Differentiated Instruction Essay Example
Differentiated Instruction Essay Example

Differentiated Instruction Essay Example

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  • Pages: 10 (2740 words)
  • Published: August 20, 2017
  • Type: Instruction
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The first chapter of our class text, titled "What Is a Differentiated Classroom?", includes a quote from Seymour Sarason's work, "The Predictable Failure of Educational Reform." The quote highlights the need for a different approach to learning that meets individual needs, as students are dissatisfied with the current one-size-fits-all model. As a teacher, I initially felt defensive reading this, as my teaching style followed this system. However, the text acknowledges the challenge of catering to all students with limited time and resources. Teaching to the middle 80% seems like a reasonable strategy, while offering support and resources to those who need extra help. I am always available to answer questions and offer assistance.In the classroom, I may assess a person's work with some reasonable discrepancies. However, aside from making adjustments to assignments when necessary, my distinctions are limited. This ap


proach seemed sensible, but the rest of chapter one provided a stern yet inspiring contrast to my logical methods. Through differentiation, teachers should start where students are and engage them through different modes and interests, using varying rates of instruction and complexity. Furthermore, teachers should provide individualized ways for each student to learn deeply and quickly without assuming a uniform method. To achieve this, teachers must begin with a strong understanding of powerful curriculum and engaging instruction, then make modifications for each student's comprehension and skills. Despite its challenges due to lack of examples, creating a differentiated classroom is possible (Tomlinson).In 1999, I began a course on differentiated instruction with the intention of continually improving my teaching. Chapter one of the course sparked my interest and the rest of the book, class workbook, and class itself

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set the foundation for implementation. To start the process of distinguishing lessons for my students using differentiated instruction, I developed four lesson plans, each utilizing unique methodologies such as Entry Points, Problem Solving, Sternberg's 3 Intelligences and Extension Menus. Despite their distinctive approaches, all lessons reflect differentiation as a response to learners' needs based on their learning profiles, interests and content, process, and product preparedness. The first lesson uses Howard Gardner's Entry Points strategy and caters to students' diverse learning profiles based on Gardner's Multiple Intelligences theory. This theory emphasizes that people learn, represent and use knowledge in unique ways, challenging educational systems that assume all students can learn the same material in the same manner.To educate pupils and demonstrate their acquisition, a cosmopolitan approach is sufficient. Gardner believes that presenting subjects in multiple ways and accessing learning through various means would serve students and society better. The Theory of Multiple Intelligences identifies specific types of intelligence, including linguistic, logical-mathematical, spatial, bodily-kinesthetic, musical, interpersonal, intrapersonal, and naturalistic. Gardner's "Entry Point" strategy for teaching stems from this theory. This strategy involves using simulations to learn about events, feelings, and alternative strategies for behavior while also recognizing and classifying plants, animals, and minerals.Gardner recommends that students explore a topic through various avenues including narrative, logical-quantitative, foundational, aesthetic, and experiential approaches. The Entry Point scheme is applied in the first lesson plan where students will be introduced to the concept of new products and services through innovation, invention and discovery using four of the five entry points including Narrational, Logical-Quantitative, Foundational, and Aesthetic. Experiential learning is included as a summational experience. This lesson uses differentiated teaching strategies that

cater to different learning styles, including browsing the internet for new products (Narrative) and gathering statistics on product sales (Logical/Mathematic).In this lesson, students will integrate statistical information into a graph using Excel. They will also use their aesthetic skills to create a montage of new products with their target demographics. The foundational aspect of the lesson involves examining pictures of Inventors/Innovators/Entrepreneurs and their connection to new products, followed by discussion. To provide an experiential learning opportunity, students will go on a field trip to QVC to observe new products being displayed, advertised and sold. The focus of the second lesson is on the Six Step Developmental Process, utilizing Sternberg’s Triarchic Theory of Human Intelligence. As a manager in the business world, the teacher is particularly interested in this theory and incorporates it into their teaching practice. The lessons are designed to have a practical angle for real-world relevance, focusing on evaluating employees’ strengths and weaknesses in analytical, creative, and practical skills for hiring, training, promotions, and terminations.Dr. Sternberg's Triarchic Theory of (Successful) Intelligence is a perfect correlation between educational/intellectual theory and its application in the existing universe. This theory suggests that intelligent behavior is achieved through a balance of analytical, creative, and practical abilities that function together to help individuals achieve success in specific situations. Analytical abilities involve evaluating, analyzing, comparing, and contrasting information. Creative abilities generate innovation and other creative endeavors. Practical abilities tie everything together, allowing individuals to apply what they have learned in the appropriate setting. To be successful in life, individuals must use their analytical, creative, and practical strengths to their fullest potential while also addressing weaknesses in these areas. This

may involve improving weak areas or finding an environment that values an individual's particular strengths. In the classroom, it is essential to provide students with opportunities to learn based on their natural and stronger rational ability instead of trying to fit everyone into an analytical mold.In addition to providing the opportunity for students to learn material through their weaker cognitive abilities, instructors should aim to simultaneously develop their intellectual learning abilities and knowledge base in a specific subject. For lesson plans on developing new products, Sternberg-based teaching strategies can be employed, with different approaches for analytical, creative, and practical learning. For the analytical approach, students must identify the Six Step Developmental Process for creating a new product, choose a product option, and explain how it progressed through each of the six steps. They must also write a one-page reflection on the effectiveness of the process and whether they would have deviated from it. For the creative approach, students must also identify the Six Step process, but instead must describe a fictional product they would like to see invented and take it through each step of the process while explaining their decisions at each step. Finally, for the practical approach, students follow the same process as above but with a focus on identifying potential practical considerations when developing a product.Describe a valuable merchandise used in everyday life and then imagine yourself as the inventor, identifying the considerations and decisions made during each step of the Six Step Developmental Process. During a presentation, showcase the chosen merchandise and explain critical elements of its development using the Six Step Developmental Process. In the third program lesson, students will

focus on the "Distribution" part of the Marketing Mix, using the Problem Based Learning technique within a DI approach. As a business person, I find value in this approach since it mimics an approach often used in business where solutions are researched, implemented, evaluated, and repeated. Combining Sternberg's theory with PBL can maximize its effectiveness since PBL requires students to learn through engagement in real-life problems.Problem-based learning (PBL) is a unique format that promotes both job work outing schemes and disciplinary cognition bases and accomplishments by involving students in the active function of problem-solvers. This simulates the sort of jobs they are likely to confront as future directors in complex organisations. PBL is student-centered and makes a cardinal shift from a focal point on learning to a focal point on acquisition. The process aims to use reliable job work outing to motivate students and enhance their acquisition. The approach has several unique aspects, including learning within the contexts of reliable tasks, issues, and problems that align with real-world concerns. In a PBL class, students and teachers become co-learners, co-planners, co-producers, and co-evaluators as they design, implement, and continually refine their course of study. The PBL approach is grounded in solid academic research on acquisition and promotes students taking responsibility for their own learning. There are few lectures or structured sequences of assigned readings. PBL fosters collaboration among students, promotes problem-solving skills within the context of professional practice, encourages effective logical thinking, and supports independent learning.The diagram located on the University of California, Irvine website aims to increase motivation for life-long learning through the implementation of Problem Based Learning in the classroom. This student-centered and experiential

approach involves selecting reliable assignments that are relevant and meaningful to student interests and experiences, as well as having students locate and evaluate various resources in the field. Content is introduced through the process of problem-solving before introducing information, as research suggests that deeper learning occurs when information is introduced in a meaningful context. This approach also builds on/challenges prior learning by focusing on students' previous knowledge and allowing them to test assumptions, learning strategies, and facts. To ensure context-specific learning, real or contrived examples are utilized to present challenges faced by professionals in the field.Learning context-specific information is more effective when it is acquired at a deeper level and retained for longer periods. Complex problems require meta-cognition and are often ambiguous, necessitating the use of higher-order thinking skills such as analysis, synthesis, evaluation, and the creation of new knowledge. This creates cognitive conflict, which can be enhanced by presenting real-life examples that have no simple solutions, challenging students to analyze their own problem-solving strategies and explore innovative solutions. The literature suggests that learning occurs when there is a struggle between prior knowledge and new information. Collaborative and interdependent learning is an effective approach to address this challenge, where students work in small groups to address the presented examples. By collaborating, students learn to leverage their collective knowledge while taking responsibility for their own learning and that of their peers. In marketing, it is important to understand the four components of the "Marketing Mix," with one component dealing with the delivery of the product to the consumer market. Furthermore, there are three methods of distribution, and the method a company selects can impact product availability

to consumers.The teaching plan for the lesson on the "Distribution" component of the Marketing Mix involves using a "Problem Based Learning" strategy. The scenario is that "Marketing Partners" must find the best methodology to distribute merchandise for their firm. To solve this problem, questions must be answered such as identifying the distribution channels used by competitors and creating a table to compare their success. Feasible distribution options must also be listed with benefits and drawbacks, while recommending a distribution strength level and explaining why in an email to the Director of Marketing. Additionally, a database should be created with at least 10 potential shops to carry the merchandise, including their name, contact information, and products carried. Finally, a Marketing Proposal Presentation should be created to present to colleagues outlining the proposed distribution plan.The 4th lesson in my new-and-improved DI Classroom will be based on the scheme of Extension Menus, featuring the “Marketing Mix” content and focusing on the concept of “Promotion.” Extension Menus are valuable because they can be tailored to meet student needs using Learning Profiles, Interest, and Readiness. An extension menu is an array of independent learning activities designed to provide students with choices for enriching or expanding the essential curriculum. The goals of extension menus include enriching or expanding the curriculum, challenging highly-able students, and providing alternative activities that address differing abilities and interests.Advantages and Uses of Extension Menus

Extension menus offer numerous benefits for pupils. Firstly, they can be designed to accommodate the requirements of any curriculum throughout the world. Additionally, they provide challenging and structured learning activities for highly capable students. Moreover, extension menus can be levelled to cater to

different levels of management in the classroom. They can also be tailored for individual students or groups of students to target specific learning activities. Extension menus foster student choice and encourage the development of independent thinking by presenting challenges. Furthermore, they enable teachers to monitor students’ choices and behaviours to gain insights into their interests, abilities, and learning styles. They also promote the use of higher-level thinking skills and allow for flexible grouping within classrooms. Teachers can act as facilitators using this approach.

There are various uses of extension menus in the classroom, including culminating activities at the end of a unit, follow-up activities after a lesson, or as anchoring activities defined by Carol Ann Tomlinson as "meaningful work done independently and silently when children first start a class or when they complete assigned work". They may also serve as learning centres for enrichment and extension of the curriculum or as independent activities for pupils who have completed their work or compacted out of specific curricular objectives(Brydseed, 2009-2012). The following Extension Menu serves as a model for future use.Here is a Tic-Tac-Toe menu for showcasing excellence:

Roll up
important facts or thoughts relevant to your subject (Knowledge).

teach a lesson about your subject, including at least one visual aid (Synthesis).

create a diagram, map, or image of your subject (Application).

present two different viewpoints on an issue and explain your decision (Evaluation).

include a video or movie segment as part of your presentation (Synthesis).

showcase something to demonstrate what you have learned (Application).

use a graph to display a portion of your

study that highlights quantity or scarcity (Analysis).

produce an original poem, dance, image, vocal piece or story (Synthesis).

demonstrate what you have learned through skits or reenactments (Synthesis).

interview others to gather opinions about a fact, thought, or characteristic of your study (Analysis).

explore how your subject will change in the next decade (Synthesis).

build a model or landscape illustrating what you have learned (Application).

devise an original game using facts from your study (Synthesis).

deliver a quotation or brief list of facts related to your subject.Under the topic of "Knowledge," the task is to write a column for the pupil newspaper or draw a column sketch. Under "Evaluation," students are asked to compare two things from their survey and find similarities and differences. For the first cleft at Extension Menus, there are three options offered, which require a certain degree of readiness as they are culmination exercises. These exercises tap into students' interests and learning profiles through different mediums, such as artwork, audio recordings, or writings. Additionally, these exercises incorporate Sternberg's Triarchic Theory by including creative and practical elements. The teaching strategies include Extension Menus for a lesson on the "Promotions" aspect of the Marketing Mix. This involves providing students with the opportunity to choose one of three extension projects to demonstrate their knowledge of the subject. They can choose a methodology in which they are more inclined. The project covers several topics, including the four components of the "Marketing Mix" and their connection with making the public aware of a business' products or services, various methods for promotion, and

how promotional activities influence consumer behavior.The students will create an artistic, written or verbal/kinesthetic product as part of the Extension Menu Project. An entertainment group has booked a three-week event at the city's convention hall and your marketing firm is competing for the opportunity to promote it. Your task is to create a sample promotional piece using one of the following methods: a tri-fold booklet using "Word" or similar program, a public relations article, or a radio announcement using a recording program to advertise the event and attract attention to its various features. You can also promote your station's on-site appearance at one of the events. Alternatively, you can write and perform your radio announcements in class. Throughout this class, there will be classroom instruction, discussions, exercises, and research aimed at challenging us to keep moving forward as "If you're not going forward - you're going backwards".Transitioning from traditional to differentiated methods of direction allows us to travel forward in our direction. Initially skeptical, I left inspired by this LEP project and the lessons we discussed - starting small and striving towards greater goals. With the tools acquired during class and research, we have laid the foundation for a successful start. Works cited include:
- http://pps-pajaro-ca.schoolloop.com/file/1303568322190/1312697332954/8516106516570643153.pdf (n.d.)
- http://daretodifferentiate.wikispaces.com/file/view/Extension+Menu+directions+9.1.04.pdf (Byrdseed, 2009-2012)
- http://www.pbl.uci.edu/whatispbl.html (Gallow, n.d.)
- Using Research to Practice (Grants and Research Office, n.d.)

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