Exploring Differentiation

In Mrs. Barrington's Classroom This Year

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Differentiation defined...

A defined definition of differentiating instruction is, “a broad framework for varying instruction and making adaptations for student variability in order to help more students in diverse classrooms experience success” (Puckett, 2013) which can help broaden what education is as a whole.


My definition on how differentiation in the classroom is a way for me as the teacher to provide challenge and success for all my students no matter their diversity. My main way to see this accomplished is by using a flipped class model. Flipped classrooms are a representation of what differentiation in the classroom can be. “A flipped class is when the work that was typically done in class is now done at home, and the work that was typically done at home is now done in class” (Bergmann & Sams,2012). In a traditional classroom, the students would have learned from a lesson on the material in class, and then been sent home with problems related to the lesson as homework. Students would be at home working on problems and they would struggle, get frustrated and never conceptualize what the lesson meant. Using differentiating methods, students will have access to the lesson prior to class in order to gain insight and prepare questions. Then classroom time is spent having students more actively learning.

The justification for differentiating in the classroom environment...

Not all students can learn through one type of teaching style. Creativity and ambition help encourage students to view lessons in a new way which helps create a new appreciation for the classroom. Advantages of a flipped classroom are: “more time working with struggling students, more differentiation, more hands-on activities, and students working at their own pace” (Bergmann & Sams, 2012). Differentiating allows for multiple types of students to learn a singular topic in different ways, but on the same time frame as other students.

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Providing a positive learning environment...

Challenge is essential for learning and positive learning environments are successful with happy emotional students. “Pleasant emotions are recognized as impacting cognition, motivation, and wellbeing in highly reciprocal ways” (Meyer, 2014). A small perspective can enrich student’s experiences in the classroom by use of common terms and familiar vocabulary as well as relating content to student interests.

The classroom environment...

The classroom environment will be a safe and secure area for students based on the following of my ideologies:

· Establish classroom rules

· Set behavioral expectations of students

· Set the classroom environment layout by adjusting the physical space when needed

· Maintain control of the classroom

· Stay organized

· Teach and show equality in the classroom

· Show and give respect

Other ways students will be safe and secure in the classroom will be by keeping classroom doors locked during class time. During real or tested emergency drills, I have a list of everyone in the classroom based on class period attached to my teacher identification as to keep track of all students. Familiarize students where safe areas are in the classroom and where help can be found at.

Handling social and emotional student needs...

Meeting student needs for social and emotional needs are important as a teacher.

· Know who students are

· Appreciating various perspectives

· Identify individual strengths

· Making a safe space for students to express individuality


In order to eliminate fear of failure and humiliation, I will group students based on formative assessments and how they would work together to complement each other in order to be successful. Fear is actually a welcomed emotion to feel based on all new material. It is up to me as a teacher to channel the fear into a feeling of productiveness for a positive outcome.

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Examples of expectations...

Student work and assignments:


· Goals and expectations are clearly set not only at the beginning of the school year, but before each lesson.


· Videos outside of class will represent the next day’s lessons. This will help students be more engaged and interactive with their classmates when they return to class. The videos also help me build relationships with students and parents. To let both my students and parents know I understand and know the content and that I care about the students by using this diverse method. Students will have access to video lessons made by myself and the Khan Academy on the school website under my name. This will act as the student’s homework each night to watch a 10 minute video regarding the lesson for the next day. Students will write any questions, comments or concerns about what they have watched. The students will come into the classroom with the previous night’s video lesson knowledge and be ready to be engaged and challenged in their groups which equals to effective differentiating.


· Students will be hands on with all work and assignments and will be encouraged to use verbal and social skills during the regular class time to show they understand the material.


Students will be responsible for learning the material and completing all group and individual assignments for grades that end up with a total of 100% accumulation grade



Examples of what can be expected from the assessment of student work:


· Formative assessments from me will help form workable groups. This type of assessment will also show me what groups need more assistance, are okay with the material, or are not being challenged enough.


· Weekly quizzes with 5 questions or less will help assess the student’s progress. The students will then trade papers and grade each other’s paper with a marker or crayon so grades will be given out more efficiently and in a timely manner.


· Using the flipped classroom model as a form of differentiating, students feel more confident and prepared for any form of summative assessment mandated by the state or federal government standards (Common Core).


· Grading rubrics will be used when deemed appropriate for group

Websites...

Additional opportunities for student success can be found in the following websites for parents and students use. These are for further explanations on how differentiating instruction works.

References

Bergmann, J., & Sams, A. (2012). Flip your classroom: reach every student in every class

every day. Eugene, OR: International Society for Technology in Education


Meyer, D. K. (2014). Situating emotions in classroom practices. International Handbook of Emotions in Education, 458.


Puckett, K (2013). Differentiating instruction: A practical guide. Bridgepoint Education: San Diego, CA..