Differentiating Instruction - Tennessee State Personnel

Differentiated Instruction:
Maximizing the Capabilities of
All Students
Elementary Presentation
Pickwick Landing State Park
Thursday, April 30th
Kandy Smith, School Consultant
Tennessee State Improvement Grant
This PowerPoint is available at:
Tennessee State Improvement Grant
Under General Products (for now)
Differentiated Lesson Plan Template
Under 4th-8th Grade Products
Differentiated Instruction
 “is a process through which teachers
enhance learning by matching student
characteristics to instruction and
 Provides “entry points, learning tasks,
and outcomes that are tailored to
students’ needs”
(IRIS Center Document: “Differentiation for Reading”, 2005, p. 1)
Differentiated Instruction
Offering students a variety of ways to
explore curriculum content
 Providing options
 Providing re-teaching, second chances
 Large group/ small group combination
Differentiated Instruction
Does NOT mean lack of teacher control
 Does NOT mean expecting different learning
outcomes from different students – we’re
expecting them all to learn the curriculum
standards and more
 Does NOT mean abandoning traditional
Exploration of Learning Differences
Lev Vygotsky
Zone of Proximal
Maria Montessori
Robert Sternberg
Learning Profile
Howard Gardner
Theory of Multiple
Vygotsky: ZPD
Montessori: Individualized
Lifelong love
of reading
Is competition
Teaching peace,
supporting the
inner spirit of the
Sternberg: Learning Profile
Gardner: Theory of Multiple
Differentiated Instruction
Certainly helps us to meet the federal
guidelines (NCLB and IDEA) of providing
best practice instruction for every student
We have a pressure to make sure that all
students meet local, state, and national
◦ Do standards require a one-size-fits-all
approach to instruction?
Three ways to differentiate
 Process
 Product
Change in the material being learned by a
student (usually the change is to ADD to
the standard)
Objective: retell a story
◦ Some may just re-state beginning, middle,
and end (basic standard)
◦ Some may learn to incorporate the
character’s point of view into the re-telling
(enhanced standard)
Refers to the way in which a student
accesses material
◦ One student in a learning center with other
students and a game
◦ One student at a computer by himself
◦ One student at the small group table with the
teacher and other students
Thoughts about differentiation
“The proportion of the school day allotted
to whole-class instruction is a predictor of
a school’s academic achievement.”
Dr. Richard Allington
University of Tennessee
What Really Matters in
Response to Intervention
Refers to the way in which a student
shows what he or she has learned
◦ Create a graphic organizer
◦ Discuss ideas in a small group
◦ Traditional assessment
Carol Ann Tomlinson
“There’s absolutely no contradiction between
excellent standards-based instruction and excellent
differentiated standards-based instruction.”
She argues that most standards are not finite points
to be memorized but consist of skills such as problem
solving, communicating clearly in paragraphs,
analyzing test, or using maps for information
“Those things can nearly all be accomplished by
primary grade students as well as Ph.D.s – just at
different levels of complexity and with different
levels of support.”
It’s about meeting individual needs in the
context of best-practice instruction.
“Expert instruction can’t exist without
attending to student needs.”
-Carol Tomlinson
So, how does it happen?
My experience
◦ If a teacher is doing it, she’ll continue
 Have to watch for traditional three groups for the
 Make certain data is driving the instruction
 Teacher professional judgment
 Data
So, how does it happen?
My experience
◦ If a teacher is not doing it, just talking about
it doesn’t really make it happen and forcing a
structure doesn’t make it happen, either
 Needs pd
 On assessing students
 On using data
 On large group instruction, small group instruction, centers
 Needs support from administration
 Needs “checking on”
In order to differentiate…
Teacher must know the student
◦ Basic reading levels
◦ Basic knowledge student possesses on
curriculum topics
 Group discussion, brainstorming not a good way to find out
who knows what
 Teacher must conduct an individual pre-assessment if she is
really going to meet student needs
 KWL chart
 Exit card
IRIS Center at Vanderbilt
Differentiated Instruction
Differentiated Instruction
Mainly occurs at small group table with
teacher and in practice centers
At small group table: Alternative Lesson
◦ Guided Reading
◦ Skills-Focused Lessons
◦ A blend of the two
Guided Reading
Selecting the text (appropriate level)
 Introducing the text
 Reading the text
 Discussing the text
 Teaching for strategic activities
 Extending meaning (optional)
 Word Work (optional)
Guided Reading
Mainly about comprehension
 Students could be struggling so much
that guided reading is not appropriate
A TIME READ – Every child should be
engaged at all times
Want to hear one read?
“Children are all whisper reading; teacher
is moving around the table, stopping and
bending down with each child to focus on
his/her reading. This is best practice.”
 Whisper phones
 Another teacher at this same school: “All
children are reading silently. Teacher
goes around and bends down beside the
student she wants to hear read aloud.
Child reads quietly to her.”
Skills-Focused Lessons
“providing explicit and systematic
instruction for students who do not yet
have the necessary skills and knowledge
to be integrated together in the reading
of text”
“Differentiating Reading Instruction: Small Group Alternative Lesson
Structures for All Students” (IRIS Center Document, 2005, p. 3)
Skills-Focused Lessons
Mastery of elements like:
 letter-sound knowledge
 Phonemic decoding strategies
 Critical vocabulary
 Reading comprehension strategies
Other ideas
Rather than one set of flashcards, giving
them out one child at a time
◦ Round Robin Flashcards
 “Teacher gives word sets out to kids; shows
them larger word cards – teacher keeps her
cards under the table and pulls one out and
reads it – doesn’t show it (great idea – learning
disabled kids are cunning) Tells students to find
that word in their cards (they each have a set in
their hands) Put it face down in front of them –
then all flip them over – great way for teacher
to see who takes longer, who knows. “
For either type
In order to be effective, teacher has to
have ongoing knowledge of the
assessment data concerning each
 Then she makes centers and calls groups
◦ Groups:
◦ 3-4 for struggling students
◦ 5-7 for typically developing or above students
She has to know developmentally where
a student is and what the most effective
instruction for that student will be
Some of the programs that are available
help to diagnose AND provide
instructional support
If the teacher is “on her own”
Center Activities
Five Components of Reading
Support for
Small Group Instruction
Best “Quick”
Comprehension Measure
Maze passage
What is a Maze Passage?
A maze passage is an indicator of general
reading health
 The maze passage measures the
student's general reading performance.
 It’s a good Curriculum-Based Measure
(CBM) for comprehension.
How do I create a maze passage?
Select a passage from the
students’ curriculum (basal
reader, newspaper passages,
etc.) (150 to 400 words)
How do I create a maze passage?
Leave the first sentence intact.
How do I create a maze passage?
•After the first sentence, delete every seventh
word and create two “distracter” words as
choices (should have the same number of
letters as correct word plus or minus one
letter; should be a different part of speech
and should NOT be a possible choice for that
•Dolche words are great choice words
How do I create a maze passage?
If the seventh word is a
name, skip that choice and
proceed to the next word.
How do I create a maze passage?
Make sure that all the
choices “fit” on the same
How do I create a maze passage?
Give students 3 minutes to
complete the maze passage.
First Grade Maze Passage
Fourth Grade Maze Passage
It’s Time
We can’t wait to begin differentiation.
 Children’s lives are at stake.
No Excuses
 Effort
 Professional Knowledge
 Administrative Leadership
 Monitoring
Differentiated Instruction
It’s best practice
 It’s required by law
 It’s what we MUST do in Tennessee
Allington, R. L. (2009). What really matters in response to intervention: Research-based
designs. Boston: Pearson.
Anderson, K. (2007). Differentiating instruction to include all students. Preventing School
Failure, 51 (3), 49-54.
Differentiating reading instruction: Small group alternative lesson structures for all students
(2005), Retrieved April 28, 2009, http://iris.peabody.vanderbilt.edu/resources.html
Differentiation for reading (2005). Retrieved April 28, 2009,
Florida Center for Reading Research website: http://www.fcrr.org/
IRIS Center at Vanderbilt website: http://iris.peabody.vanderbilt.edu/
Tomlinson, C. A. (2005). Differentiating instruction: Why bother? Middle Ground, 9 (1),
Tomlinson, C.A. (2000). Focus on differentiated instruction [Electronic version].
Curriculum/Technology Quarterly, 9(3).