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Differentiation

in the
Classroom
By: Jessica Rynn, Jazmin Strachan, & Garth Forsyth

Differentiation consists of the efforts of teachers to respond to


variance among learners in the classroom.
The teacher works more as a guide or facilitator of learning
than as a dispenser of information.
- Carol Ann Tomlinson

1. In your groups share examples from your practicum


where you have seen why differentiation is necessary.
2. As a group decide on two examples to share with the
class.
3. Each group share 2 examples of why differentiation is
needed.

Brainstorm

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Differentiation allows a wide array of learning options


which are designed to tap into different knowledge levels,
interests and learning profiles.
Differentiation is not:
Identical assignments for all learners
Varying the level of difficulty of questions for particular
pupils
Grading some students tougher than others
Allowing students who complete tasks early to play games

What is differentiation?
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Creativity
Accommodating to the different needs of all individuals in the classroom is not an easy
task.

Time management
Time is limited in devoting extra support to a child that needs the one-on-one learning.

Flexibility
Teachers can be comfortable with the way they have traditional conducted classroom
instruction

Preparation and Effort


Teachers can be discouraged by the great amount of effort that is required to prepare for
and execute differentiated learning.

Why is it an issue ?
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1. Identifying and Understanding


Know the learners and pre-assess to learn background knowledge and individuals preferred approaches.

2. Embedding alternative methods within a lesson


ie. 1) Reading/writing it out, 2)Sounding out letters/discussing, 3)Physically placing papers with letters on them
together

3. Get feedback from students!


Find out how students are doing and what you are doing effectively, so that you can adjust accordingly to what they
need.

4. Vary student assessments!


ie. Exams VS. Projects VS. Portfolios VS. Direct performance

5. Flexibility
Use lessons that are adjustable.

6. Individual understanding

How can this issue be


solved ?
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Centers: Various activities that students rotate to go to each.


Focusing on one objective, but each can go at own pace, exploring
own interests, using preferred methods to reach that objective.

Projects: in depth studies done independently. One topic given


with guidelines, then students choose: who they want to work
with, how they want to approach it, what pace they work at and
what materials they will use.
(ie: kinesthetic- role play, verbal- interview, musical- write a
song/jingle, Visual- Create a display)

Choice Boards: Diagrams of boxes built around one concept (like


a character of a story), each box used for a separate approach to
describe that concept (one for how character looks, one for what
character says)

Think-Tac-Toe: A tic-tac-toe grid that has 9 different


activities related to the lesson/ material being studied. Make
sure each activity is at a different level of difficulty and
encourages multiple kinds of approaches. Each student must
choose one from each line on the grid. (Good for individuals in
free time for those who work at faster paces)

Examples of Impleme
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