Differentiated Instruction 2014

Keynote: October 27, 2014 Differentiation and HIstory Ideas

Differentiated instruction responds to learning preferences, interests and readiness of individual learners.

Differentiation isn’t a new idea. Educators have consistently varied the way we reach out to different learners. Differentiation can be addressed in how you structure lessons for learning, how students engage in ideas and how they demonstrate their own mastery of the topic.

Taking differentiation into your planning doesn’t mean a student never has to write paragraphs or will never have to do an oral presentation. It may mean in one assessment, a student shows he can “demonstrate an understanding of the development of Canadian identity in the 20th century” through a series of images which he talk about orally. Nothing in the expectation says, “must demonstrate through paragraph writing.” It can mean modifying the classroom environment, the activities and the output.

More reading:

Differentiation Guide – 2010EducatorsGuide (Ministry of Ed)

Reach Every Student through Differentiation (Ministry of Ed)

Busting Myths in Differentiated Instruction

Differentiation in Reading (ideas)

Ministry of Education

Poll Everywhere

I was recently introduced to the joys of Poll Everywhere.  It was used in a presentation by Matt Brash, a technology consultant from the Ottawa Catholic Schools as a tool to engage learners in any setting. Naturally, as I started to investigate, I got more excited about the possibilities.poll every

Essentially, it enables the user to solicit information from a crowd without specialized tools or counting hands for “yays”/”nays.” Audience members can text their ideas to a free number or use the online platform to fill out forms online.

Once you set up your polls (and you can do this anonymously & without signing up) you can present them on a projected screen (or not!). If you’re using Powerpoint for your presentation, PollEverywhere will even provide downloadable slides of each question or “Poll.”

How it Works:

http://www.polleverywhere.com/how-it-works

How I might use it in the Classroom:

  1. personal survey
  2. feedback on an investigation
  3. icebreakers (include some silly questions to keep out the inevitable goofy answers)
  4. Image click option can be used to have students point out details in a photo
  5. review for a test using open ended and multiple choice answers
  6. gage interest in a topic

Watch this space for more ideas generated by my 2014 faculty of Ed students!

I might just use this platform more just because I like this video so much. He does have a great vest.

 

Collaborative Tools online

Padlet

This is my new favourite collaborative software.

Richard Byrne did a great little video about how to start using Padlet and why you might use it in class. He talks about using this as an assessment for and assessment as learning.

The program allows people to log on anonymously or through an account. The Wall-owner can include images on the wall – perhaps an opportunity to annotate? You can also print out the contents of the wall for sharing in hard copy.

You can also add images from your computer or using a laptop camera.

Ways you could use this in your classroom

1) Collect information during student inquiry

2) use “layout modification” to force entries to be ranked in order of posting, and use as a debate

3) use as a Graffiti wall or as part of a jigsaw activity

4) Share links and ideas on a topic

5) Ask students to contribute personal connections to a historical theme – example: How is your life at home different in 2013 than when you were 5 years old?

Here are some other ideas by Cynthia Treichler. She even includes a tutorial on her website.

padlet integration

Let’s Play!

hey, PED3183, Let’s share some cool resources we’ve found and play with this resource.

http://padlet.com/wall/historytips – Groups 1 – 4

http://padlet.com/wall/historytips2 – Groups  5 – 8

Today’s Meet

A colleague introduced me to a neat tool called Today’s Meet. It allows students to ask questions, make comments and get clarification from a presentation. The beauty of the site? It doesn’t require someone to log into the site and  the shared  link is memorable. The wall owner can set the duration of time the link is “live” to prevent access to the wall after an activity.

Students can debate with each other using this venue and thus becomes an alternative to Twitter.

The transcript option allows the presenter to save the Room after a discussion. It saves in chronological order and there’s an easy copy & paste function.

The Today’s Meet Blog has some interesting ideas as well.

The website sells itself as a backchannel opportunity.

todays meet

Think Literacy

The Ministry of Education has created a variety of lessons and ideas relating to literacy. The whole series is available online. Their approach looks at reading, writing and oral strategies for developing skills in understanding all types of text.

Here is the resource for Gr 10 History (WW2) and Civics. 

There’s also a resource for 7/8 History.

RAFT -Differentiated Instruction

RAFT (Role, Audience, Format and Topic) is a tool for demonstrated the mastery of content. Students are given one or two elements of the RAFT and are encouraged to choose the(ir) best way  in showing their skill and knowledge development.

Students take on a particular Role (teacher, historical figure, leader of community group, inanimate object etc) and use a particular format (report card, song, mixed CD, letter, speach, powerpoint presentation) to convey information to a specific audience (student, newspaper readers, school principal, historical antagonist etc). The topic can be selected by the teacher or the student but the four elements will culminate with the student’s ability to show development.

It is differentiated as it allows students to show mastery in non-conventional forms as well as in the standard ways.

Recently, I had students complete assignments with these RAFTs:

THE GREAT WAR (CHY 4U)

ROLE (option) AUDIENCE (option) FORMAT (option) TOPIC- YOU MUST CHOOSE ONE OF THESE
Woodrow Wilson Members of League of Nations (or non-members) Reddit Forum – Impact of Peace Treaties (be specific)
Georges Clemeanceau Parties at the Versailles Conference Powerpoint urging for the punishment of Germany – Development of the League of Nations
WW1 Nurse Her children Scrapbook about the problems facing the Veterans in her care – Great War Art re: Veterans (poetry, visual art, music)
Czar Nicholas Russian Population Apology letter about the failing to address population’s needs  – Short term consequences of the Russian Revolution
Lenin Russian population Mixed CD/iPod Playlist + letter explaining song selections – treatment of Veterans by home country
Teacher Student test
Veteran 1920s Canadians Painting re: suffering of Veterans

Here’s what one of my students produced.

Quick Literacy Strategies

Handout: Cross Curricular Literacy Strategies

Oct 9  Keynote Presentation Literacy and Differentiation Oct 9 Lesson

Alphabet Organizer

I can’t say enough about the beauty of the Alphabet Graphic Organizer. I always keep a spare pile in my room as a back up for any lesson. Here are just a few ways you can use this template.485094_abc_blocks-resized

Here’s a neat online version of the organizer which could be used with a Smartboard or in a 1:1 computer environment.

1) Preview or Review

– have students list words from each letter of words they *think* relate to a topic

– use each letter to review key terms or associated ideas in a unit

2) Summary or Narrative

– each letter, in the correct order, starts the next word or next sentence. Here’s an example I wrote using the story of the  3 Little Pigs.

3) Poem

– use the organizer as a template for an alphabet poem

55 Word Stories

Writing a summary, story, review, answer, definition etc in EXACTLY 55 words is a literary and literacy-related challenge. Students have to select the best words as well as eliminate extraneous words or ideas from their work. This type of activity forces students to organize their ideas before writing.

Stronger students will rise to the challenge and weaker writers will be relived they only need to come up with 55 words. Sentence structure still matters, and students must recognize what constitutes a word and what is a character (.;!,? etc).

Some Examples:

“How many times do I have to tell you not to leave your backpack in the front hallway!” Wendy bellowed from the kitchen table. “Honestly,” she said. “Do they expect me to pick up after them all day?” She sighed and took a sip from her mug. “So where was I?”

All she could hear was the sharp inhale and exhale of her breath and the rhythmic slap of her running shoes against the damp, dark pavement. The sun burst through a pack of clouds, illuminating the rusts, golds, and reds of the leaves and their muddy trunks. A curve in the road. Blue sky ahead.

She sipped her wine. “My professor proposes,” she said, “that we’ve evolved to find beautiful those things that resemble resources essential to survival.”

“Preposterous,” he said, and ran a hand through hair as golden as a field of wheat ready for harvest. She shrugged, and met his eyes, two blue pools of fresh clean water.

6 Sentences

This is a great activity I learned from the brilliant Anne Gripton. I’ll be honest, students hate the idea of this activity. However, once they start working, they are invigorated by the challenge.

1) Ask students to summarize or review an event in history or a chapter in a story.

2) In writing about this summary, they may only use 6 sentences of ‘reasonable length.’

3) They may not repeat a single word – not ‘a, they, the, him, her, in, of’ or anything.

4) Write a draft and review.

5) Finish!

An example:

Sometimes students struggle with writing.

They want to do well but are afraid of an empty page.

Give them a graphic organizer.

This can help provide structure for thinking and organizing.

Once assisted, many create beautiful works.

Challenges result in major successes.

Differentiated Instruction

Differentiated instruction responds to learning preferences, interests and readiness of individual learners.

Differentiation isn’t a new idea. Educators have consistently varied the way we reach out to different learners. Differentiation can be addressed in how you structure lessons for learning, how students engage in ideas and how they demonstrate their own mastery of the topic.

Taking differentiation into your planning doesn’t mean a student never has to write paragraphs or will never have to do an oral presentation. It may mean in one assessment, a student shows he can “demonstrate an understanding of the development of Canadian identity in the 20th century” through a series of images which he talk about orally. Nothing in the expectation says, “must demonstrate through paragraph writing.” It can mean modifying the classroom environment, the activities and the output.

More reading:

Differentiation Guide – 2010EducatorsGuide (Ministry of Ed)

Reach Every Student through Differentiation (Ministry of Ed)

Busting Myths in Differentiated Instruction

Differentiation in Reading (ideas)

Ministry of Education

“Ziploc” Theme Bags and Four Corners Photographs

ZIPLOC BAG OF PROPS

photo

How many ways could you use the stuff in the bag? 

  • Assign a role to each of the objects to identify minority groups/social classes in Canada.
  • Fill the bag with objects and then ask them how to solve the problem with the objects in the bag (innovation)
  • Fill bag with historical objects (iron, wood, etc.) –>  group the objects to represent different groups of people/employment during a particular age
  • One object –> students give their perspective
  • Antique objects –> guess their use, or  tell a story where they object has been, perhaps students write a riddle about an object?
  • Props to represent objects in particular lesson –> Russian WW2 — No Ammo
  • 1st day ice breaker –> what represents them from the bag?
  • Build a diorama/sculpture with the objects

FOUR CORNERS

Block off ¾ of the photo, have the students describe what they see (This allows students to make predictions about the photo )

How else could you use this activity?

  • Show a piece have them draw the rest
  • What is NOT in the photo –> make predictions, inferring
  • use like a Puzzle (maps, propaganda posters etc)
  • Propaganda, etc. –> Tops and Tails (students get half a photo, have to find its match)
  • Video clip – show only the top or bottom of the clip (block of the tv with construction paper)
  • Timelines –> chunking it up
  • Chunking up a speech/conversation/interview
  • Poems ->  chunking it up
  • Use their textbook, block out all the text around the photos (forces students to make predictions, use of  non-textual cues)
  • Use this as a means to test students – what is going on in the photo? Why is it relevant to what we’ve learned in class?

Teachers on Pinterest

I don’t pin*, but some of my closest friends do (Bronwyn or JenGilpin). They guarantee me that this is a brilliant way to share ideas visually. These two ladies also happen to be kindergarten teachers.

I stumbled across this great board for teachers. There doesn’t seem to be a lot for high school aged students, but that doesn’t mean you couldn’t adjust some of these fantastic ideas for their lessons. Heck, many of these ideas could be just as effective in a grade 3 room as they would in a grade 10 History room.

Here are some of my favourites and how I might use them.

1. Classroom management

This would be really great for 7 and 8s. They may be able to ‘earn back’ letters before they have to wait x minutes after the bell.

2. Building new groups. I have students line up in different orders and then count them off in smaller groups.

3. Oral Assessments/Questioning

4. Literacy and Communication using evidence

5. Literacy

Young historians or applied level students would love using a giant venn diagram on the ground to compare periods of time or experiences of different Canadians.

6. Building Relevance

Students often struggle making connections between History and their own lives. Sometimes, it’s easier for them to connect to non-personal things AND this still demonstrates their ability apply ideas. Consider tweaking this anchor chart for the history classroom.

* I’ll admit I started an account whilst researching this post. I’m pinning. *

Scategories (a game for any classroom)

Scategories

Scategories is a great board game allowing all ages and abilities to contribute. This is a strategy for an introductory lesson as it activates previous knowledge as well as gets students to think about related ideas.

I make a game sheet. I usually make it small enough to fit three game sheets on one page (saves photo-copy clicks!).

Game 1                         game 2                          game 3

1 Famous Canadians
2 Canadian Places  Saskatoon
3 Laws  Street Signs
4 In my Community  Salvation Army
5 Rights and Responsibilities
6 Common Symbols  Swoosh (Nike)
7 About Politics  Socialism
8 Democracy means  Speaking Up
9 Non-Governmental Organizations  Save the Children
10 Things Citizens do…  sign petitions
11 Movies which teach Civics concepts  Stand and Deliver
12 Synonyms for Civics

I change the categories to suit the subject or unit.

How to Play

Goal: get the most points

Object: earn points by having unique words in each category

1) Teacher picks a letter of the alphabet (ex: S – as above)

2) Students have 2 or 3 minutes to come up with words which start with this letter and fit the category (see game 2 above).

3) Students cannot repeat the same word in a different category. (They can’t have ‘Stand’ for ‘things citizens do’  and also “Stand and Deliver” for movies.)

4) Take up answers. If one group has the same word as another, students strike off their answers and no points are awarded. If the group has a unique word, one point is awarded.

5) Add up points and declare a winner!

Variation:
Aschew the use of the letter and have students use course-related/unit related terms to fit the categories. This can be a great review!