How to Differentiate Instruction in Mixed-Ability Classrooms
Carol Ann Tomlinson
Teachers can draw on the book’s practical examples as they begin to differentiate instruction in their own classrooms. Strategies include curriculum compacting, “sidebar” investigations, entry points, graphic organizers, contracts, and portfolios. As Tomlinson says, “Differentiation challenges us to draw on our best knowledge of teaching and learning. It suggests that there is room for both equity and excellence in our classrooms.”
Classroom Instruction That Works with English Language Learners
Jane D. Hill and Kathleen M. Flynn
As more and more English language learners (ELLs) are included in mainstream classrooms, what can we do to ensure that they understand academic content and develop their English language skills? Some strategies include homework and practice, summarization and note taking, and use of nonlinguistic representations, among many others. Because ELLs face cultural hurdles as well as linguistic ones, it is important for teachers to also glean insight into students’ backgrounds and address the cultural biases inherent in many classroom practices. Accommodating English language learners is one of the greatest challenges educators face today. Just as different levels of fluency require different approaches, so too do different backgrounds and languages. However, there is practical guidance for elementary school teachers that allow them to help ELLs of all nationalities thrive alongside their English-dominant peers.
Teaching with Poverty in Mind: What Being Poor Does to Kids’ Brains and What Schools Can Do About It
Millions of school-age students in America live in poverty. You don’t have to teach in a blighted urban area or a depressed rural region to teach students who are from a poor family. Economically disadvantaged students have a very difficult time with succeeding in school. One of the most unfortunate results of their economic struggles is that students who live in poverty often drop out of school, choosing a low-paying job to pay for the luxuries they have been denied instead of an education. Despite the bleak outlook for many of these students, teachers can do a great deal to make school a meaningful haven for them. Teachers can help their students who live in poverty by implementing several strategies.