Our district just had 1/2 day PD in which they brought in speakers to present on differentiation. I was not in attendance due to a trip planned four months ago to visit our son in New Hamphsire. Teachers seem to have a way of always finding excuses for why the information they receive isn't going to work.
As I have blogged before, it is a mindset. So, I want to say, we can tweak what we are doing and it will help kids!
tweak - to change something slightly especiallyin order to make it more suitable.
Keep in mind this definition.... change something SLIGHTLY to make it more SUITABLE. We all want the best for our students. You, me, WE can do this so that ALL students are challenged to grow this year.
DOABLE TWEAKS:1. Adjust the number of assigned problems.
*They know it they don't need to keep showing it.
* If they don't know it, practicing it wrong only leads to firm set wrong procedures.
2. During guided practice while you are walking around, change the problem, question or thought by increasing or decreasing the deepth of knowledge.
EXAMPLE: In math, if practing multiplication of fractions. Give the class a problem to work such as 1/2 X 2/3. Student who do it in their heads and are done in a nano second...give them 24/10 X 5/9. When they finish, check to see if they have made it into a mixed number if not....play with their heads by telling them it isn't correct yet. They don't need to be told to change the improper to mixed numbers. It is something you already taught.They will can and will do it.
3. Change the vocabulary on a page you type up. Up the
verbage for those who need to stretch that vocabulary. In directions for students who struggle with reading, cut out flowery language, bullet point it and add
illustrations if necessary.
4. Assessments - This one most of you probably do but I am putting this in here for those new teachers. Multiple choice: struggles take away two answers. Give them 50/50 off the bat and don't try to trick them! Vocabulary: High students make it a crossword, fill in the blank, or other interest building activity rather than multiple choice. Short answer: make it fill in the blank with a word bank for lows but for your children who need a challenge have them be creative writers instead of simply answering the question they need to answer from a certain point of
view, perspective, or genre. Don't make whole separate test have them pull from a hat and tape that to the test so you know what they were to do.
5. LOVE USING INTERACTIVE NOTEBOOKS!! My low students need fill in the blanks or partially complete items to add. No big deal, but how do you keep those who are to quick for their own good. When done they are to highlight the key words or in a space "tweet" the gist of it. Then they give that information to the class once everyone has it ready to go.
I am only giving you 5. No excuses for not trying 1. We don't let our students excuse their way out of learning. Why do we not do what we preach!
What tweaks do you do? I bet you don't even think about them. You just do it! Share, so we can all make differentiation a long word that is not so hard to accomplish.