Patriot Pride

Monthly Media & Tech Newsletter January 2017

Welcome to the New Year!

Wow, where did 2016 go? We are about to close second semester and start sledding down the second half of the year! PLEASE take a few minutes to enjoy winter's peaceful quietness, grab a cup of cocoa, and read this Smore!

As you plan your next quarter, don't forget that we are available and want to come to your room and work with you and your students in any way you need!

M-Powerment Strategy for November

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M-5: Differentiation & Personalization

We all have heard these words before, but do we know the difference? Let's start there?

The Difference Between Differentiation And Personalized Learning

by TeachThought Staff

The difference between differentiation, personalized learning, and the individualization of learning sometimes seems like a matter of semantics, but that could be that terms are used interchangeably when they’re actually not the same.

The biggest difference really is the starting point. Personalized learning starts with the learner first, where differentiation and individualization take something designed for masses and attempt to adapt it for individuals–a monumental task to consistently do well.

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It seems to us that personalized learning is a great way to grow students who are already at grade level or above. Differentiation and Individualization work well when students need to grow in order to meet the grade level expectations. However, all learning will become more meaningful when students have some choice involved. Let's take a look at some tips for personalizing and differentiating student learning!

Tip: We need to stimulate our students' senses. We can differentiate by incorporating visual, auditory, tactile, and kinesthetic components as much as possible. The use of graphic organizers to aid in comprehension and to map out ideas is something I see used frequently in classrooms these are great! Don't forget to use picture cards to correspond with vocabulary words which give students visual support to picture the word's meaning in their mind. Manipulatives are also helpful and needed by some students more than others.

Tip: Give students choice and vary assessments. Differentiation can come from giving students choice in how they complete a targeted goal. Each format should hit the targeted goal but scaffolds it in a way that is best suited to the individual student. We all have different teaching styles therefore we have differing assessment styles. If we work together to share our assessments and give our students a choice or at least vary the way we assess, our students could be more successful.

Tip: Explain to students that fair is not always equal. I would always begin my school year with an activity to demonstrate what this means. Here is a link to some new ideas I found. I think it is good for us to remember also!

Tip: Consider a time limit for homework. You can differentiate homework by giving a base assignment and requiring 20 minutes of honest work, rather than completion of the problems. Most of the time the majority of students will complete the work in the 20 minutes, while those with real difficulty may not.

Tip: Set high expectations and support growth. Always swing for the fence, teach to the top of the class and work toward getting the rest of the students up there. When we expect more of children, they learn to expect more of themselves.

Here is a blog post that I thought was very good if you would like to read more on this topic!

Myth-Busting Differentiated Instruction: 3 Myths and 3 Truths

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Discovery Education SOS Strategies

Check out a few of our favorite Discover Education SOS strategies for Engaging Students! Click the link above to view the images more clearly.