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Differentiated Instruction in Science

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Title: Differentiated Instruction in Science


1
Differentiated Instruction in Science
  • By Tina Waddy

2
What is it?
  • Approach to instruction that encompasses several
    strategies.
  • Process of matching student characteristics to
    instruction.
  • Takes into consideration student needs.
  • Process that allows all students to access the
    curriculum.

3
Implementation
  • Teachers can differentiate
  • Content
  • Process
  • Student Products

4
Differentiated Content
  • Change in the material being learned by a student.
  • Example
  • Objective - Label five major parts of a cell.
  • Student A learn to label five major parts.
  • Student B learn to label more parts and define
    the function of each part.

5
Differentiated Process
  • Change in the way students access materials.
  • Example
  • Student A may access information through a
    learning center.
  • Student B may access information through a
    website.

6
Differentiated Products
  • Change in the way students show what theyve
    learned.
  • Example
  • Objective Demonstrate understanding of the
    food chain.
  • Student A may create a three dimensional diagram.
  • Student B may create PowerPoint presentation.

7
Responding to Students Needs
  • Teachers differentiate in response to student
    needs.
  • Student needs include
  • Reading Ability
  • Skill Level
  • Competency in Mathematics
  • Extent of Background Knowledge
  • English Language Proficiency
  • Learning disabilities

8
Differentiation Variables
Instructional Choice Variables
Complexity of the Content Students Needs and Abilities
Processes and Techniques used to Communicate Content Students Learning Preferences
Student Products and Assessments that Demonstrate Learning Student Interest, Ability, and Experience
9
Implementation
10
Beginning Instruction
  • Use diagnostic assessments.
  • Determine student interest.
  • Identify student learning styles and
    environmental preferences.

11
Diagnostic Assessments
  • Can be informal or formal.
  • Determine student readiness level.
  • Examples
  • Pre-tests
  • Survey Background Knowledge
  • KWL Charts

12
Student Interest
  • Discover what students like and dont like.
  • Examples
  • Interest Inventories
  • Include Students in the Planning Process.
  • Incorporate students specific interests for a
    particular topic into lesson plans.

13
Learning Style
  • Find out how students learn best.
  • Example
  • Learning Style Inventories
  • Observing Student Activities
  • Look for environmental factors that inhibit
    student learning.

14
Strategies
Learning Style Strategy
Auditory, Visual, and Kinesthetic Learners Demonstrations On-site Field Studies Audio-visual Presentations
Mix of Learning Styles Small-group Discussion Problem Solving Activities Research, Hands-on Experimentation Off Campus Field Trips
15
What does it look like?
  • Tiered Assignments
  • Compacting
  • Interest Centers or Interest Groups
  • Flexible Grouping
  • Learning Contracts
  • Choice Boards
  • Orbital Studies

16
Tiered Assignments
  • Focus of differentiation is on student readiness.
  • Designed to instruct students on essential skills
    at different levels of complexity, abstractness,
    and open-endedness.
  • Example
  • Students study the characteristics of living vs.
    non-living things.
  • Some students are guided in identifying things
    from both groups.
  • Some students work in groups to brainstorm
    examples.

17
Compacting
  • Focus of differentiation is on student readiness.
  • Adjust instruction to account for student mastery
    of certain objectives.
  • Compacting process includes assessment, and
    planning.
  • Example
  • Students study photosynthesis.
  • Students who already know the process are given a
    lab assignment.
  • Students are given more instruction on the
    concept.

18
Interest Centers / Groups
  • Focus of differentiation is on student readiness
    and interest.
  • Interest centers are used with younger students.
  • Interest groups are used with older students.
  • Learning experience is directed toward a specific
    learner interest.
  • Student choice can impact motivation in a
    positive way.
  • Example
  • Interest Centers Can focus on specific topics
    in Earth Science, like classifying rocks, or
    carbon dating.
  • Interest Groups Can focus on small groups that
    debate issues surround the origin of the
    universe.

19
Flexible Grouping
  • Focus of differentiation is on student readiness,
    interest, and learning style.
  • Students work in different groups.
  • Group placement is determined by either
    readiness, interest and/or learning style.
  • Groups can be assigned by teacher, or student
    choice can be given.
  • Example
  • Students take on a specific role in groups to
    explore the properties of an inanimate object.
  • A student who is a strong writer might take
    notes.
  • A student who enjoys public speaking might
    present groups findings.

20
Learning Contracts
  • Focus of differentiation is on student readiness,
    and learning profile.
  • Agreement between the teacher and the student.
  • Teacher determines the necessary skills to be
    learned, and the required components of the
    assignment.
  • Student identifies methods for completing the
    assignment.
  • Example
  • Student wants to trace his/her family tree.
  • Teacher guides student through the process of
    developing a plan.
  • Student decides method for completing the
    assignment.

21
Choice Boards
  • Focus of differentiation is on student readiness,
    interest, and learning profile.
  • Organizers that contain a variety of activities.
  • Students are allowed to chose an activity.
  • Activities can be focused around several
    different skills.
  • Example
  • Students must complete two of the following
    activities to learn about density.
  • Using a water table to explore properties of
    various objects,
  • Reading a chapter in their textbook about
    density,
  • Watching a video about density.

22
Orbital Studies
  • Focus of differentiation is on student readiness,
    interest, and learning profile.
  • Concept is based on theme.
  • Students are given choice.
  • Teacher provides guidance and coaching.
  • Example
  • Students are learning about the solar system.
    They are allowed to choose from the following
    topics.
  • Satellites
  • Habitable Planets

23
Strategies That Work
24
Materials
  • Students should explore concepts using a variety
    of resources.
  • Resources
  • Textbooks
  • Graphic Images
  • Audio-visual Representations
  • Written Descriptions (Internet)

25
Complex Instruction
  • Create open-ended questions and tasks for
    instruction.
  • Open-ended questions push students to think
    outside the box.
  • Teach students to think all the way around a
    topic.
  • Provide scaffolding for support.

26
Role Play
  • Create activities that stimulate learning and
    directly appeal to student interest.
  • Students enjoy watching peers role play, or
    debate about a current science topic.
  • Have students create computer simulations.

27
Take It Slow
  • Teachers cant differentiate 100 of the Science
    content.
  • Be realistic. Start differentiating a little at
    a time.
  • Creativity comes in waves, not steady streams.
  • Access information and examples from the Internet.

28
Summing it up!
29
Resources
  • http//teachingtoday.glencoe.com/howtoarticles/dif
    ferentiating-science-instruction
  • Hall, T., Strangman, N., Meyer, A. (2003).
    Differentiated instruction and implications for
    UDL implementation. National Center on Accessing
    the General Curriculum.
  • Retrieved July 9, 2004 from http//www.k8accessce
    nter.org/training_resources/udl/diffinstruction.as
    p
  • Tomlinson , C.A. (1999). How to differentiate
    instruction in mixed-ability classrooms. Alexandri
    a , VA ASCD.
  • http//www.cast.org/ncac/index.cfm?i2876 This
    site contains an article by Tracy Hall at the
    National Center for Accessing the General
    Curriculum. The article discusses differentiation
    as it applies to the general education classroom.
  • http//members.shaw.ca/priscillatheroux/differenti
    atingstrategies.html - The Enhancing Learning
    with Technology site provides explanations for
    various differentiation strategies.
  • http//www.mcps.k12.md.us/curriculum/science/instr
    /differstrategies.htm - A Web site that lists
    instructional strategies and techniques that
    teachers can use to differentiate in the science
    classroom.
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