Differentiated Instruction

Differentiation is not so much the “stuff” as the “how.” If the “stuff” is ill conceived, the “how” is doomed.

  • Carol Ann Tomlinson

While we’ve dabbled into what differentiated instruction is (and we will spend more time on it in the future), let’s consider Tomlinson’s Insights, in this readable 7-page article.

By class time Wednesday, read Differentiated Instruction and post a response to the following:

1. Spend 1 paragraph to describe each of the following classrooms:
a) Mr. Appleton’s (who presents factual stuff) approach to teaching,
b) Mrs. Baker’s (whose class does different stuff) approach to teaching,
c) Ms. Cassell’s (alternative approach) to teaching.

2. Use the text to explain (in at least 1-2 paragraphs) your takeaway on what differentiated instruction isn’t (that is, what it is commonly misunderstood to be), and –most importantly– what differentiated instruction authentically is.


Teaching (Social Respons) w Humanities

Thom Yorke of Radiohead

The humanities can be an effective point of entry to teach potentially difficult topics like social responsibility in the midst of formal curriculum. For instance, Radiohead’s “All I Need” (lyrics here) could be used in economics courses to navigate the fair v. free trade debate and considerations related to globalization

Exemplar Q’s for simultaneously teaching both with and about digital media:

  1. How is color being used to convey meaning?
  2. How is life different for each child?
  3. How are the shoes positioned to tell a story and make a point?

Using Textbooks for Lesson Planning

By class time on Wednesday read Effectively Using Social Studies Textbooks In Historical Inquiry by Scott Roberts. It is just over 6 pages long and will give you help in creating clear and focused lesson plans that are in sync with curricular standards. In response to reading, post a reply (by class time on Wednesday) to these two prompts:

    1. In a paragraph or two; what are the strengths of using textbooks to generate lesson plans?
    2. Do the first two steps that Roberts recommends (on page 121) with any standard of your choosing (using the standards I’ve provided below). SO, just write out a response in two parts:

a) Select a (state or national) standard you find interesting and
b) Develop an interesting question around that standard.

***For help with this, just note/imitate what Roberts does at the top of page 121.

Writing Prompt for Your Site

By class on Monday, Please post (in articulate & complete sentences) a response to these prompts from Lintner’s The Savage & The Slave on your website:

1. What is Critical Race Theory? (in a sentence)

2. How does formal curriculum typically portray African & Native Americans? (2-3 sentences, from the text)

3. What is the dominant means by which society receives its racial messages? (2-3 sentences, from the text)

4. How can education promote personal awareness of biases? (2-3 paragraphs, your opinion)