Association of Teachers of Mathematics in Maine

Chapter 7: Response Choice 1

18 Mar 2019 3:48 PM | Anonymous member

Consider the framework for differentiated instruction discussed in this chapter.


1. Thinking back over the recent units of study you have taught, what forms of differentiation do you use most often?


2. Which forms would your students benefit from your using more often?


3. How can you accomplish this?

Comments

  • 18 Mar 2019 8:01 PM | Anonymous member
    1. In thinking back over the recent units of study I have taught, the forms of differentiation I use most often with my 4th graders are to give some students less problems to solve, giving some students practice for more days if they need extra time, one on one help explaining a concept, giving students access to manipulatives, and pre-teaching vocabulary or basic concepts to some students ahead of time so that they can be a successful learner in the class the day the material is taught.

    2. The forms that benefit my students the most are one on one time and pre-teaching vocabulary or material ahead of time.


    3. I am able to accomplish this by writing Tier plans where I specify what students need the extra support, how much time they need and for how long they will need it. My school has a time called "Enrichment where students can work with a teacher to get this extra support. That is when I would meet with them about what I have written in their Tier plans.
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    • 25 Mar 2019 10:31 AM | Anonymous member
      Julie, in regards to differentiation based on content, process or product, it seems as though you are focusing on process. Allowing students access to manipulative to help aid their learning is certainly one way to emphasize different representations for different groups of students. It seems as though you may also be differentiating by product as well if some students have less problems to solve than others. I am interested in seeing what your tier plans look like for students. It is great that your school has that enrichment time built in to get extra time with students that could use more support. Do you use your Tier plans to determine who needs pre-teaching vocabulary or materials ahead of time?
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      • 27 Mar 2019 4:07 PM | Anonymous member
        Right now we only use our Tier plans to help fill in gaps and bring up test scores. I would love to be able to use that time to pre-teach.
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  • 24 Mar 2019 12:51 PM | Anonymous member
    When I think about differentiation, I think about trying to help differentiate by making connections with each student and having one-on-one conversations about where they are with their thinking and what they are going to try next in solving questions. I focus on differentiation of thinking process as my students need an extension from what they are learning in the classroom related to problem-solving. I feel that I need to allow more experiences for my students where they physically model some math with math tools to develop an appreciation for modeling math. Last class, I had students try to get as close to pi as possible by find the circumference and diameter of circles. They competing with each other as to who could calculate more accurately, and voluntarily did extra circles to get closer to 3.14. I need to come up with more experiences similar to this one that make math real to them.
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    • 25 Mar 2019 10:28 AM | Anonymous member
      Carolyn, in regards to differentiating based on content, process or product, it seems as though you are focusing on process but it also seems like product as well. Do you emphasize different representations for different groups of students that may be at different levels of understanding. I know you mentioned making problems in the classroom more real and more of an experience. Are all students producing the same product?
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  • 25 Mar 2019 11:07 PM | Anonymous member
    1. Thinking back over the recent units of study you have taught, what forms of differentiation do you use most often?

    - The number of students that seem to learn from "direct instruction" on the board varies from class to class (and seems to be low in some classes). One way that I differentiate it to have students come up to my table with questions after direct instruction to ask clarifying questions. Another way is to work my way around the room to observe discrepancies, possible "common mistakes", misunderstandings about relationships, and problems with algebraic solving (which I have seen a lot of lately). I might go to the board (or form a group) to model why certain strategies do not bring the desired result.

    2. Which forms would your students benefit from your using more often?

    - Using model examples with colored pencils to emphasize features in Geometry - a. often helps students process diagrams in the circles unit (identifying the relationships between angles and the arcs of a circle), b. helps students place values in formulas, c. matching the angles and corresponding sides in a triangle, d. marking corresponding sides of similar triangles. It also helps student in Algebra 2 when students rewrite between forms of expressions or equations (radical form to rational form and exponential to logarithmic form).

    - Extra graphing organizers, such have Frayer models, have helped a lot of my students that struggle with vocabulary or formulas.

    3. How can you accomplish this?

    I am always encouraging students to that "less is sometimes more". I promote slow and steady (focus on quality), rather than please complete 20 problems (focus on quantity). Processing speed varies greatly (especially today when students were trying to practice the distance formula) with initial learning demands, so letting students know that they can work at their own pace often gives them an outlet for potential anxiety.

    Giving students extension opportunities, so I can keep working with students that need a little extra time or support. Pairing up the proficient students with the partially proficient students works at times to free me up. Providing resources in the Google classroom also allows students to review or practice independently.

    Surveys (feedback forms) help me get a sense of individual progress. I am also incorporating an interactive progress chart this trimester to align with each units Rubric.

    Pam
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    • 29 Mar 2019 3:31 PM | Anonymous member
      Pamela, in regards to differentiating based on content, process or product, it seems as though you are focusing on process. You are giving students time to think about the direct instruction and then pull students into groups that may need extra support. It also sounds like when it comes to algebra you are allowing them to use different strategies and then you are meeting with them to discuss whether or not their strategy is working. Quality over Quantity is so important for all students. I am curious what you interactive progress charts look like and how they are going in your classroom!
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  • 27 Mar 2019 10:15 AM | Anonymous member
    When it comes to differentiation, I find my fallback in the classroom is often on content. Mainly difficulty of content. If students are struggling with something like factoring the numerator and denominator of a rational expression in order to reduce, it's often because they struggle with the complexity of the polynomials themselves. I like to take a step back in these situations, start with a basic, numerical fraction, and work our way back up to the difficulty they are currently struggling with.

    I have also found that I've changed some of my approaches when it comes to process. When I was first teaching quadratics, for example, I really thought it was crucial for students to understand factoring, completing the square, and the quadratic formula, all for the purpose of finding the zeroes of the quadratic. Now, while these might be important concepts in their own right for advanced students, I realized that the average student who needs an understanding of quadratics doesn't need 3 different ways to do the same thing. So now, I show students three methods, but encourage them to pick one they find comfortability with, and rely most heavily on that. Sure, not every quadratic can be factored, but if a student hates the quadratic formula, and they can consistently complete the square, why bother?
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    • 29 Mar 2019 3:35 PM | Anonymous member
      Colin, it definitely sounds like you know you are focused on content and process when it comes to differentiation. Sometimes taking a step back in content can be so important to make sure students have a clear understanding of the foundational skills needed for the new content. When differentiating based on process it is so great to teach or have students share a variety of strategies to use and have them choose which one works best for them. Is it important to see multiple strategies? Absolutely! Do they need to be able to do all of them all the time? Probably not. I am curious which methods you find the students gravitate towards more.
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