Today we are revisiting another of the most popular articles in our Davidson Gifted Database. In response to the movement toward inclusion in classrooms, Rebecca Pierce and Cheryll Adams from Ball State University outlined how teachers can reach all the students in their classrooms: when they are academically diverse; have special needs; are ESL learners; or, have some combination of any or all of these factors. View the full article here.
Differentiation is an organized, yet flexible way of proactively adjusting teaching and learning to meet students where they are and help all students achieve maximum growth as learners (Tomlinson, 1999). Instruction may be differentiated in content/input, process/sense-making, or product/output according to the students’ readiness, interest, or learning style. Content refers to the material that is being presented. Process activities help students practice or make sense out of the content, while product refers to the outcome of the lesson or unit, such as a test, project, or paper. Readiness refers to prior knowledge and a student’s current skill and proficiency with the material presented in the lesson.
The article provides two critical rules that thwart chaos and preserve sanity. The first is “Use six-inch voices,” meaning that students should modulate their speaking level so that their voices can only be heard six inches away. The second rule is “Ask three before me.” If students need assistance completing a task or come to a stumbling block in a lesson and you are not available, they should find three other students to ask before they may interrupt you. If their three peers cannot answer the question, the student has permission to interrupt you. Anchoring or “sponge” activities are provided for students to use when they are waiting for you to assist them before they can go any further or at the beginning of the class period to get them ready to work.
A tiered lesson is a differentiation strategy that addresses a particular standard, key concept, and generalization, but allows several pathways for students to arrive at an understanding of these components based on their interests, readiness, or learning profiles. When developing a tiered lesson, the following eight steps have been provided:
Read the full article, "Tiered Lessons: One Way to Differentiate Mathematics Instruction" >
View a larger selection of our articles related to ability grouping.
View past Davidson Gifted blog posts here >
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