Today’s lunch discussion centered around Differentiated Instruction and Assessment. The group focused the discussion on ideas to help differentiate lessons for GATE students. Some of the questions centered on equity vs. equality between students. There was a concern that some GATE students might see more challenging work as punitive. While other students might notice not everyone was doing the same lesson (reading) and start to ask questions why not everyone was doing the same assignment.
The group had a number of good suggestion and talked about differentiation does not have to be present in every assignment, but should be throughout the unit. The idea of letting students have choices in some assignments, with each choice being at a different skill levels, might help empower students to challenge themselves. This would need to administered and assessed in a manor that would not jeopardized a students grade for trying the more difficult option.
I would love to hear all your wonderful ideas and suggestions on this topic. Please share with your peer your successes and failures in trying to differentiate a reading assignment, lesson, project, test or unit.