Differentiation in the classroom begins with your students. I’ve talked a whole lot about differentiation. I feel so passionate about it because kids come to us in so many different ways. And I’m one of those learners that has to learn skills/concepts in so many different ways. Presenting it in just one way doesn’t help me. And I know I’m not the only one who learns like this. In fact, I would argue that I am in the majority on this one. I would imagine most students need information to be presented and they need to practice in many different ways. And teaching with differentiation in mind can be hard. Mostly because we think it will take a really really long time for us to do this….the prep…the planning. And it can be hard…at times. And at times, it doesn’t have to be….Where do we find time to make the resources or come up with questions to differentiate?
Start building a “differentiation system” . If you have a system down, you can use it year after year. No matter how your students learn. I know… pretty bold statement, but if you teach the same grade level for a few years, it is even easier. Now, if you switch grade to grade to grade every year, this is more difficult (to get a system down). However, it can be done. I am going to help you set one up.
Let’s start at the beginning. First, things first.
Get to know your students. Get to know your students beyond the “What is your favorite food to eat?”
Ask questions more on how they like to learn, take inventories to watch their behaviors, and analyze the data. I know, I know….there are few of us who actually like to analyze the data. The key though is to do something about the data. I know I love to look at the data and it is harder for me to do something with it. But you and I can do it!! We can!
So, I put together this resource for us to use. This gives different activities for the students to complete to watch their behaviors and note what it going on. It also gives different inventories, interviews, and questionnaires, to help us really know our students.
Then, after we take these inventories and conduct these activities, we note the data and the fun begins. The analyzation. We can begin to identify the top 3 learning styles for each student.
Lastly, we put the students into like learning styles. I’ve come up with some steps on how to add these students, with mixed abilities for learning groups.
After we’ve done all of the above, we can move to the next step in our differentiation system. I can’t wait to share the next step. That will be another blog post soon! Find out more about the resource HERE.
Again, to check out the resource, click on this link HERE.
I hope this helps!!