Meeting the Needs of Diverse Learners

Differentiated Instruction

Dr. Carol Ann Thomlinson's Website
Podcast Series with Dr. Carol Ann Tomlinson

Differentiating Instruction for Advanced Learners in the Mixed-Ability Middle School Classroom

Although Some Voice Doubts, Advocates Say Differentiated Instruction Can Raise the Bar for All

From Theory to Practice: The Challenges of Heterogeneous Classrooms

Differentiation Toolbox Wonderful resource! There's even a quiz on understanding differentiated instruction.

Co-Teaching in the Multi-Level Classroom Part II
(Although this article is on co-teaching, it contains some good information on differentiated learning.)
"Differentiated learning does not require a unique lesson plan for each student; what it does necessitate are questions that challenge children of all ability levels, writes educator Mindy Fattig, co-author of "Co-Teaching in the Differentiated Classroom." She encourages teachers to establish a positive learning environment that allows students to discover what kind of learners they are

Education Week Chat Session on Performance-based Assessment (includes information on differentiated learning)

Using Flexible Technology to Meet the Needs of Diverse Learners: What Teachers Can Do From WestEd
"Many general education teachers are turning to differentiated instruction to help them meet their students' diverse learning needs. This Knowledge Brief explains how some standard technology resources already available at most schools — talking text, web resources, graphic organizers, and word processors — can be used to support more tailored instruction. It also tells readers where to find more technology tips."

Online course for learning how to differentiate instruction.

Essential Question: How do I effectively and efficiently reach all students in a heterogeneous environment?

Adapt Lessons to Reach All Students

Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development--Resources on Differentiated Instruction

YouTube Search for Differentiated Instruction--Click Here

Layered Curriculum

An Overview of Kathie Nunley's Layered Curriculum

From Kathie Nunley--
*Instead of assigning class and homework, offer an assortment of learning activity choices.
*Offer a wide variety of assignments, addressing as many styles and interests as possible. Activities may vary in terms of length of time required and point value.
*Allow the student to choose which assignments they want to do to meet the point requirements for that unit.
*Try to include enough assignment choices so that even the non-readers or low reading ability students can have success.
*Assignment choices may include lecture, video, computer programs, book work, posters, modeling clay, poetry, construction of a board game, flash cards, mobiles, book reports, video performance.
*Allow the students freedom to come up with their own creative assignments. Variety is key to leading rather than managing your students.

Click here for a video highlighting Kathie Nunley.

Sharing Bookmarks with Others--Do you know what social bookmarking is? If not, please click here to watch a video.

Social Bookmarking:
  • Saves You Time
  • Quickly Organizes Your Bookmarks Which You Can Access From Any Computer or Cell Phone with an Internet Connection
  • One Less Thing to Remember to Check. When Others Post a New Bookmark to the Group, You Receive an Email Alert (daily or weekly) Listing What Was Submitted--No More Going to Yet Another Folder to See What Has Been Submitted-----Contributions Come to You!!
  • Promotes Effective Communication by Sharing Internet Resources With Your Colleagues!!

Click the following link to view the social bookmarking group for Middle School faculty.
Social Bookmarking Group for Middle School

Refresher On Other Teaching Strategies

Cooperative Learning
Inquiry-based Learning
From'"The inquiry approach is more focused on using and learning content as a means to develop information-processing and problem-solving skills. The system is more student centered, with the teacher as a facilitator of learning. There is more emphasis on "how we come to know" and less on "what we know."'
Asking the Right Question
Click here for a great guide to asking the right questions--from those that are essential to hypothetical.

Graphic Organizers
California School Site Resources on teaching strategies, including the use of graphic organizers. Click here for more graphic organizers.
One Size Does Not Fit All Ways to make reading assignments more engaging for all levels of students.

Brain-based Learning
Click here to access Debbie's presentation on the brain and learning.

Teachley's Amazing Brain: Talking Brain
(For text only, click here.)

Reading and Literature Circles
Click here for a list and resources.

Click here for a list of rubric resources.

Lesson Planning Refresher--Betty, if you would like this, I can conduct the overview to lesson planning with the group.
Elements of a lesson plan and how lesson plans differ in structure (handout)
Handout (sample lesson)
Handout (cognitive: writing objectives--At your request, I can get affective and psychomotor domain descriptions and action word handouts for you.)
Val Forester's approach to lesson planning.

Creative Digital Tools

Wordle "Wordle is a toy for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. You can tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes. The images you create with Wordle are yours to use however you like. You can print them out, or save them to the Wordle gallery to share with your friends. "
Wordle Blog Post from the National Council of the Teachers of English
Wordle and a Prereading Strategy

Imagination Cubed
Collaborative Interactive Online Whiteboard
You've got to try this out!

VoiceThread Examples
Many Voices: Darfur
Political Cartoons
Why Do People Hate?
Waves Upon Our Shores: European and Asian Immigration from 1880-1930
What Is Technology? (Of course, the topic could be on a specific topic across content areas.)
A Book Review of There's a Boy in the Girls' Bathroom by Louis Sachar, the author of Holes.