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Differentiating Instruction Essay

1257 words - 6 pages

Differentiating Instruction
Victoria Gassman
Trident University
Module 1 Case Assignment

Mapping a route to Differentiating Instruction ===
 In your case assignment, describe your current classroom (or, if you are not teaching, your proposed future classroom), the subject you teach, the audience (Elementary?  High School? College? Military?) what type of learners might be found in your particular classroom and their possible learning styles.  Based on this information discuss types of teaching strategies that might be most effective in reaching each of the learners in your classroom. 
Case Assignment Expectations
In your response to the case, include ...view middle of the document...

This was fun.” This was a recent comment from one of my seniors in response to me allowing him to create a game focused on the process of initiating and following a bill through to it becoming a law. The original options were the typical research paper models however; I have naturally migrated toward allowing students to complete projects in a way they feel engaged with. By doing so, they take full ownership of their learning process via creating a new type of response to an otherwise bland assignment. This is considered to be a part of scaffolding. When I take responsibility for helping my students understand the material being taught, I provide the atmosphere to allow them to take ownership of what they learn. According to Sadhana Puntambekar’s article, Scaffolding, what I do is called intersubjectivity, a strategy within scaffolding and, “Intersubjectivity refers to the combined ownership of the task between the adult and the child, and setting a common goal.” (Puntambekar, 2009) This student did a fantastic job with his project and we now utilize this game as a teaching tool when going over the legislative branch of government and its functions. When working with a class full of individuals and their idiosyncratic capacity to learn, having the flexibility to employ the best strategy to reach most of those students is crucial. Because I have that flexibility, the result has consistently been an overall elevated level of academic success and a significant reduction in absenteeism.
Academic success and low absenteeism is a goal of most educators. I teach at a private high school and we have recently seen an increase in academic accomplishments as well as a decrease in students missing class. Personally, I attribute this to the latitude we are afforded when constructing our lesson plans. Our administration encourages us teachers to employ the best overall strategy in order to reach as many students possible. I teach advanced placement classes in History, English, Literature, Political Science, and standardized test preparation classes for the SAT, ACT, and the ASVAB to juniors and seniors. 47% of my students navigate Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Attention Deficit Disorder, Dyslexia, and Anxiety. Teaching to these attributes can be challenging under the best of circumstances and having the flexibility to adjust, on a daily basis if needed, in order to teach to as many students as possible is a wonderful support benefit we educators are fortunate to have access to. Another tool I employ when working with any one of my classes is differentiated instruction.
Differentiated instruction is an effective tool when working to keep as many in my class engaged as possible. The specific strategy I utilize is tiering activities. Scott Willis and Larry Mann define this in their article, Differentiating Instruction: Finding Manageable Ways to Meet Individual Needs. The definition offered is, “…the teacher keeps the concepts and skills the...

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