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May, 2014

11 May

Differentiated Instruction I

Differentiated instruction, or DI as we will refer to it hereinafter, is one of those edu-speak terms that everyone likes to use, but very few people actually understand. Other such terms include assessment, The Common Core, PLCs, and learning styles, among others. We’ll address each of these in the fullness of time, but this week I’d like to focus on DI—mainly because I’m reading an outstanding book on the subject, Good Questions: Great Ideas to Differentiate in Mathematics by Marian Small. The book is wondrously practical and jargon-free.

12 May

Differentiation by Process: The Jigsaw

Previously, on the NCCAT blog, we had established that differentiated instruction (DI) had to be preceded by assessment and that it could be accomplished in at least three ways: content, process, and product. We also learned the term “crap ton.” See yesterday’s post for further edification on that subject.

13 May

Differentiated Instruction III

Differentiation by Process (continued)

Yesterday, I provided an example of how you might differentiate the reading process in science through the use of a Jigsaw. Today, we’ll be looking at another means of differentiation by process through tiered assignments and flexible grouping.

17 May

Differentiated Instruction IV

Back to differentiation by modality. Whether we believe there is such as thing as learning styles is really a moot point. There are several good reasons to differentiate this way regardless.

Reason #1: Novelty

18 May

Differentiation by Modality

So how do teachers differentiate by modality? First, we have to consider what modalities teachers use most often. Mostly, we talk.

If you consider the structure of the human head, you can immediately see a problem. A dog takes in information primarily through scent; this is why most dogs’ noses are out in front. This is something that believers in evolution and intelligent design can agree on.

19 May

Differentiated Instruction VI

Differentiation by Process: Musical Modality

My final post regarding differentiation by process involves using musical modality. If you set something to music, it becomes almost impossible to forget. We can all recite Jenny’s phone number[1], as well as that of Empire Carpet. I will never be able to erase Coach’s geography lesson on Cheers. He sang to the tune of “When the Saints Go Marching in,” “Albania! Albania! You border on the A-dri-atic.” He and Sam both passed the test.

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