Differentiating Instruction in Your Classroom
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Student populations in schools today are very diverse. Students differ in their readiness to learn, the ways in which they prefer to learn, and the areas of interest that motivate their learning. Differentiated instruction is based on the belief that classrooms where students are active learners, active inquirers, and active problem solvers are more effective than those where students passively receive a "one-size-fits-all" curriculum. This course introduces teachers to instructional strategies and methodologies that will enable them to create powerful learning experiences to meet the wide range of different student needs in their classrooms.
School improvement plans in virtually every school, regardless of grade level configuration, underscore the importance of helping all students achieve academic success and meet educational standards. This can be a challenge due to the wide range of abilities present in today's schools. It is clear from the research that the intentional use of differentiated instruction strategies is highly effective in meeting diverse learner needs and positively impacting student achievement.
This course focuses on best practices in differentiation and provides teachers with the knowledge and skills they need to implement these methods in their own classrooms. Through learning activities, and the practice and application of skills, participants gain new levels of expertise which will enable them to create instructional experiences in an engaging classroom atmosphere to help all of their students reach their full potential.
Participants will be able to:
- Understand the principles of differentiated instruction
- Learn the components of learning style and their applications in the classroom
- Understand how enduring understanding, student engagement, student outcomes, and teacher behaviors that cause learning to happen are critical elements of differentiated instruction
- Practice designing multiple paths to reach a specific learning objective
- Create lessons that differentiate content, process, and product
- Learn how to differentiate instruction to meet diverse student learning styles, readiness levels, and interests
- Understand how brain-compatible learning corresponds with differentiated instruction methodologies
- Design learning activities that increase student engagement by enhancing semantic, episodic, procedural, automatic, and emotional memories
- Plan lessons that differentiate instruction across four continuums
- Practice using tiered instruction and anchor activities with flexible groups
- Design and use essential questions and effective questioning strategies
- Understand how scaffolding and coaching can assist struggling learners
- Explore practical ideas for increasing active student participation and using graphic organizers in a whole-class setting
- Understand how to use assessment as an integral part of instruction in a differentiated classroom
- Design performance tasks to use as assessment tools
- Plan and teach lessons based upon enduring understanding that differentiate content, process, and product to meet individual student needs