Differentiated Learning Experience

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Differentiated Learning Experience by Mind Map: Differentiated Learning Experience

1. Introduction

1.1. Standards

1.1.1. 4 RL.1: Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text (http://www.corestandards.org).

1.2. Grade Level

1.2.1. 4th Grade

1.3. Subject

1.3.1. English Language Arts: Reading

1.4. Importance of differentiated instruction in today’s diverse classrooms:

1.4.1. The use of differentiated instruction in today's classroom is valuable in many ways. It allows a single teacher to reach many different needs that each and every student has. There may be high achievers and low achieving students in the same classroom, but with differentiated instruction, each and every student has the opportunity to grow and succeed with individualized instruction.

2. References

2.1. English Language Arts Standards. Accessed at: http://www.corestandards.org/ELA-Literacy/RL/4/1/

2.2. Tomlinson, C. A. (2017). How to Differentiate Instruction in Academically Diverse Classrooms, Third Edition. Alexandria, VA: ACSD

3. Strategies

3.1. Compacting

3.1.1. Prior to this unit, students take part in creating a KWL chart to show me what they know, what they want to know, and what they need to learn. Through doing this, I question students and get a better understanding for what they need to improve on. I use an anchor chart and go over this with the entire class to ensure that they have a grasp on the vocabulary that is necessary to succeed throughout this unit. I explain to students why this standard is important in their every day life, and how it can improve their reading capabilities and understanding of the English language (Tomlinson, Appendix).

3.2. Differentiated Homework with Homework Checkers

3.2.1. This strategy allows the teacher to work with students that need more attention, while allowing students that are on target or high achieving to work with one another and teach and learn from one another. Not all students will be assigned the same work, and this all depends on their current academic level and understanding of content. By doing this, students are grouped together and are able to bounce ideas off one another. The teacher is able to sit with those who need more help and give them individualized attention on important work, while also ensuring that on target and high achieving students are able to continue to grow and succeed (Tomlinson, Appendix).

3.3. Flexible grouping

3.3.1. During 4th grade ELA reading time, students in my class are grouped based on their reading levels and their reading abilities. This allows for students to be able to work on similar texts, and bounce ideas off one another. I also use a reading workshop that does not base grouping on levels, but rather just has them working on various tasks to help them improve their skills without singling them out depending on their reading level. Students are also able to work together as a whole class, in small groups, and with partners with varying levels of understanding. This allows students to build their understanding of a subject and/or help teach other students how to improve their skills on a certain matter (Tomlinson, Appendix).

3.4. Interest Centers or Interest Groups

3.4.1. During this unit, students are able to show me what they know in the way that they choose. They are given a few choices, such as google docs, google slides, prezi, and so forth to show me what they have understood from this unit so far. Students can also be paired with others that have chosen a similar method, which can help them come up with creative ways to show what they know. Students feel as though it is less of a "learning" experience and makes things much more fun and engaging (Tomlinson, Appendix).

3.5. Learning Centers/Learning Stations

3.5.1. One way I would use this strategy to help students achieve this standard is through assigning task cards. I would have 10 learning stations around the classroom, and ask students to reach at least 5 of these stations and answer questions in regards to the 5 they chose. This allows students to move around the classroom and answer the questions they feel are important, and keeps students feeling as though they are calling the shots. Students are able to work on their own, with partners, or in small groups during this time. I would set a timer for 5 minutes at each station, and ask students to move on once their time is up (Tomlinson, Appendix).

3.6. Tiering

3.6.1. I utilized a rubric for this unit. I outlined what I expected students to know, and how they can show me that they understand the information. When students have seen the rubric, they become responsible for their own learning. I check in with students before each lesson to remind them of what they need to be focusing on. This reminds students about what the end goal is, and what they might do to achieve this. It also keeps students on track and has them ask themselves if they are where they need to be, and if not, what they need to do to get there (Tomlinson, Appendix).

3.7. Varying questions

3.7.1. The standard used in this unit allows for students to think freely about how they might be able to answer a question. There can be many right answers, and students are encouraged to explore and question every possibility. I ask open ended questions, and allow students the time to think before they respond--it is important not to skip ahead and lead students to an answer. It is important that the student is guided, but that they are not directly shown the answer (Tomlinson, Appendix).

4. Conclusion

4.1. One strategy that I have not used in the past but plan to in the future is differentiated homework and homework checkers. I find that this really helps me get to students that need it, and allows my other students to bounce ideas off one another and learn in the process. If creates a reason to complete homework, rather than just assigning homework just for students to complete it and move on. This strategy has students pushing to achieve success at all times, even when doing homework. All my 4th grade students would benefit from this strategy, and it would help me pinpoint what students need help with what skill. It is so easy to assign all students the same homework, but this is not beneficial when all students have different needs (Tomlinson, Appendix).

4.2. A strategy I have used in the past is using rubrics to get students to understand what is expected of them. Many of my students require to be told over and over again what they need to do, and going over the rubric before a lesson has helped me weed out the constant questions about what students need to do and what their next step is. I predict that through continuing to use this strategy, students will be more focused when I go over the rubric, which will allow less instructional time reminding students what they need to do, and more time helping individual students achieve the learning objectives.