Differentiating Instruction, K-12
Course Description: Knowledge and practical strategies of how to
respond to the needs of students with various learning profiles, readiness levels, and interests. Explore Problem-based learning and Project-based learning as vehicles to differentiate content, process, product, and meet the Common Core Standards.
- Gain understanding of the imperative nature of differentiation in the classroom.
- Gain understanding of the effects of teacher mindset on differentiation in the classroom.
- Demonstrate knowledge of differentiation strategies.
- Apply knowledge of differentiated plans to content, process, and products to meet the needs of all students.
- Apply knowledge of differentiated plans in response to readiness, interest, and learning profiles.
- Gain understanding of the foundational elements of differentiation.
- Demonstrate understanding of problem-based learning and project-based learning as vehicles to differentiate learning based on multiple factors.
- Demonstrate understanding of pre-assessment, formative assessment and summative assessment as it applies to differentiation.
Tomlinson, C. (2015). To the contrary: Differentiation does work. Education Week, 34(19), 26.
Delisle, J. (2015). Differentiation doesn’t work. Education Week, 34(15), 28.
Cunningham, A. (2008, June 24).Tools for social studies differentiation. Retrieved from http://toolsfordifferentiation.pbworks.com/w/page-revisions/22360119/Social%20Studies
Westphal, L. (2017). Differentiating instruction with menus: Science. Waco, TX: Prufrock Press, Inc.
Sousa, D.A., & Tomlinson, C.A. (2018). Differentiation and the brain: How neuroscience supports the learner-friendly classroom. Alexandria: VA ASCD.
Moon, T., & Tomlinson, C.A. (2013). Assessment and student success in a differentiated classroom. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.
Pete, B., & Fogarty, R. (2018). Everyday problem-based learning. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.
Tomlinson, C. (2014). The differentiated classroom. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.
Tomlinson, C. (2017). How to differentiate instruction. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.
Roberts, C. (2016, December 14). High and low prep strategies. Retrieved from https://tccl.arcc.albany.edu/knilt/index.php?
Miller, A. (2016, January 8). Six strategies for differentiated instruction in project-based learning. Retrieved from https://www.edutopia.org/blog/differentiated-instruction-strategies-pbl-andrew-miller
What is Differentiation?
Video: Carol Tomlinson on Differentiation: Responsive Teaching
*Video: Misconceptions of Differentiation
video: Curriculum vs. Instruction
video: Reactive vs. Proactive
How Brain Friendly is Differentiation? Differentiation and The Brain, Chapter 1
How Important is Mindset to Effective Differentiation? Differentiation and the Brain, Chapter 2
- Fixed vs. Growth Mindset
- Exercise 2.1, Questions, Responses, Review, and Reflection on Mindset and Differentiation
- Mindset and Social-Emotional Needs of Students (Neural Networks)
A Model for Effective Differentiation Diagram Differentiation and The Brain
Differentiating in response to: Readiness level, Interest, Learning Profile
- Differentiation and The Brain, Chapters 5, 6, 7
Differentiating through: Content, Process, Product, and Environment
- How to Differentiate Instruction, Chapters 12, 13, 14
- Pre-assessment, group students (model differentiation strategy) to present information on content, process, product, or environment
- Journal Self-Evaluation: How have I used these in my classroom?
Instructional Strategies for Differentiation
The Differentiated Classroom, Chapters 7 & 8
- Stations, Agendas, Orbital Studies, Centers, Tiered Assignments, Learning Contracts, Tri-mind, Literature Circles, Jigsaw, Tic Tac Toe Choice Boards
- Sample Choice Board for Non-Fiction Reading
Video: Getting Started on Differentiated Instruction (Carol Tomlinson)
Article: “High and Low Prep Strategies”
- Each student shares one Low Prep strategy and one High Prep Strategy they currently use or would like to use in the classroom.
Differentiating Across the Curriculum
Article: Tools for Social Studies Differentiation
Differentiating Instruction with Menus: ScienceAssignments:
- What is inquiry-based instruction? Everyday Problem-Based Learning, Introduction
- Traditional models of instruction vs. Problem-Based Learning (PBL)
- Break into two teams, “Coyle and Talent” vs. “Perkins and Wholeness” to create poster size
- Journal: Can I cross over?
Seven Steps of PBL, Everyday Problem-Based Learning
- Develop Questions
- Launch Scenario
- Gather Information
- Organize Information
- Create Evidence
- Present Findings
- Assess Learning
- Journal reflection: Do I see this in my classroom presently? Do I see this in my classroom next year? How? Why?
Project Based Learning
- Learning while doing, not doing after learning
Article: “Six strategies for Differentiated Instruction in Project-Based Learning”
- Power Point Presentation
- Sample Unit: Black History, how I developed, differentiated, and implemented the unit
Journal: Which of my current units could I transform into Project-Based Learning? What would that lok like in the classroom?
- Video (2) Reflection - 20%
Students reflect on Carole Tomlinson’s description of Differentiation and the “Misconceptions about Differentiation.”
- Lesson - 30%
Students share a lesson idea demonstrating differentiated instruction through content, process, product, or environment, and in response to readiness, interest, or learning style.
- Evaluate Your Mindset – 20%
Students reflect upon an individual time, lesson, or interaction during which “fixed” or “growth” mindset was a factor.
- Instructional strategy – 20%
Students choose an instructional strategy, research (if necessary) and share an example of how they will use it in the classroom.
- Video Reflection – 10%
Students reflect on the process of grading while implementing Differentiation and the idea of 3P grading.