Baby Steps: A Beginner’s Guide
This article maintains the idea that it is important for teachers who are new to differentiation to incorporate it slowly into the classroom. This would mean starting with one student and focusing on differentiating the content for that student. The point of differentiation is to provide different activities. This means that students who are able to progress more quickly than others should not be given more of the same assignment, but a different activity that builds a deeper understanding of the concept itself. Communicating high expectations and belief in success is key. When you also have gifted students in your classroom, then the bar should be raised for everyone, to a certain degree. The best way to apply differentiation, make students care about their learning, and to have engaged students in the classroom, is to learn about your students. Specifically, learn about their interests and passions, so that you can tap into those later as you make them apply to a valuable concept you are trying to teach.
Chapter 1. Intentional Creativity: Fostering Student Creativity from Potential to Performance (Sparking Student Creativity)
This article made sure to explain the fact that creative thinking is highly associated with divergent thinking, and divergent thinking requires students to think of many different ideas. This is something that can be taught. Whereas, convergent thinking says that there is only one right idea. Both forms of thinking are necessary to the creative thinker. The path of divergent thinking allows students to develop many different solutions for a difficult problem. The convergent thinking allows the student to pick the solution that will be the most effective. One of the biggest problems is a miscommunication that occurs when a teacher says she expects creativity on an assignment. Creativity does not only have to be elaborate, it is also is a way of thinking. Students should know that the teacher is really trying to say that she expects many ideas, different kinds of ideas, detailed ideas, or possibly one-of-a-kind ideas. This new interpretation of creativity, with all of its different aspects, allows students to narrow down teacher expectations, which will in turn allow students to create better and more accurate products, while demonstrating creative thinking.
Aligning Learning With Learners Guide: Overview of Differentiated Instruction
This article acts as a beginner’s guide to Differentiation. It not only defines differentiation, but also dissects each key element of differentiation, including: content, process, product, readiness, interest, and learning profile. The article also has helpful input on what teachers, who are interested in having a differentiated classroom, can do.
Strategies for Differentiating Instruction
This article is a very organized example of what differentiation looks like when it is broken down into many parts. It provided a thorough description of what differentiation should look like on every level. I really appreciated the real-life situations and examples it provided because it was easy to see what the application of differentiation should look like. The charts are my favorite part because they go in-depth on individual strategies found within differentiation and provide examples along with key points to remember.
Pre-Assessing for General Readiness, Interests, and Learning Profiles
This article stuck out to me because it covers the before part of differentiation. You cannot, and should not, just jump into differentiation and expect outstanding results from students that you have not gotten to know yet. Not only did this article hit on each of the main topics of differentiation, it also identified what teachers can use as pre-assessments and what in particular to look for in all of that information.
This article is similar to “An Overview of Differentiated Instruction,” but I felt it provided a different format of the information, which allowed a new understanding to occur. This alone reminded me that even providing different formats and layouts of various information can be a form of differentiation. Again, the examples proved to be by favorite part.