related to a selected
reading. Closure may never be attained but independent thinking may be stimulated.

 

Choice Activities  

Choice Activities

Choice can be a great motivator for students to participate. Students can be given options based on learning style or interest. They may also be given content choices as to what will be learned (ideas, concepts, facts, rules, principles) or how what they will learn will be enriched (depth, complexity, novelty, or acceleration). The processes for how content will be learned may include the learning activities, questions, thinking skills, and methods such as problem-based learning, Socratic method, simulations, independent study, centers, videos, texts, expert mentors, or small groups.
The outcome of learning can provide opportunities for products that show the content or skill that has been learned. Options for showing learning in a preferred learning style or talent area or with a partner/group may improve motivation for many students.

 

Grouping  

Grouping

The key to grouping in a differentiated classroom is flexibility. Groups will vary with topic (based on
preassessment), interest, learning style, readiness, ability, etc. In order for small groups to function there must be adequate preparation for students in role responsibilities and opportunities for reflecting on the success of a group’s efforts through established criteria. Groups can vary from pairs, triads, groups of four, or even larger groups for instructional purposes. For a teacher’s manual and video entitled “Small Group Activities for Differentiating Instruction” please call “The Office of Teaching and Learning. (Here is a listing of some of the grouping ideas: “Numbered Heads”, “Russian Roulette”, “Stand and Share”, “Spontaneous Lectures”, “Inside- Outside Circles”, “Group Reporters”, “Jigsaw”, “K-W-L”, “Solution Sort”, “Three Step Interviews”, and 15 more ideas for reviewing, assessing, motivating, debriefing, problem solving, etc.

Tiered Lessons/Activities  

Tiered Lessons/Activities

This is an important way to allow students to work with the same concepts and essential ideas but at
different levels of complexity, number of steps, concreteness vs. abstractness, and levels of independence. By developing activities along a continuum of complexity or abstractness you are allowing students to work on similar concepts but in such a way as to be accessible to low performing students and more challenging for high ability students. By beginning where they are, students will work at a level that builds on their prior knowledge but still provides for individual growth.

 

Independent Study  

Independent Study

An independent study is correctly defined as “an opportunity to choose and investigate a topic of your own interest for the purpose of creating something new with the gathered information”. Prior to beginning an independent study the classroom teacher needs to be sure that his/her students are proficient in a number of skills required to complete such a project. Practice and instruction at using these skills is important. Note taking, outlining, interview skills, letter writing skills, research skills to locate, record and organize information are essential to a successful independent study. Before beginning such a study you might want to conduct an interest inventory to help students select a topic for study. Keeping a Process Log, developing a timeline to help students stay on track, providing product options for presenting the learned information, and developing an evaluation with students so that expectations are clear, are all valuable ways to help students complete a productive independent
study.

Centers

Centers

Centers can be found in many shapes, sizes, and locations in a classroom. They contain materials and
activities meant to reinforce or enrich content and skills being learned. They can also serve to reinforce concepts previously learned. Centers can be based on interest and serve to motivate students exploration of new topics through choice. Centers allow students to work at their own pace. Teachers need to be sure that students can work independently, without disturbing classmates. Examples of centers may include: computer, writing, art, listening, reading, science or math centers. Centers should be clearly organized (directions), focus on learning goals and essential questions, provide for learning preferences, and allow for keeping track of student work through the use of Learning Logs, Journals, or some type of end-product. Even students can create centers for other students!  Learning Contracts work well with centers. (Centers are different from stations in that stations are part of a whole concept, topic, or theme being taught. Students rotate through the stations in steps as part of a unit of instruction. Centers, on the other hand, exist as separate entities devoted to providing alternative activities to students.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Resources

Google search HERE    

http://www.ohiorc.org/adlit/differentiated_instruction/default.aspx#how 

http://www.teach-nology.com/tutorials/teaching/differentiate/planning/ 

http://webhost.bridgew.edu/kdobush/Strategies%20for%20Teaching%20Reading/Handbook/Diff_Inst/Differentiated%20Instruction.htm#8 

http://www.learner.org/workshops/readingk2/session6/index.html 

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

http://www.readwritethink.org/classroom-resources/lesson-plans/persuasive-essay-environmental-issues-268.html

http://www2.scholastic.com/browse/article.jsp?id=3747932