Woodhouse Teaching and Learning

Issue 2. Differentiation

Woodhouse Teaching and Learning

I thought I would create a second Teaching and Learning Flyer/Newsletter to complement the work of our new AST team. The first issue was on questioning in the classroom. I have selected here some useful links on Differentiation from various sources on Twitter.

Personally, Differentiation is one of those areas where I am not sure I really do enough. I think this is a common feeling among teachers. It was really interesting and reassuring to attend the AST workshop on group work this summer and realise that we probably do more differentiation than we sometimes think we do. Andy Warner's article is interesting in challenging the ideas of "All will, most will, some will" approach to lesson planning that was touted in the past.

If you scroll down to the bottom you will find a link to ASTs in your own specific subject area. They often generous post their teaching strategies and resources and they are a means to link to other teachers nationally in your specific subject.Please send me any useful links, videos or resources.

How do we support students without making them become dependent on support?

We hear a lot these days about making students more independent, having grit and resilience. I have shown students the Escalator fail video below as a means of opening debate about the need to be more independent. i quite like it

Escalator failure

A menu approach to differentiation

This is quite useful in offering a variety of simple differentiation strategies in the classroom. Read it here. I found another presentation on Differentiation for higher learners. YOu need to get over the comic sans ( I believe it is an American presentation) and scroll a number of dead obvious slides to get to some interesting strategies. If you have the will to face a comic sans powerpoint it is here.

Differentiation. Andy Warner wonders whether we have we got it wrong?

Andy Warner argues that the "all must, some could and some should" variety of differentiaton is wrong. This goes for the “All students must choose effective vocabulary; most students should choose effective vocabulary and justify that choice; some students could choose effective vocabulary and justify their choice by explaining the effect on the reader”. It allows students to opt out and lowers expectations. All should be supported to achieve all aims. read it here."

Do you want to see what ASTs in your subject area are doing?

I found a list on Twitter of ASTs in a variety of subjects. They very often blog about their lessons, delivery of content and teaching strategies specific to their subject area. Twitter is a big place and starting with these links might lead you to making links with other subject teachers in your area. Find the list here.