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Title: DIFFERENTIATED INSTRUCTION Author: Debra Howell Last modified by: Debra Howell Created Date: 1/12/2008 3:54:50 PM Document presentation format – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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  • The Brain and Learning

Todays Classroom
  • 32 students
  • 2 Attention Deficit
  • 4 have IEPs
  • 2 ESL
  • 4 Unidentified special needs
  • Total of 38

Brain-Based Learning
  • Definition Involves using approaches to
    schooling that rely on recent brain research to
    support and develop improved teaching strategies.
  • Researchers believe that the brain is constantly
    searching for meaning and seeking patterns and

The Brain and Learning Quiz Question 1
  • Correct answer is 2.
  • Our brains are designed to ensure survival.
  • Brains can only fully attend to one thing at a
  • Because our brains are built to act first and ask
    questions later, our attention will immediately
    go to any unusual, unexpected, or potentially
    threatening event.
  • Strong emotion takes over! Strong emotional links
    create strong learning.

The Brain and Learning Quiz Question 2
  • Correct answer is 1.
  • The brain functions as a whole at all times
  • The brain is a system and as with any system all
    of its many parts must be functioning all of the
    time to be optimally effective.
  • HOWEVER, these many parts wont necessarily all
    function at the same level all of the time!

The Brain and Learning Quiz Question 3
  • Correct answer is 4.
  • Study 124 subjects divided equally into
    exercisers and nonexercisers found that those who
    exercised 75 minutes a week demonstrated quicker
    reactions, thought better, and remembered more!
  • Stress releases the chemicals that kill neurons
    in the hippocampus, the area of the brain thats
    responsible for memory formation.

The Brain and Learning Quiz Question 4
  • Correct answer is 3.
  • Our brains are NOT like a computer! There is no
    limit to what we can learn and your brain never
    stops processing and storing information.
  • You may be tired and that does affect how
    efficient your brain will be.
  • As we learn new information, our brains form
    associations which can help us retrieve specific

The Brain and Learning Quiz Question 5
  • Correct answer is 3.
  • Primary emotions universally shared by all
    people joy, fear, surprise, disgust, anger,
  • Secondary emotions learned behaviors that
    develop as a result of cultural and environmental
    circumstances confidence, worry, anticipation,
    frustration, cynicism, and optimism

Brain Development
  • Developmental problems
  • Nutrition (iron deficiencies)
  • Learning disabilities (right side of the brain is
    larger/most academic learning is associated with
    the left side of the brain
  • ADD, ADHD, and LD students produce a low amount
    of Beta brain waves (focused attention)
  • There are structural and functional differences
    in the brain of children that are dyslexic

Use Brain Research in the Classroom
  • Emotion increases retention
  • Keep challenge high and threat low
  • Laugh and learn
  • Give students a chance to stand and move
  • Involve multi-sensory approaches
  • Use graphic organizers to form patterns
  • Use metaphors
  • Pay attention to lighting
  • Utilize the primary-recency effect
  • Use guided practice

  • Different people learn in different ways
  • Take a TEST!

The Four Modalities
Auditory Strength
  • Students who have an auditory strength or
    preference like the teacher to provide verbal
    instructions. They find it easy to learn by
    listening. They enjoy dialogues, discussions, and
    plays. They often remember names but forget
    faces. They often do well working out solutions
    or problems by talking them out. They are easily
    distracted by noise and often need to work where
    it is relatively quiet. Students often do best
    using recorded books.

  • Students who are not auditory often sit in a
    lecture and do not really know much of what is
    being said. They find it difficult to concentrate
    or listen for long periods of lecture. They will
    often tune out what is being said or find it hard
    to stay with the speaker or lecturer.

Visual Strength
  • Students who have a visual strength or preference
    like the teacher to provide demonstrations. They
    find it easy to learn through descriptions. They
    often use lists to keep up and to organize
    thoughts. They often recognize words by sight.
    They often remember faces but forget names. They
    often have well developed imaginations. They are
    easily distracted by movement or action in the
    classroom. They tend to be unaware of noise.

  • Students who are not visual often read a page and
    then realize they don't know what they have read.
    They then must reread the page. They find it
    difficult to concentrate on reading assignments
    or overhead notes.

Kinesthetic Strength
  • Students who have a kinesthetic strength or
    preference often do best when they are involved
    or active. These students often have high energy
    levels. They think and learn best while moving.
    They often loose much of what is said during
    lecture and have problems concentrating when
    asked to sit and read. These students prefer to
    do rather than watch or listen.

  • Students who are not kinesthetic rarely get
    involved in action oriented activities. They
    would rather drive than walk. They would prefer
    not to participate and to watch.

Tactile Strength
  • Students who have a tactile strength or
    preference often do best when they take notes
    either during a lecture or when reading something
    new or difficult . They often like to draw or
    doodle to remember. They do well with hands-on
    such as projects, demonstrations, or labs.

  • Students who are not tactile rarely take notes or
    if they do take notes, it is only for things that
    cannot be remembered easily such as numerical
    data. They often do not do well with hands-on and
    find it hard to concentrate during lab

Success for All
  • We are all trying to move education from the
    "select and sort" model to the "success for all"
    model. In order to select and sort, intelligence
    is first measured, and then distributed on a bell
  • If we are to move from the
    "select and sort" model to
    the "success for all" model,
    we must understand that intelligence
    comes in many forms.

Gardners 8 Intelligences
  • Multiple Intelligences
  • are eight different
  • ways to demonstrate intellectual ability.

  • Dr. Gardner says that our schools and culture
    focus most of their attention on linguistic and
    logical-mathematical intelligence.
  • We should also place equal attention on
    individuals who show gifts in the other
  • It suggests that teachers be trained to
    present their lessons in a wide variety
    of ways using music, cooperative
    learning, art activities, role play,
    multimedia, field trips, inner reflection,
  • and much more.

A new way..
  • Research has led many educators to develop new
    approaches that might better meet the needs of
    the range of learners in their classrooms.
  • One size fits all instruction is NOT a good fit
    for many learners in an academically diverse

Differentiated Instruction
  • What is it?

The new IN thing or is it?
  • Over a half century ago, Dr. Virgil Ward, coined
    the phrase "differential education" to describe
    his ideas about providing appropriate education
    for gifted and talented students.
  • He suggested, essentially, that we could best
    maximize student growth by beginning our work
    with children based on where they were (what they
    knew and how they best learned), and helping them
    to progress from there.

Differentiation is based on 3 beliefs
  • Everyone learns differently
  • Quality is more important than quantity (e.g.
    significance trumps coverage)
  • One-size-fits-all" curriculum and instruction
    presumes that content is more important than

Differentiated Instruction Means.
  • Maintaining a commitment to curriculum standards
  • Increasing the variety in teaching, learning, and
    assessment in order to reach more students
  • Providing high levels of challenge and active
    engagement in rigorous, relevant learning

  • Recognizing that students do not all need to do
    the same work in the same way
  • Designing differentiated (tiered) assignments to
    better respond to students specific learning

  • Using flexible instructional grouping to provide
    opportunities for students to learn with others
    who have similar needs
  • Creating fair and equitable processes for
    evaluating student learning and assigning grades

Differentiated Instruction Does Not Mean
  • Individualization. It is not a different lesson
    for each student each day.
  • Giving all students the same work or even
    identical assessments all of the time.
  • Assuming that all students learn by listening.

  • Merely having centers in the classroom.
  • Assigning more work to students who have
    demonstrated mastery in an area.
  • Only for students who demonstrate a need for

Beginning gtgtgtgtgtgtgtgtgtgtgtgtgtgt
  • For the teacher who is beginning to differentiate
    learning in the classroom, differentiation may
    begin by varying the content, processes, or
    product for each group in the class.
  • As the teacher becomes more proficient using
    these techniques, differentiation can occur at
    all 3 stages of the process for some students.

Teachers must ask 3 questions
  • 1. In the content you must teach, what is it
    that you want all of your students to know?
  • 2. How can each student best learn this in ways
    that are appropriate to his/her specific needs?
  • 3. How can each student most effectively
    demonstrate what s/he has learned? Product

Three (3) Ways to Differentiate Instruction
  1. Differentiating the Content/Topic
  2. Differentiating the Process/Activities
  3. Differentiating the Product

1. Differentiating the Content/Topic
  • Readiness
  • Provide texts at varied reading levels
  • Reteach
  • Provide audiotaped materials
  • Provide key vocabulary lists
  • Interests
  • Use examples and illustrations based on student
  • Learning Profile
  • Present in visual, auditory, and kinesthetic

2. Differentiating the Process/Activities
  • Varying learning activities or strategies to
    provide appropriate methods for students to make
    sense of the content
  • Assignments must be tiered to take into account
    different ways to meet the same goal.

3. Differentiating the Product
  • A variety of means students can use to
    demonstrate what they have learned (See Product
    Choices Chart in handouts)

  • Differentiation is rooted solidly in two of the
    major components of assessment ----- those that
    come at the beginning of learning and continue
    throughout the process rather than the one that
    comes at the end and is incarnated in "the test."

Placement Assessment
  • Placement assessment, a strategy which should
    occur before the onset of instruction. Assessment
    for placement is a tool that increases the
    probability that instruction can be made suitable
    for every student

Formative Assessment
  • Ongoing, formative assessment gives teachers
    information that they need to create
    appropriately differentiated work for students.
  • It provides continuous feedback to teachers and
    to students
  • It gives teachers the data they need to monitor
    and, if necessary, modify both curricular and
    instructional design.

Learning Cycle and Decision Factors Used in
Planning and Implementing Differentiated
Strategies for Differentiating
  • Readiness / Ability
  • Adjusting Questions
  • Tiered Assignments
  • Acceleration/Deceleration
  • Flexible Grouping
  • Independent Study Projects
  • Learning Contracts
  • Learning Centers
  • Anchoring Activities

Readiness / Ability
  • Activities for each group are often
    differentiated by complexity. Students whose
    understanding is below grade level will work at
    tasks inherently less complex than those
    attempted by more advanced students. Those
    students whose reading level is below grade level
    will benefit by reading with a buddy or listening
    to stories/instructions using a tape recorder so
    that they receive information verbally.

Adjusting Questions
  • During large group discussion activities,
    teachers direct the higher level questions to the
    students who can handle them and adjust questions
    accordingly for student with greater needs. All
    students are answering important questions that
    require them to think but the questions are
    targeted towards the students ability or
    readiness level. 

Tiered Assignments
  • Used when the teacher wants all students to focus
    on the same essential ideas and key skills.
  • Create an on-level task first then adjust up
    down - Clone the activity to provide different
    versions at different levels of difficulty
  • When tiering, adjust level of complexity,
    materials, pace, number of steps, etc.

Learning Contracts
  • A learning contract is a written agreement
    between teacher and student that will result in
    students working independently. The contract
    helps students to set daily and weekly work goals
    and develop management skills. It also helps the
    teacher to keep track of each students progress.
    The actual assignments will vary according to
    specific student needs.

Anchoring Activities
  • This may be a list of activities that a student
    can do to at any time when they have completed
    present assignments or it can be assigned for a
    short period at the beginning of each class as
    students organize themselves and prepare for
  • These activities must be worthy of a students
    time and appropriate to their learning needs.

Different vs. Differentiated
  • Creating activities (ex learning centers)
    without directing them to specific students
    provide things that may be different but it does
    not constitute differentiation. Using the
    principles of differentiation, teachers design
    work that is based on students' needs.

  • Students may be grouped by interest but may also
    have activities set at different levels of
    complexity (questioning levels/abstract thinking
    processes) resulting in varying products that
    employ students' preferred learning modality
    (auditory, visual or kinesthetic).

. . . . . . . . . . . .
  • Thus the content is being differentiated by
    interest, the process is being differentiated by
    readiness (complexity of thinking skills
    required) and the product is being differentiated
    by student learning modality preferences.

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