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Differentiated Instruction and Critical Thinking


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Title: Differentiated Instruction and Critical Thinking

Differentiated Instruction and Critical Thinking
Which letter does not belong, and why?
For further conversation about any of these
  • Rick Wormeli
  • rwormeli_at_cox.net
  • 703-620-2447
  • Herndon, Virginia, USA
  • (Eastern Standard Time Zone)

Quick Reference Differentiated Lesson Planning
  • A. Steps to take before designing the learning
  • 1. Identify your essential understandings,
    questions, benchmarks, objectives, skills,
    standards, and/or learner outcomes.
  • 2. Identify your students with unique needs, and
    get an early look at what they will need in order
    to learn and achieve.
  • 3. Design your formative and summative
  • 4. Design and deliver your pre-assessments based
    on the summative assessments and identified
  • 5. Adjust assessments or objectives based on
    your further thinking discovered while designing
    the assessments.

Quick Reference Differentiated Lesson Planning
  • B. Steps to take while designing the learning
  • 1. Design the learning experiences for students
    based on pre-assessments, your knowledge of your
    students, and your expertise with the curriculum,
    cognitive theory, and students at this stage of
    human development.
  • 2. Run a mental tape of each step in the lesson
    sequence to make sure things make sense for your
    diverse group of students and that the lesson
    will run smoothly.
  • 3. Review your plans with a colleague.
  • 4. Obtain/Create materials needed for the
  • 5. Conduct the lesson.
  • 6. Adjust formative and summative assessments
    and objectives as necessary based on observations
    and data collected while teaching.

When Designing your Actual Lessons.
  • Brainstorm multiple strategies
  • Cluster into introductory, advanced, and
    strategies that fit between these two
  • Sequence activities in plan book
  • Correlate Class Profile descriptors,
    Differentiation Strategies, and cognitive science
    principles to lessons What do you need to
    change in order to maximize instruction for all

Quick Reference Differentiated Lesson Planning
  • C. Steps to take after providing the learning
  • 1. Evaluate the lessons success with students.
    What evidence do you have that the lesson was
    successful? What worked and what didnt, and why?
  • 2. Record advice on lesson changes for yourself
    for when you do this lesson in future years.

To provide meaningful context, lets design a
differentiated lesson from scratch.
  • Artist Unknown

Are we successfully differentiating teachers?
  • Are we willing to teach in whatever way is
    necessary for students to learn best, even if
    that approach doesnt match our own preferences?
  • Do we have the courage to do what works, not just
    whats easiest?
  • Do we actively seek to understand our students
    knowledge, skills, and talents so we can provide
    an appropriate match for their learning needs?
    And once we discover their strengths and
    weaknesses, do we actually adapt our instruction
    to respond to their needs?
  • Do we continually build a large and diverse
    repertoire of instructional strategies so we have
    more than one way to teach?
  • Do we organize our classrooms for students
    learning or for our teaching?

Are we successfully differentiating teachers?
  • 6. Do we keep up to date on the latest research
    about learning, students developmental growth,
    and our content specialty areas?
  • 7. Do we ceaselessly self-analyze and reflect on
    our lessons including our assessments
    searching for ways to improve?
  • 8. Are we open to critique?
  • 9. Do we push students to become their own
    education advocates and give them the tools to do
  • 10. Do we regularly close the gap between
    knowing what to do and really doing it?

  • What is fair
  • isnt always equal.

Differentiating instruction is doing whats fair
for students. Its a collection of best
practices strategically employed to maximize
students learning at every turn, including
giving them the tools to handle anything that is
undifferentiated. It requires us to do different
things for different students some, or a lot, of
the time. Its whatever works to advance the
student if the regular classroom approach doesnt
meet students needs. Its highly effective
  • Carol Dweck (2007) distinguishes between
    students with a fixed intelligence mindset who
    believe that intelligence is innate and
    unchangeable and those with a growth mindset who
    believe that their achievement can improve
    through effort and learningTeaching students a
    growth mindset results in increased motivation,
    better grades, and higher achievement test
  • (p.6, Principals Research Review, January 2009,

To meet diverse student needs, we need expertise
in four areas .
What is Mastery?
  • Tim was so learned, that he could name a horse
    in nine languages so ignorant, that he bought a
    cow to ride on.
  • Ben Franklin, 1750, Poor Richards

Working Definition of Mastery(Wormeli)
  • Students have mastered content when they
  • demonstrate a thorough understanding as
  • evidenced by doing something substantive
  • with the content beyond merely echoing it.
  • Anyone can repeat information its the
  • masterful student who can break content into
  • its component pieces, explain it and alternative
  • perspectives regarding it cogently to others,
  • and use it purposefully in new situations.

  • The student uses primarily the bounce pass in the
    basketball game regardless of its potential
    effectiveness because thats all he knows how to

and Mastery
  • The student uses a variety of basketball passes
    during a game, depending on the most advantageous
    strategy at that moment in the game.

  • What is the standard of excellence when it comes
    to tying a shoe?
  • Now describe the evaluative criteria for someone
    who excels beyond the standard of excellence for
    tying a shoe. What can they do?

Consider Gradations of Understanding and
Performance from Introductory to Sophisticated
  • Introductory Level Understanding
  • Student walks through the classroom door while
    wearing a heavy coat. Snow is piled on his
    shoulders, and he exclaims, Brrrr! From
    depiction, we can infer that it is cold outside.
  • Sophisticated level of understanding
  • Ask students to analyze more abstract inferences
    about government propaganda made by Remarque in
    his wonderful book, All Quiet on the Western

  • Determine the surface area of a cube.
  • Determine the surface area of a rectangular prism
    (a rectangular box)
  • Determine the amount of wrapping paper needed for
    another rectangular box, keeping in mind the need
    to have regular places of overlapping paper so
    you can tape down the corners neatly
  • Determine the amount of paint needed to paint an
    entire Chicago skyscraper, if one can of paint
    covers 46 square feet, and without painting the
    windows, doorways, or external air vents.
  • _______________________________________________
  • Define vocabulary terms.
  • Compare vocabulary terms.
  • Use the vocabulary terms correctly.
  • Use the vocabulary terms strategically to obtain
    a particular result.

Theres a big difference What are we really
trying to assess?
  • Explain the second law of thermodynamics vs.
    Which of the following situations shows the
    second law of thermodynamics in action?
  • What is the function of a kidney? vs. Suppose
    we gave a frog a diet that no impurities fresh
    organic flies, no pesticides, nothing impure.
    Would the frog still need a kidney?
  • Explain Keyness economic theory vs. Explain
    todays downturn in the stock market in light of
    Keyness economic theory.
  • From, Teaching the Large College Class, Frank
    Heppner, 2007, Wiley and Sons

(No Transcript)
Feedback vs Assessment
  • Feedback Holding up a mirror to the student,
    showing him what they did and comparing it to the
    criteria for success, theres no evaluative
    component or judgement
  • Assessment Gathering data so we can
    make a decision
  • Greatest Impact on Student Success Formative

  • Be clear We grade against standards, not
    routes students take or techniques teachers use
    to achieve those standards.
  • What does this mean we should do with class
    participation or discussion grades?

Assessment OF Learning
  • Still very important
  • Summative, final declaration of proficiency,
    literacy, mastery
  • Grades used
  • Little impact on learning from feedback

Assessment AS/FOR Learning
  • Grades rarely used, if ever
  • Marks and feedback are used
  • Share learning goals with students from the
  • Make adjustments in teaching a result of
    formative assessment data
  • Provide descriptive feedback to students
  • Provide opportunities for student for self-and
    peer assessment

-- OConnor, p. 98, Wormeli
-- Marzano, CAGTW, pgs 5-6
(No Transcript)
Benefits of Students Self Assessing
  • Students better understand the standards and
  • Students are less dependent on teachers for
    feedback they independently monitor their own
  • Students develop metacognitive skills and adjust
    what they are doing to improve their work
  • Students broaden learning when they see how peers
    approach tasks
  • Students develop communication and social skills
    when required to provide feedback to others.
  • -- from Manitobas Communicating Student
    Learning, 2008

Student Self-Assessment Ideas
  • Make the first and last task/prompt/assessment of
    a unit the same, and ask students to analyze
    their responses to each one, noting where they
    have grown.
  • Likert-scale surveys (Place an X on the
    continuum Strongly Disagree, Disagree, Not
    Sure, Agree, Strongly Agree) and other surveys.
    Use smiley faces, symbols, cartoons, text,
    depending on readiness levels.
  • Self-checking Rubrics
  • Self-checking Checklists
  • Analyzing work against standards
  • Videotaping performances and analyzing them
  • Fill in the blank or responding to
    self-reflection prompts (see examples that
  • Reading notations

Student Self-Assessment Ideas
  • How Do I Know I Dont Understand? Criteria Can
    I draw a picture of this? Can I explain it to
    someone else? Can I define the important words
    and concepts in the piece? Can I recall anything
    about the topic? Can I connect it to something
    else were studying or I know?
  • Inspired by Cris Tovanis book, I Read It, But
    I Dont Get It, Stenhouse, 2001
  • Asking students to review and critique previous
  • Performing in front of a mirror

Student Self-Assessment Ideas Journal Prompts
  • I learned that.
  • I wonder why...
  • An insight Ive gained is
  • Ive done the following to make sure I understand
    what is being taught
  • I began to think of...
  • I liked
  • I didnt like
  • The part that frustrated me most was
  • The most important aspect/element/thing in this
    subject is.
  • A noticed a pattern in.
  • I know I learned something when I
  • I can't understand...
  • I noticed that...
  • I was surprised...
  • Before I did this experience, I thought that.
  • What if...
  • I was confused by...
  • It reminds me of...
  • This is similar to.

  • This quarter, youve taught
  • 4-quadrant graphing
  • Slope and Y-intercept
  • Multiplying binomials
  • Ratios/Proportions
  • 3-dimensional solids
  • Area and Circumference of a circle.
  • The students grade B
  • What does this mark tell us about the students
    proficiency with each of the topics youve taught?

Unidimensionality A single score on a test
represents a single dimension or trait that has
been assessed
Problem Most tests use a single score to assess
multiple dimensions and traits. The resulting
score is often invalid and useless. -- Marzano,
CAGTW, page 13
Defining D.I. Concept-Attainment Style
  • Some students get more work to do, and others
    less. For example, a teacher might assign two
    book reports to advanced readers and only one to
    struggling readers. Or a struggling math student
    might have to do only the computation problems
    while advanced math students do the word problems
    as well. (Tomlinson, p. 7)
  • Teachers have more control in the classroom.
  • Teacher uses many different group structures over

  • A science and math teacher, Mr. Blackstone,
    teaches a large concept (Inertia) to the whole
    class. Based on exit cards in which students
    summarize what they learned after the whole class
    instruction, and observation of students over
    time, he assigns students to one of two labs one
    more open-ended and one more structured. Those
    that demonstrate mastery of content in a post-lab
    assessment, move to an independent project
    (rocketry), while those that do not demonstrate
    mastery, move to an alternative rocketry project,
    guided by the teacher, that re-visits the
    important content. (Tomlinson, p. 24)

Teachers can differentiate Content Process
Product Affect Learning Environment
-- Tomlinson, Eidson, 2003
According to Readiness Interest Learning
Flexible Grouping Questions to Consider
  • Is this the only way to organize students for
  • Where in the lesson could I create opportunities
    for students to work in small groups?
  • Would this part of the lesson be more effective
    as an independent activity?
  • Why do I have the whole class involved in the
    same activity at this point in the lesson?
  • Will I be able to meet the needs of all students
    with this grouping?
  • Ive been using a lot of insert type of grouping
    here whole class, small group, or independent
    work lately. Which type of grouping should I
    add to the mix?

Theres a range of flexible groupings
  • Whole class or half class
  • Teams
  • Small groups led by students
  • Partners and triads
  • Individual study
  • One-on-one mentoring with an adult
  • Wikis, Nings, PBWikis, and on-line communities
  • Temporary pull-out groups to teach specific
  • Anchor activities to which students return after
    working in small groups
  • Learning centers or learning stations through
    which students rotate in small groups or

Ebb and Flow of ExperiencesTomlinson
Back and forth over time or course of unit
Small Group
Small Group
Whole Group
Basic Principles
  • Assessment informs instruction Diagnosis and
    action taken as a result of diagnosis are
  • Assessment and instruction are inseparable.
  • Change complexity, not difficulty. Change the
    quality/nature, not the quantity. Structured or

Basic Principles(Continued)
  • Use respectful tasks.
  • Use tiered lessons
  • Compact the curriculum.
  • Scaffold instruction.
  • Organization and planning enable flexibility.

Basic Principles(Continued)
  • Teachers have more control in the classroom, not
  • Frequently uses flexible grouping.
  • Teachers and students collaborate to deliver

Models of Instruction That Work
  • Dimension of Learning
  • Robert Marzano
  • Positive Attitudes and Perceptions about Learning
  • Acquiring and Integrating Knowledge
  • Extending and Refining Knowledge
  • Using Knowledge Meaningfully
  • Productive Habits of Mind

  • 1/3 Model
  • Canaday and Rettig
  • 1/3 Presentation of content
  • 1/3 Application of knowledge and skills learned
  • 1/3 Synthesis of the information

  • Concept Attainment Model
  • Summarized from Canaday and Rettig
  • Teacher presents examples, students work with
    them, noting attributes
  • Teacher has students define the concept to be
  • More examples are critiqued in light of newly
    discovered concept
  • Students are given practice activities in which
    they apply their understanding of the lesson
  • Students are evaluated through additional

Traditional Learning
Constructivist Learning
  • Part to whole, emphasize skills
  • Strict adherence to curriculum
  • Rely on textbooks, workbooks
  • Students are blank slates
  • Teachers disseminate info
  • Teachers seek correct answer to validate
  • Assessment/Teaching separate
  • Whole to part, emph. concepts
  • Pursue student questions
  • Rely on prim. sources, manip.
  • Students are thinkers
  • Teachers mediate, interact
  • Teachers seek students knowledge to make
  • Assessment/Teaching are interwoven

  • Direct Instruction Model
  • Summarized from Canaday and Rettig
  •  Review previously learned material/homework
  • State objectives for today
  • Present material
  • Provide guided practice with feedback
  • Re-teach (as needed)
  • Assign independent practice with feedback
  • Review both during and at the end of the lesson
  • Closure (Summarization)

  • Learning Profile Models
  • Myers - Briggs Personality Styles, Bernice
    McCarthys 4MAT System, Gregorc Scale and
    Teaching Model, Bramsons Styles of Thinking,
    Left Brain vs. Right Brain, Multiple

Additional Differentiated Instruction Strategies
  • Use Anticipation Guides
  • Create personal agendas for some students
  • Use centers/learning stations
  • Adjust journal prompts and level of questioning
    to meet challenge levels
  • Incorporate satellite studies (Orbitals)

  • Personal Agenda for Michael R., December 5th,
  • Daily Tasks
  • ___ Place last nights homework at the top right
    corner of desk.
  • ___ Record warm-up activity from chalkboard into
    learning log.
  • ___ Complete warm-up activity.
  • ___ Listen to teachers explanation of the
    lessons agenda.
  • ___ Record assignments from Homework Board into
  • Specific to Todays Lesson
  • ___ Get graphic organizer from teacher and put
    name/date at top.
  • ___ Fill in examples in g.o. while teacher
    explains it to the class.
  • ___ Read both sides of the g.o. so you know what
    you are looking for.
  • ___ Watch the video and fill in the g.o. during
    the breaks.
  • ___ Complete closing activity for the video.
  • ___ Ask Ms. Green to sign your assignment
  • ___ Go to math class, but first pick up math book
    in locker.

  • a lot Running to each wall to shout, a and
    lot, noting space between
  • Comparing Constitutions Former Soviet Union and
    the U.S. names removed
  • Real skeletons, not diagrams
  • Simulations
  • Writing Process described while sculpting with

Oxygen/Nutrient-Filled Bloodflow When the Body
is in Survival Mode
  • Vital Organs
  • Areas associated with growth
  • Areas associated with social activity
  • Cognition

The Brains DilemmaWhat Input to Keep, and What
Input to Discard?
  • Survival
  • Familiarity/Context
  • Priming
  • Intensity
  • Emotional Content
  • Movement
  • Novelty
  • -- Summarized from Pat Wolfes Brain Matters, 2001

The brain never stops paying attention. It's
always paying attention.
Prime the brain prior to asking students to do
any learning experience.
  • Priming means we show students
  • What they will get out of the experience (the
  • What they will encounter as they go through the
    experience (itinerary, structure)

  • Worthy they were,
  • Rafael, Leonardo, Michelangelo, and Donatello.
  • Theirs a chromatic and plumed rebirth,
  • A daring reflection upon man.
  • Beyond Hastings and a Wives tale in Canterbury,
  • Galileo thrust at more than Windmills,
  • He, Copernicus Gravitas.
  • And for the spectre of debate,
  • religion blinked then jailed,
  • errant no more,
  • thereby errant forever.
  • Cousin to Pericles, Son of Alexander,
  • The cosmology of Adam fanned for all,
  • feudal plains trampled by trumpeters,
  • man and woman lay awake --
  • calves on wobbly legs,
  • staring at new freedom
  • and Gutenbergs promise.  

Creating Background Where There is None
  • Tell the story of the Code of Hammurabi before
    discussing the Magna Charta.
  • Before studying the detailed rules of baseball,
    play baseball.
  • Before reading about how microscopes work, play
    with micros copes.
  • Before reading the Gettysburg Address, inform
    students that Lincoln was dedicating a cemetery.

Creating Background Where There is None
  • Before reading a book about a military campaign
    or a murder mystery with references to chess,
    play Chess with a student in front of the class,
    or teach them the basic rules, get enough boards,
    and ask the class to play.
  • In math, we might remind students of previous
    patterns as they learn new ones. Before teaching
    students factorization, we ask them to review
    what they know about prime numbers.
  • In English class, ask students, How is this
    storys protagonist moving in a different
    direction than the last storys protagonist?
  • In science, ask students, Weve seen how
    photosynthesis reduces carbon dioxide to sugars
    and oxidizes water into oxygen, so what do you
    think the reverse of this process called,
    respiration, does?

Moving Content into Long-term Memory Students
have to do both, Access
Sense-Making Process Meaning-Making
The way the brain learns How many teachers
sequence their lessons for learning
Learning Potential
Beginning Middle End
Lesson Sequence
The Primacy-Recency Effect
Avoid Confabulation The brain seeks wholeness.
It will fill in the holes in partial learning
with made-up learning and experiences, and it
will convince itself that this was the original
learning all along. To prevent this
Deal with Misconceptions!
Students should summarize material they already
understand, not material they are coming to know.

  • What do you see?
  • What number do you see?
  • What letter do you see?
  • Perception is when we bring meaning to the
    information we receive, and it depends on prior
    knowledge and what we expect to see. (Wolfe,
  • Are we teaching so that students perceive, or
    just to present curriculum and leave it up to the
    student to perceive it?

Recall Success with Individual, Unrelated Items
We file by similarities, and we retrieve by
  • What does this mean
  • for instruction?

Taking Positive Risks
  • The fellow who never makes a mistake takes his
    orders from one who does.
  • -- Herbert Prochnow
  • If I had been a kid in my class today, would I
    want to come back tomorrow?
  • -- Elsbeth Murphy
  • Nothing ventured, something lost.
  • -- Roland Barth

Negating Students Incorrect Responses While
Keeping Them in the Conversation
  • Act interested, Tell me more about that
  • Empathy and Sympathy I used to think that,
    too, or I understand how you could conclude
  • Alter the reality
  • -- Change the question so that the answer is
  • -- Thats the answer for the question Im about
    to ask
  • -- When student claims he doesnt know, ask,
    If you DID know, what would you say?

Negating Students Incorrect Responses and While
Them in the Conversation
  • Affirm risk-taking
  • Allow the student more time or to ask for
  • Focus on the portions that are correct

Remember Whos Doing the Learning
  • Whoever responds to students/classmates is doing
    the learning. Make sure the majority of the time
    its the students responding, not the teacher.
  • Teachers ask 80 questions each hour on average,
    while students ask only two during that same
    hour. (Hollas) Students learn more when they ask
    the questions. Find ways to make question-asking
    so compelling and habitual they cant escape it.

Inquiry Method
  • 1.    Something arouses students curiosity.
  • 2.    Students identify questions regarding
    topic. There is usually one main question with
    several sub-questions that help answer the main
    question. These questions are submitted to
    classmates for review.
  • 3. Students determine the process of
    investigation into topic. Their proposal for
    how to conduct the investigation is submitted to
    classmates for review and revision as necessary.
  • 4.    Students conduct the investigation.
  • 5.    Students share their findings.

Socratic Seminar
  • Pre-Seminar
  • A.      Shared experiences, chosen for richness
    of ideas, issues, ambiguity, discussability
  • B.      Students reflect on material
  •     Group dynamics, ground rules, and
    courtesy are understood and accepted.
  • Seminar
  • A. Teacher asks a provocative question. Opening,
    Core, and Closure Questions
  • B. Students respond to the provocative question
    and each other.
  • C. Teacher offers core questions that help
    students interpret and to re-direct, also
    evalutes and tries to keep mouth shut.
  • C. Closing connect to the real world of the
  • Post-Seminar
  • Writings, Summations, Artwork, Reflection,
    Critique, Analysis

Debate Format
  • 1.    Statement of the General Debate Topic and
    Why its
  • Important 1 min.
  • 2.    Affirmative Position Opening Remarks 3
  • 3.    Negative Position Opening Remarks 3 min.
  • 4.    Affirmative Position Arguments 5 min.
  • 5.    Negative Position Arguments 5 min.
  • 6.    Caucus Students on both teams consider
    their arguments and rebuttals in light of what
    has been presented. 3 min.
  • 7.    Affirmative Rebuttal and Questioning of the
    Negatives Case 3 min.
  • 8.    Negative Rebuttal and Questioning of the
    Affirmatives Case 3 min.
  • 9.    Closing Arguments Affirmative Position 2
  • 10. Closing Arguments Negative Position 2

Meeting of Minds at Rachel Carson Middle
School Portrayals of Dr. Sally Ride, Albert
Einstein, Josef Stalin, Bob Dylan, Boss Tweed,
Dr. Robert Oppenheimer, Senator Joseph McCarthy,
the Unsinkable Molly Brown, Rosa Parks. In the
background Advisors for each historical figure

Meeting of Minds
  • Potential Topics for Discussion
  • Should Earth have one language or many? What are
    the roles of men and women in society?
  • Should students be required to wear uniforms in
  • What are the qualities of a good leader?
  • Should rap music lyrics be censored?
  • Should our country have gone to war?

Logical Fallacies
  • Ad Hominem (Argument To The Man) -- Attacking
    the person instead of attacking his argument
    Dr. Jones conclusions on ocean currents are
    incorrect because he once plagiarized an research
  • Straw Man (Fallacy of Extension) -- Attacking an
    exaggerated version of your opponent's position.
    "Senator Jones says that we should not fund the
    attack submarine program. I disagree entirely. I
    can't understand why he wants to leave us
    defenseless like that."
  • The Excluded Middle (False Dichotomy) -- Assuming
    there are only two alternatives when in fact
    there are more. For example, assuming Atheism is
    the only alternative to Fundamentalism, or being
    a traitor is the only alternative to being a loud
  • From Jim Mortons Practical Skeptic
    website http//members.aol.com/jimn469897/ske

  • Melatonin production in young adolescents shifts
    by 3 to 5 hours, but runs for the same length of
  • Sleep deprivation often invokes the starvation
    response in the body.
  • Sleep helps us encode memories for long-term
    memory lack of sleep lowers the brains capacity
    to learn new things
  • (Dye, 2000, as cited in Sprenger)

Memorization Techniques
  • Practice reciting facts while looking at your
    eyes in a mirror, while standing in front of your
    family or friends, while waiting.
  • Memorize the lines from the end to the front.
  • Memorize in phrases, and use bridges (last word
    of one phrase, first word of the next phrase)
  • Use different voices to recite the facts/lines.
  • Have someone call the cues for you.
  • Use memory devices (mnemonics).
  • Have a crazy conversation with someone, in which
    each time one of you speaks, you use one of the
    words or concepts.
  • Let time pass between memorizing sessions.
  • Draw and color a picture of the concepts/lines.
  • Use props.
  • Practice in the same place youll be asked to
    remember them.
  • Make an outline of the lines or concepts, and
    memorize that.

All thinking begins with wonder.-- Socrates
  • Our job is not to make up anybodys mind, but to
    open minds and to make the agony of
    decision-making so intense you can escape only by
  • -- Fred Friendly, broadcaster

Motivating Students When Nothing Else Works
  • Teacher Assistance Teams
  • Specialists
  • Coaches or Pastors/Rabbis
  • Alternative Instruction
  • Strong relationship with trusted adult
  • Diet
  • Sleep
  • Doctors Physical Exam
  • Looping
  • Deal with poverty issues

Motivating Students When Nothing Else Works
  • Middle school concept
  • Teacher training in young adolescence
  • Videotaping
  • Behavior checklist
  • Use inertia
  • Deal with loneliness and/or powerlessness
  • Multiple intelligences
  • Ask the student

Classroom Samples
  • Students watch an instructional video. Every 10
    to 15 minutes, the teacher stops the video and
    asks student to summarize what theyve learned.
  • The teacher does several math problems on the
    front board, then assigns students five practice
    problems to see if they understand the algorithm.

  • Students are working in small groups on an
    assigned task. One student isnt cooperating
    with the rest of his group, however, and as a
    result, the group is falling farther behind the
    other groups.
  • There are only enough microscopes for every three
    students. One student uses the microscope to
    bring items into focus, another draws what the
    group sees through the eyepiece, then the three
    students answer questions.

  • Students are silently reading content in their
    textbooks and completing a graphic organizer
    about the material.
  • Eleven students do not do the assignment from
    last night. Consequently, they are not prepared
    to move on with the class in todays task.
  • Four ELL students have been placed in your class,
    but they are far from comfortable with English,
    especially with the vocabulary associated with
    your subject area.

  • Common Definition -- Adjusting the following to
    maximize learning
  • Readiness
  • Interest
  • Learning Profile
  • Ricks Preferred Definition
  • -- Changing the level of complexity or required
  • readiness of a task or unit of study in
    order to meet
  • the developmental needs of the students
  • (Similar to Tomlinsons Ratcheting).

Tier in gradations
Tiering Assignments and Assessments
  • Example -- Graph the solution set of each of
    the following
  • 1. y gt 2 2. 6x 3y lt 2 3. y lt 3x 7
  • 2. 6x 3y lt 2
  • 3y lt -6x 2
  • y lt -2x 2/3
  • x y
  • 0 2/3
  • 3 -5 1/3

Given these two ordered pairs, students would
then graph the line and shade above or below it,
as warranted.
(No Transcript)
Tiering Assignments and Assessments
  • For early readiness students
  • Limit the number of variables for which student
    must account to one in all problems. ( y gt 2 )
  • Limit the inequality symbols to, greater than
    or, less than, not, greater then or equal to
    or, less than or equal to
  • Provide an already set-up 4-quadrant graph on
    which to graph the inequality
  • Suggest some values for x such that when solving
    for y, its value is not a fraction.

Tiering Assignments and Assessments
  • For advanced readiness students
  • Require students to generate the 4-quadrant graph
  • Increase the parameters for graphing with
    equations such as --1 lt y lt 6
  • Ask students what happens on the graph when a
    variable is given in absolute value, such as
    /y/ gt 1
  • Ask students to graph two inequalities and shade
    or color only the solution set (where the shaded
    areas overlap)

  • Anchor activities refer to two types of learner
    management experiences
  • Sponge activities that soak up down time, such
    as when students finish early, the class is
    waiting for the next activity, or the class is
    cleaning up or distributing papers/supplies
  • A main activity everyone is doing from which the
    teacher pulls students for mini-lessons

Anchor Lesson Design

Anchor Activity (10-45 min.)
Anchor Activities Advice
  • Use activities with multiple steps to engage
  • Require a product increases urgency and
  • Train students what to do when the teacher is not
  • Start small Half the class and half the class,
    work toward more groups, smaller in size
  • Use a double t-chart to provide feedback
  • Occasionally, videotape and provided feedback

Double-T Charts
eye ear heart
Char.s of Char.s of
Char.s of success wed success wed
success wed see wed
hear feel
What to DoWhen the Teacher is Not Available
  • Suggestions include
  • Move on to the next portion something may
    trigger an idea
  • Draw a picture of what you think it says or asks
  • Re-read the directions or previous sections
  • Find a successful example and study how it was
  • Ask a classmate (Ask Me, Graduate Assistant,
  • Define difficulty vocabulary
  • Try to explain it to someone else

Students come back together and summarize what
theyve learned
General lesson on the topic -- everyone does the
same thing
Students practice, process, apply, and study the
topic in small groups according to their needs,
styles, intelligences, pacing, or whatever other
factors that are warranted
To Increase (or Decrease) a Tasks Complexity,
Add (or Remove) these Attributes
  • Manipulate information, not just echo it
  • Extend the concept to other areas
  • Integrate more than one subject or skill
  • Increase the number of variables that must be
    considered incorporate more facets
  • Demonstrate higher level thinking, i.e. Blooms
    Taxonomy, Williams Taxonomy
  • Use or apply content/skills in situations not yet
  • Make choices among several substantive ones
  • Work with advanced resources
  • Add an unexpected element to the process or
  • Work independently
  • Reframe a topic under a new theme
  • Share the backstory to a concept how it was
  • Identify misconceptions within something

To Increase (or Decrease) a Tasks Complexity,
Add (or Remove) these Attributes
  • Identify the bias or prejudice in something
  • Negotiate the evaluative criteria
  • Deal with ambiguity and multiple meanings or
  • Use more authentic applications to the real world
  • Analyze the action or object
  • Argue against something taken for granted or
    commonly accepted
  • Synthesize (bring together) two or more unrelated
    concepts or objects to create something new
  • Critique something against a set of standards
  • Work with the ethical side of the subject
  • Work in with more abstract concepts and models
  • Respond to more open-ended situations
  • Increase their automacity with the topic
  • Identify big picture patterns or connections
  • Defend their work

  • Manipulate information, not just echo it
  • Once youve understood the motivations and
    viewpoints of the two historical figures,
    identify how each one would respond to the three
    ethical issues provided.
  • Extend the concept to other areas
  • How does this idea apply to the expansion of the
    railroads in 1800s? or, How is this portrayed
    in the Kingdom Protista?
  • Work with advanced resources
  • Using the latest schematics of the Space Shuttle
    flight deck and real interviews with
    professionals at Jet Propulsion Laboratories in
    California, prepare a report that
  • Add an unexpected element to the process or
  • What could prevent meiosis from creating four
    haploid nuclei (gametes) from a single haploid

  • Reframe a topic under a new theme
  • Re-write the scene from the point of view of
    the antagonist, Re-envision the countrys
    involvement in war in terms of insect behavior,
    or, Re-tell Goldilocks and the Three Bears so
    that it becomes a cautionary tale about
  • Synthesize (bring together) two or more unrelated
    concepts or objects to create something new
  • How are grammar conventions like music?
  • Work with the ethical side of the subject
  • At what point is the Federal government
    justified in subordinating an individuals rights
    in the pursuit of safe-guarding its citizens?

The Equalizer
(Carol Ann Tomlinson)Foundational
------------------ TransformationalConcrete
------------------------ AbstractSimple
--------------------------- ComplexSingle
Facet/fact -------------- Multi-Faceted/factsSmal
ler Leap ------------------- Greater LeapMore
Structured --------------- More OpenClearly
Defined ---------------- Fuzzy ProblemsLess
Independence -------- Greater IndependenceSlower
--------------------------- Quicker
Williams Taxonomy
  • Fluency
  • Flexibility
  • Originality
  • Elaboration
  • Risk Taking
  • Complexity
  • Curiosity
  • Imagination

Frank Williams Taxonomy of Creative Thinking
  • Fluency We generate as many ideas and
    responses as we can
  • Example Task Choose one of the simple machines
    weve studied (wheel and axle, screw, wedge,
    lever, pulley, and inclined plane), and list
    everything in your home that uses it to operate,
    then list as many items in your home as you can
    that use more than one simple machine in order to
  • --------------------------------------------------
  • Flexibility We categorize ideas, objects, and
    learning by thinking divergently
    about them
  • Example Task Design a classification system for
    the items on your list.

Frank Williams Taxonomy of Creative Thinking
  • Originality We create clever and often unique
    responses to a prompt
  • Example Task Define life and non-life.
  • --------------------------------------------------
  • Elaboration We expand upon or stretch an
    idea or thing, building on previous
  • Example What inferences about future algae
    growth can you make, given the three graphs of
    data from our experiment?

Frank Williams Taxonomy of Creative Thinking
  • Risk Taking We take chances in our thinking,
    attempting tasks for which the outcome is
  • Example Write a position statement on whether
    or not genetic engineering of humans
    should be funded by the United States government.
  • --------------------------------------------------
  • Complexity We create order from chaos, we
    explore the logic of a situation, we integrate
    additional variables or aspects of a situation,
    contemplate connections
  • Example Analyze how two different students
    changed their lab methodology to
    prevent data contamination.

Frank Williams Taxonomy of Creative Thinking
  • Curiosity We pursue guesses, we wonder about
    varied elements, we question.
  • Example What would you like to ask someone who
    has lived aboard the International Space Station
    for three months about living in zero-gravity?
  • --------------------------------------------------
  • Imagination We visualize ideas and objects, we
    go beyond just what we have in front of us
  • Example Imagine building an undersea colony for
    500 citizens, most of whom are scientists, a
    kilometer below the oceans surface. What factors
    would you have to consider when building and
    maintaining the colony and the happiness of its

  • R Role, A Audience, F Form, T Time or
    Topic, S Strong adverb or adjective
  • Students take on a role, work for a specific
    audience, use a particular form to express the
    content, and do it within a time reference, such
    as pre-Civil War, 2025, or ancient Greece.
  • Sample assignment chosen by a student
  • A candidate for the Green Party (role), trying
    to convince election board members (audience) to
    let him be in a national debate with Democrats
    and the Republicans. The student writes a speech
    (form) to give to the Board during the
    Presidential election in 2004 (time). Within
    this assignment, students use arguments and
    information from this past election with third
    party concerns, as well as their knowledge of the
    election and debate process. Another student
    could be given a RAFT assignment in the same
    manner, but this time the student is a member of
    the election board who has just listened to the
    first students speech.

  • Raise the complexity Choose items for each
    category that are farther away from a natural fit
    for the topic . Example When writing about
    Civil War Reconstruction, choices include a rap
    artist, a scientist from the future, and Captain
  • Lower the complexity Choose items for each
    category that are closer to a natural fit for the
    topic. Example When writing about Civil War
    Reconstruction, choices include a member of the
    Freedmens Bureau, a southern colonel returning
    home to his burned plantation, and a northern
    business owner

Learning Menus
  • Similar to learning contracts, students are
    given choices of tasks to complete in a unit or
    for an assessment. Entrée tasks are required,
    they can select two from the list of side dish
    tasks, and they can choose to do one of the
    desert tasks for enrichment. (Tomlinson,
    Fulfilling the Promise of the Differentiated
    Classroom, 2003)

Tic-Tac-Toe Board
Change the Verb
  • Instead of asking students to describe how FDR
    handled the economy during the Depression, ask
    them to rank four given economic principles in
    order of importance as they imagine FDR would
    rank them, then ask them how President Hoover who
    preceded FDR would have ranked those same
    principles differently.

  •  Analyze Construct
  • Revise Rank
  • Decide between Argue against
  • Why did Argue for
  • Defend Contrast
  • Devise Develop
  • Identify Plan
  • Classify Critique
  • Define Rank
  • Compose Organize
  • Interpret Interview
  • Expand Predict
  • Develop Categorize
  • Suppose Invent
  • Imagine Recommend

Thinking Critically with Gifted Students
  • No matter what readiness level, we teach
    essential and enduring knowledge first.
  • Gifted experiences illuminate more material
    during the course of the year, whether by moving
    more rapidly, by exploring concepts in greater
    depth, or by offering more breadth in the field
    of study.
  • Gifted students encounter higher order thinking
    skills (analysis, synthesis, evaluation,
    application, justification) as standard operating
  • In gifted experiences, tangential thinking is
  • Subjects are integrated to a larger extent.
  • Assessment is more authentic and alternative
    assessment is more likely to occur in gifted
  • Instruction can be differentiated in terms of
    changing focus on concepts depth, frequency,
    assessment, and/or multi-dimensional

  • Gifted students often think academic struggle is
    a weakness, something to avoid. We teach
    otherwise. To seek challenge and to struggle
    with learning strengthens us. It is an academic
  • Enrichment does not equal fluff. All activities
    are academically substantive.
  • Gifted experiences will have some unique
    opportunties Socratic Seminars, Meeting of the
    Minds, and determining authenticity of historical
    fiction books are examples.
  • Gifted experiences often have more shared
    leadership in the classroom (a bit more
  • Our textbook and novels are resources, not the
  • Primary sources in research are more heavily
    valued and used in gifted experiences.

  • In general, gifted students do not like whole
    novels to be read to them. Excerpts are fine.
  • Gifted experiences expose children to a larger
    variety of language and literature.
  • Non-traditional grammar, sentence structures,
    vocabulary words and writers voice are
    encouraged in gifted experiences.
  • There can often be a wider range of readiness
    levels in a classroom of gifted students than
    there is in a classroom of regular students be
    ready for them!
  • Gifted students tend to appreciate the teachers
    use of humor more than regular students do.
  • Gifted experiences move students toward greater
    autonomy than would be found in regular education

  • As often as possible, compact the curriculum.
    It actually hurts an advanced students education
    to teach him content and skills he already knows.
  • Dont forget to make the implicit explicit. We
    would never assign students to portray historical
    figures in a mock trial, for example, and never
    teach them how to do it.

  • Two Important Planning Points
  • Practice turning regular education experiences
    into gifted/advanced education experiences. Give
    it a shot right now with anything in your lesson.
  • Anticipate the need for gifted/advanced
    experiences in every lesson and actively plan for
    those opportunities.

Little Geniuses (Article by Thomas Armstrong
about alternative giftedness).
  • Acting Ability
  • Adventuresomeness
  • Aesthetic perceptiveness
  • Artistic Talent
  • Athletic prowess
  • Common sense
  • Compassion
  • Courage
  • Creativity
  • Emotional maturity
  • Excellent memory
  • Imagination
  • Inquiring mind
  • Intuition
  • Inventiveness
  • Knowledge of a given subject
  • Leadership abilities
  • Literary aptitude
  • Manual dexterity
  • Mathematical ability
  • Mechanical know-how
  • Moral character
  • Musicality
  • Passionate interest in a specific topic
  • Patience
  • Persistence
  • Physical coordination
  • Political astuteness
  • Problem-solving capacity
  • Reflectiveness
  • Resourcefulness
  • Self-discipline
  • Sense of humor
  • Social savvy
  • Spatial awareness
  • Spiritual sensibility
  • Strong will

Great Resources!
  • www.nagc.org National Association for Gifted
  • www.cec.sped.org Council for Exceptional
  • Tomlinson, Carol Ann, Doubet, Kristina. (2006)
    Smart in the Middle Grades Classrooms that Work
    for Bright Middle Schoolers. Westerville, OH
  • Tomlinson, C.A., Kaplan, S.N., Renzulli, J.s.,
    Purcell, J., Leppien, J., Burns, D. (2002) The
    Parallel Curriculum A design to Develop High
    Potential and Challenging High Ability Learners.
    Thousand Oaks, CA Corwin Press

Great Resources!
  • Winebrenner, Susan. Teaching Gifted Kids in the
    Regular Classroom Strategies and Techniques
    Every Teacher Can Use to Meet the Academic Needs
    of the Gifted and Talented, Free Spirit
    Publishing, 2001
  • Wormeli, Rick. (2005) Summarization in any
    Subject. Alexandria, VA ASCD (2006) Fair Isnt
    Always Equal Assessment and Grading in the
    Differentiated Classroom. Portsmouth, ME
    Stenhouse (2007) Differentiation From
    Planning to Practice, Grades 6-12. Portsmouth,
    ME Stenhouse (2009) Metaphors Analogies Power
    Tools for Teaching any Subject, Portsmouth, ME
  • Anything on gifted by Richard Cash or Diane

  • Reality Check
  • We can offend ELL students.
  • Some ELL students dont receive appropriate
    instruction for their intellectual level.
  • Theres a lot of anxiety when we dont know the
    language or culture of the country in which we
    are living, so much so that many of us would
    find it hopeless to keep trying. It takes a
    tremendous amount of energy and patience every
    day to remain attentive and engaged when youre
    first learning a language.

Language Thinking Proficiency
Unfortunately, we tend to equate low language
proficiency with low mental function as well. As
a result, we dont ask ELL students to make
comparisons, analyze data, connect ideas,
synthesize concepts, or evaluate performances.
By not pushing ELL students this way, these
students get further behind. What can we do to
move our mindset past this conventional way of
Students in some cultural groups are reluctant
to publicly ask questions, particularly of
adults, and also may be hesitant to make
conjectures. For students from cultures in which
students are expected to wait to be asked before
speaking, and where students are not expected to
ask questions of elders, it is very important for
the teacher to explicitly set the expectation for
students to ask questions and express their
opinions in theclassroom. Otherwise, classroom
discourse becomes an exercise in trying to
participate in a game where only others know the
unwritten rules. Debra Coggins, Drew,Kravin,
Grace Coates, Carroll Davila, Maria Dreux,
English Language Learners in the Mathematics
Classroom, Corwin Press, 2007, p. 82
25 Practical Tips for Assisting ELL Students in
the Regular Classroom
  • Speak slowly and clearly.
  • Repeat important words/information several
  • Extend time periods for responding to prompts.
  • Avoid using idioms and colloquialisms until
    students are more advanced with our culture, or
    if we use them, take the time to explain them to
    ELL students.
  • Gesture and point to what we are referring.

6. Ask students to read text more than once. 7.
Label objects and concepts in the classroom
frequently. 8. Provide a lot of specific models,
including a lot of hands- on experiences. 9. Use
a lot of visuals pictures, illustrations,
graphs, pictographs as well as real objects
during instruction. 10. Frequently demonstrate
what we mean, not just describe it. From
Classroom Instruction that Works with English
Language Learners (ASCD, 2006, p. 41), Hill and
Flynn offer, ELLs will have a greater chance of
learning and recalling terms if they use their
arms to represent the radius, diameter, and
circumference of circles or the right, acute,
and obtuse angles of polygons.
11. Make ELL students feel like they belong and
have a role to play in classroom learning. 12.
Use a lot of thinking aloud or self-talk to model
the sequence of doing the task or the language
to use when thinking about the concept. 13. Use
cooperative learning groups let ELL students
work with English proficient partners. 14.
Sometimes let students draw responses instead of
writing them use more than one format for
assessing students if the general approach wont
allow ELL students to accurately portray what
they know. 15. Find ways to enable ELL students
to demonstrate their intellectual skills and
maintain dignity.
16. Give students very quick feedback on their
word use. 17. Spend time before lessons building
personal background in English language learners
so they have an equal chance to attach new
learning to whats already in their minds. 18.
Stay focused on how ELL students are doing toward
their learning goals, not how theyre doing in
relation to other students. We remove ll hope
when we ceaselessly cajole ELL students into
proficiency by comparing them to language
proficient students. Its a mistake to think
they need more motivation or that parading
others success in front of them motivates them
they desperately want to be proficient. 19.
Recognize the difference between conversational
language and academic language and that students
need help with both learning one does not mean
youve learned the other. This means we go out
of our way to explain terms like, similar,
math exercise, vocabulary, compare,
supporting detail, analyze, instead of,
not only, while, unlike, common,
distinct, feature, trait,
characteristic, and, equal. 20. Take the
time to learn about English language learners
home countries.
Additional Ideas from, English Language Learners
in the Mathematics Classroom (2007)
21. Invite ELL students to learn and explore
ideas in their own languages first, then
translate them to English 22. Provide ELL
students with response stems, such as, One
thing that I learned was. 23. Ask students to
re-state classmates comments as they begin
their own comments 24. Relate concepts in story
format before specific instruction
25. Incorporate all those vocabulary acquisition
strategies you learned years ago as well as the
ones that see today. You cant have too many
vocabulary building ideas! Seriously, we all
should be vocabulary gurus no matter what
subject we teach.
  • ELLs need Authentic Talk -- Is th
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