Buzz Word: Differentiation

We all know by now that this is more than a buzz word.  Differentiating your instruction has become a vital part of teaching.  Your students will learn and retain information in different ways, therefore it’s important that we address the many needs of all of our students.

Unitedstreaming offers several ways to do this:

Learning Centers:

A Learning Center is a designated place in the classroom where a teacher provides resources and materials for students to complete assignments. Teachers can design learning centers, or stations, by increasing difficulty or have a different set of activities to complete for each center. Teachers can create activities in the Assignment Builder to use in their learning centers.

Scaffolding:

Have students with similar interests work together to design a scavenger hunt for their peers on a topic.  They can start with a topic of which they have prior knowledge and, in designing the scavenger hunt, they will build on this prior knowledge while teaching their peers at the same time. 

Small Groups:

Group students together by learning style or skill level.  Have students research a topic and become experts on it by creating a brochure or a 5-minute presentation about it.  Students can use our encyclopedia articles, video segments, and images as their materials.

Differentiate your instruction by creating a series of activities of varying complexity. All of the activities will relate to the same essential concepts and skills, but they take into account individual student needs and abilities. For example, one group of students may explain a math concept by writing their own narration for an editable video segment while another group may use images to communicate the same math concept.

Below are some links to additional ideas for differentiated activities:

http://members.shaw.ca/priscillatheroux/differentiating.html

http://www.ascd.org/ed_topics/cu2000win_willis.html

http://www.ericdigests.org/1996-3/mixed.htm

There are countless ways to use our thousands of materials to achieve a truly differentiated classroom and feel confident that you are addressing all of your students’ varied needs.

Happy Planning!
Uzma Knouss

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