Differentiated Instruction in the Classroom

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Description

About This Course

Differentiated instruction (DI) is becoming a mainstay in classrooms across the country as educators are starting to see the ways that the traditional classroom setting limits their ability to reach diverse learners. Join us on this journey through 10 practical DI integration strategies! Count on at least three sample integration lessons on each strategy, and just think of all the ways that you can apply them to improve learning outcomes for your students.

Over the next six weeks, we'll talk about DI strategies ranging from multiple intelligences (MI) to flexible grouping, cubing, WebQuests, I-Searches, tiering, anchoring activities, and interest centers. Every lesson is p…

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About This Course

Differentiated instruction (DI) is becoming a mainstay in classrooms across the country as educators are starting to see the ways that the traditional classroom setting limits their ability to reach diverse learners. Join us on this journey through 10 practical DI integration strategies! Count on at least three sample integration lessons on each strategy, and just think of all the ways that you can apply them to improve learning outcomes for your students.

Over the next six weeks, we'll talk about DI strategies ranging from multiple intelligences (MI) to flexible grouping, cubing, WebQuests, I-Searches, tiering, anchoring activities, and interest centers. Every lesson is packed with real-world examples that will help you put these strategies to use in your own classroom. We'll take a look at integration across different subjects, grade levels, and learning profiles as you gain helpful tips on bringing DI to your classroom.

This course is a must for today's teachers who often have to differentiate quickly, and with a minimum of resources. DI is an excellent launch pad for ramping up your creative classroom, and with the tips in these lessons, you'll be reaching your diverse learners in no time flat.

About The Instructor

This course includes a knowledgeable and caring instructor who will guide you through your lessons, facilitate discussions, and answer your questions. The instructor for this course will be Tracey Birch.

As an educator who has worked with students as young as four and as old as 12, Tracey Birch started practicing Differentiated Instruction before the term was coined. After completing a master's degree in education, Birch taught in varied school settings, from private to public schools and across multiple grades. She currently serves as the Middle School Lead Teacher at a public junior high school.

Syllabus

A new section of each course starts monthly. If enrolling in a series of two or more courses, please be sure to space the start date for each course at least two months apart.

Week 1

Wednesday - Lesson 01

If you've been wondering how you can introduce differentiated instruction (DI) into your classroom, or even if you're already practicing it, this course is for you. Chock full of practical integration strategies and examples separated by elementary, middle, and high school, this class will give you the how-to so you can power up your creative classroom. In this first lesson, we'll go over what DI is, the different avenues for implementing it in the classroom, and the basics of DI assessment.

Friday - Lesson 02

Did you know that we're all different kinds of smart? According to researcher and Harvard educator Dr. Howard Gardner, we each excel at learning in eight different ways (with a ninth category up for consideration as we speak). In today's lesson, you'll discover the power of teaching to multiple intelligences in your classroom as you learn tried-and-true techniques to customize your lesson plans.

Week 2

Wednesday - Lesson 03

You may already be adept at providing scaffolding and guided practice in your classroom, but today you'll learn how to ramp it up a notch with some smart tips on integrating and extending this DI strategy. You'll learn the power of tying familiar learning processes to new material as you lead your students from one exciting topic to the next. But the most exciting part will be watching them take ownership of new concepts in ways that complement their learning profiles.

Friday - Lesson 04

Flexible grouping is likely already a mainstay in your classroom, but this lesson is packed with great integration strategies that will help you extend its power across different grade levels and academic subjects. You'll enjoy this discovery of unique ways to group students based on readiness, natural abilities, and talents.

Week 3

Wednesday - Lesson 05

If you've ever put a computer or book nook in your classroom, you're probably already familiar with interest centers. By grouping students into centers based on topics, subjects, or types of activities, you can focus like-minded learners on specific tasks. This allows you to differentiate across the board, offering unique learning opportunities for all the students in your class. We'll go over all of it in today's lesson.

Friday - Lesson 06

Do you remember the Rubik's cube? What a fun puzzle that is! In this lesson, you'll explore the power of the cube in your DI classroom. If you're not already familiar with this strategy, cubing is a writing activity that lets students explore topics from six distinct points of view. Whether your cube is wooden, paper, or plastic, you'll have fun tossing it up on the desk and letting students approach learning with new vigor.

Week 4

Wednesday - Lesson 07

While WebQuests have been a powerful classroom tool for some years now, in this lesson, we'll take a look at why they're so useful in the DI classroom. You'll examine the components of successful WebQuests and learn the best ways to find quality ones on the Web. You'll probably find that you're even more Web savvy than you thought you could ever be!

Friday - Lesson 08

I-Search, you search—let's all search for this DI strategy. An alternative to the traditional research paper, this DI strategy allows students to pick a topic that interests them and do traditional and out in the world research to learn more. The products of I-Searches are always amazing, and in this lesson, you'll see the ways in which your students can have a lot of fun learning more about topics that matter to them.

Week 5

Wednesday - Lesson 09

Today you'll discover another great writing strategy for your DI classroom: RAFTS. If you're not familiar with RAFTS outside of the life-saving type in the ocean, welcome to a fantastic DI strategy that's somewhat similar to cubing. RAFTS is another strategy where students assume different roles to approach reading and writing and then create unique products. You'll have fun exploring this strategy with your writers!

Friday - Lesson 10

If you have learners at a variety of readiness levels, you'll be glad to learn the particulars of tiering, a DI strategy where you give students paralleled tasks at different levels of complexity. And of course, the levels of complexity all depend on where your students are on the learning curve. Today you'll learn how to employ this strategy with confidence as you find out how to customize assignments at the elementary, middle, and high school levels.

Week 6

Wednesday - Lesson 11

Similar to tiering in that it differentiates by readiness, curriculum compacting is a DI strategy that will help you give different work to your advanced learners so that they aren't bored by average or remedial instruction. You'll find out everything you need to know in today's lesson. If you're a GATE teacher or have GATE students in class, compacting is a must-have in your DI tool kit.

Friday - Lesson 12

In our final lesson, we'll look at anchoring activities that will help you direct students on further productive activities when they're finished with regular classroom work. You'll learn how to bring these activities alive with a little creativity and a lot of DI. We'll also take a final glance at DI in your classroom, and help you assess reasonable implementation strategies.


Requirements

Internet access, e-mail, and Netscape or Internet Explorer Web browser.

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