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DIFFERENTIATION: FINAL PROJECT OVERVIEW

Differentiation
Final Project Overview
EDU 610: Differentiation
Joyce H. Fragale
University of New England
April 16, 13

DIFFERENTIATION: FINAL PROJECT OVERVIEW

My project includes developing a web site to host information surrounding the Ventures
(Gifted and Talented) program. The primary components of the program are Differentiation,
Enrichment, and a Continuum of Services. This will be an ongoing work in progress, however
for the purposes of this class I will focus primarily on the development of the Differentiation
Component. The web site will eventually be linked to all of the districts schools home pages.
Initially this site will be developed to support teachers and administrators, and eventually
expanded to include information of interest to parents and students. The primary Differentiation
Subheadings for the site are: Definition, Assessment, Strategies for Modifying Content,
Strategies for Modifying Process, Strategies for Modifying Product, Differentiating Using
NWEA Assessment Data, Impact of Climate and Environment, Integrating Technology, and
Steps for Differentiating Instruction. Other headings that will contain many resources
surrounding differentiation as well as other educational topics of interest will be: Enrichment,
Acceleration, Articles of Interest, and Recommended Reading. Information and forms
surrounding the districts gifted and talented (Ventures) program will be included as well.
My rationale behind this project began forming in the past. I have often come across
websites/links/articles that contain valuable information. I have bookmarked them, forwarded
them to teachers, parents, students, or administrators, and sometimes printed them for future
reference. Keeping articles in binders, filling up bookmark toolbars with undistinguishable links,
and e-mailing articles with the expectation that the teacher will keep them accessible is
unrealistic and inefficient at best. Above this there are many forms necessary for, or
complimentary to, the processes included in the Ventures Program specifically, as well as
differentiation in general. It will also be beneficial when working with teachers in any of the

DIFFERENTIATION: FINAL PROJECT OVERVIEW

several rural locations to be able to conveniently access materials that will eventually be
comprehensive enough to target any issue at hand.
This site will be a place for teachers to access research, strategies, forms, organizers, and
templates, necessary or beneficial to teaching in general and specifically differentiation. It
contains, beginning with a somewhat sequential outline, information that will allow teachers to
review or become familiar with the aspects of differentiation, and ending in a place where the
information can be tied together for planning purposes. Currently it is a skeleton compared to
my vision for how it will look in the future. I am learning which items may be added without
copyright infringement, and carefully reviewing information on web sites for permission. For
those reasons, I am including a paragraph with information pertaining to what I envision each
component will contain, as well as a link to the site so that you have an opportunity to view my
vision in its initial stages.
Definition
I have included Carol Ann Tomlinsons (2001) definition of differentiation. Many
researchers have defined differentiation. Definitions reiterate the same basic concepts with
differing wording. As I happen upon others definitions I will add them to the web site, given
that they are pedagogically sound.
Assessment
I have included Chapman and Kings (2012) definition of differentiated assessment. My
goal is to also include information pertaining to types of assessment, as well assessment
strategies. Research surrounding the necessity of assessing students for readiness, interest, and
learning profile will be included, as well as examples of those assessments

DIFFERENTIATION: FINAL PROJECT OVERVIEW

Strategies for Modifying Content


A definition of content modification will be included as well as strategies for modifying
content based on the academic readiness, interests, and learning profiles of the students in the
class.
Strategies for Modifying Process
A definition of process modification will be included as well as strategies for modifying
process based on the academic readiness, interests, and learning profiles of the students in the
class.
Strategies for Modifying Product
A definition of product modification will be included as well as strategies for modifying
products based on the academic readiness, interests, and learning profiles of the students in the
class.
Differentiating Using NWEA Assessment Data
The NWEA Assessment is used by many schools in the district as a formative assessment
to gauge students levels of performance, and academic growth. Because of the kinds of
information that the NWEA gives us, it is an excellent tool for differentiating based upon
readiness.
Impact of Climate and Environment
Research articles surrounding the many factors that must be taken into consideration
pertaining to creating a successful climate for differentiation will be included along with
strategies for developing an appropriate climate.

DIFFERENTIATION: FINAL PROJECT OVERVIEW

Integrating Technology
The importance of integrating technology into teaching and learning will be revealed
through research articles. I would like to include reference to Bea McGarveys (2012) work, the
research surrounding the Flipped classroom (Gimbar, n.d.), information pertaining to Khan
Academy (Khan, n.d.), as well as links to many technologically based strategies and web sites
that we have studied and shared.
Steps for Differentiating Instruction
A step-by-step guide for integrating the information given under the previous sub
headings in an effort to tie it all together in the form of planning and implementing a
differentiated curriculum will be the primary component of this site. I have included a Power
Point that I created for staff development several years ago.
Other headings
Other topics that have implications pertaining to supporting teachers in their efforts to
differentiate include Enrichment, Acceleration, Articles of Interest, and Recommended Reading.
Local schools often include enrichment activities in their programming. These activities
are designed for the whole school, groups with common interests, and individual students.
Enrichment activities can also be used when differentiating curriculum for those students who
may have mastered material, and have the time available to go deeper on topic or to pursue an
area of interest (Tomlinson, 2001).
Acceleration is a topic that teachers in particular need to be aware of. Acceleration often
implies whole grade or by subject advancement. However teachers may be able to accelerate
students through the curriculum if they have mastered a topic at a deep and broad level, at a
greater pace than other students. Teachers then provide alternative opportunities while keeping

DIFFERENTIATION: FINAL PROJECT OVERVIEW

the student on grade level. The difference between compacting and acceleration is that
compacting pertains to prior knowledge, while acceleration pertains to pacing, although each
may have implications impacting the other depending on the student.
I am excited to have a place, accessible to all, to include Articles of Interest. I have
learned so much in this class as well as in my prior UNE course, and have found myself
contemplating big ideas that have not been addressed in our school system. I am hoping to
gradually bring administrators and teachers into contemplation and discussion of some of these
ideas by giving them quick access to information that is out there surrounding pedagogy.
Recommended Readings will include books from this class as well as others that are in
my opinion of value to teachers and administrators. I will include a brief book review, as well as
indication of where the book can be found. I will continue to develop a professional library that
teachers will have the ability to borrow from.
Finally, I will also include information pertaining to the districts Ventures (gifted and
talented) programming. Information will include a program overview, definitions of giftedness,
Regulation #104 (Maine law that guides the development and programming of gifted education
programs), identification criteria and process, as well as forms and checklists.

The link to my developing web site is:


https://sites.google.com/site/venturesedusources/home

DIFFERENTIATION: FINAL PROJECT OVERVIEW

References
Gimbar, K. (n.d.). The William and Ida Friday institute for educational innovation "flipping
the classroom". Retrieved from https://www.fi.ncsu.edu/project/fizz/pd/lecture
Khan, S. (n.d.). khanacademy. Retrieved from https://www.khanacademy.org
King, R. S., & Chapman, C. (2012). Differentiated assessment strategies, one tool doesnt fit all.
(2nd ed.). Corwin Press.
McGarvey, B. (2012, January). Mass customized learning. Retrieved from
http://une.wimba.com/check_wizard.pl?channel=_UNE_Education_Webinar_2012_0130
_1902_02&credential_2=&
Northwest evaluation association. (n.d.). Retrieved from www.nwea.org
Tomlinson, C. A. (2001). How to differentiate instruction in mixed-ability classrooms. (2 ed.).
Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development.