Coaching Connections

Ideas, Resources, Support for CEEM

The Importance of Differentiation

What is good for one, is good for all. This is an idea that we have all heard and maybe even followed to some degree. But in today's classroom, that one-size-fits-all approach will not meet the needs of your students. It is essential that instruction accommodates all levels of readiness and learning styles.

Majority of teachers understand the need for differentiation but struggle with how to do it. There are three important words to apply to an effective differentiation classroom - content, process, and product. Content is varied because not all students are on the same readiness level. A student's learning style could determine the process or how something is taught. Products may vary because students have different interests, different passions which are evident in what a student produces as a product of learning. The balance between the needs of your students and the requirements of Common Core is the foundation for differentiated instruction.

Differentiated Resources

Activities for a Differentiated Classroom is an excellent resource for grades K-5 that is available for CEEM teachers.

Big image

What differentiated instruction is NOT...enjoy this video animation about misconception of differentiation

Differentiated Instruction

Vocabulary in Action: Teaching Context Clues and Boldfaced Words

Types of context clues

Contextual Information Strategies: Clues located around the word assist with meaning.

Typographical Clues

  1. italics
  2. bold-faced words
  3. parentheses
  4. graphs and charts
  5. pictures
  6. glossary

Syntactic/Semantic Clues

  1. definitions
  2. linked synonyms
  3. descriptions
  4. contrasts
  5. cause and effect
  6. sequence
  7. mood and tone
Using Context Clues to improve vocabulary

Sample Lesson For Boldfaced Words

Boldfaced Words

  1. Using a science or social studies text, have students find boldfaced words.
  2. Allow students to share what they already know about the words as you record their responses on chart paper.
  3. Read a sentence or passage in which one boldfaced word is located and then walk students through your thinking as you attempt to determine the word's meaning.
  4. Compare your thinking to the definition on the chart and make changes as needed.
  5. Have students work with partners or in small groups to repeat the process with other boldfaced words, then share their findings with the class.


Reinventing the wheel is not on anyone’s agenda. So, in order to make the most of our valuable time, there are some resources that are available through DPI that can save us time and effort. These are resources that can be utilized in their entirety or pieces can be pulled out of some of them in order to adapt them to whatever we are working on in our classrooms. The following links will take you directly to the places at DPI and a short explanation of each link will follow the link. I hope you find these helpful. This link takes you to the Wikispaces – you can access all areas of learning on this page. This link will take you to the ELA page. Each grade level has a book. Within those books are resources and units that contain EQs, units of study and other resources. This link will take you the MATH resource page. Just like the ELA link this one has units and lots of other goodies. This link will take you to the SOCIAL STUDIES resource page. Same as the other pages, lots of goodies. This link will take you to the SCIENCE resource page. And guess what, yep, lots of goodies. The good thing here is there are science units that are FABULOUS and already done!

In future newsletters we will have a section that will allow you to have direct links to the sites the coaches are telling you about so that it will make it much easier to find the resources.

Coaching Support provided for CEEM by Avriann Schaub, Shelly Alford, and Melissa Thomas