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.

One Thought to “Differentiation”

  1. If I had to point to one thing that I have done that has helped to reach more students and get them involved at a greater level it would be the online current event articles that the students can read and post comments on.

    My government classes are required to keep up with current event articles, with a short quiz on Thursday/Friday each week. The quiz is a simple pass/fail grade with each weeks quiz increasing in value. If the students can not pass the quiz, therefore receiving a zero, they can read the online articles and post comments to get the points back. If they do pass the quiz the comments will still receive points and will act as extra credit or give them a bit of a grade buffer for the next quiz.

    I have been doing this for the past seven years and the on constant pattern I have seen every year is the girls in my class use this more than the boys. Of the top 15 commenters 10 – 12 of them will be girls. This has given students in my class a venue to speak up and be heard with out being judged. This is accomplished by creating a unique user account of each student. This will give the student a display name that only they and I would know who is commenting. My top commentator this semester is a young lady who never talks in class but already has over 120 comments this semester.

    If you would like help on crating a blog for your class let me know and I will help you set one up.

    Michael

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