Differentiating Instruction through Technology
Essential question: How do you make decisions about your own actions for students in a differentiated classroom? What is your criteria for intervention, and/or for letting learning happen?
It has to be safe for students to relax and learn. I can’t let the students get on a nerve due to the tone of my voice, this can set a negative environment which hinders learning. When students are irritated and want to argue, I remind myself to inform the student about their tone and, if needed, I give them a minute to calm down before proceeding with helping them discover their own answer to their question. If I get entangled in their frustration the other students won’t feel safe. I am still working on this behavior. I do notice that when I don’t react and choose to stay calm the student will come back to apologize for their behavior and it is easier for the both of us to forget and move on.
To keep students safe and learning in my classroom I try not to let them feel abandoned. It matters how severe the issue is as to whether I will seek outside help. In one of my classes I have two aides to help with the students that would drown in concepts if they weren’t there to support their learning.
I have learned to put the seating in groups of four so the students can become friends and seek help from each other. An adjustment that I can use here is the freedom of changing seats. The problem is I have a freshman that will disrupt his peers if he isn’t near me. I have six students that need that extra support so they have a specific seat they need to be in. So, two of my classes are locked into their seating assignment due to special support in place.
I have learned to rely on Google Classroom to store my youtube videos for teaching mathematic skills. Students can receive support outside of class hours by going to Google Classroom to watch a video of the concepts taught in class that day.
This week has reminded me to implement Think-Pair-Share for helping students to think about the process and share the process with their neighbor. I need to help the students to express their thoughts so they can cement their learning or allow us to correct errors in their thinking.
I like the “organizer of learning opportunities” (Tomlinson) as a description of my job. It makes it easier to bring in outside sources to help students understand concepts and that I am not their only source of information. One of my sources of teaching/reteaching are my walls. I use pictures with saying to motivate them to work, treat their peers with respect and challenge themselves to always try something new. My greatest outside sources that is making an impact is the youtube videos that give students/parents an opportunity at home to see how to do the concepts in the lesson that day.
I like to hear how other teachers think through this process. I admire those that journal their reflections. I really need to incorporate this in my day. I reflect daily and would get more out of it if it was on paper and I would be able to see patterns or something glaring that wasn’t jumping out at me before.
I enjoyed the mapping program and I did illicit help to posting to my blog page. I knew I had to save it to my desktop and drag it in, but I just need a little assistance. I like the mapping program, bubbl.us, I shared it with my peers at work. They loved the quality of it and plan on using it.
Tominson, C. (2001) how to differentiate instruction in mixed-ability classrooms. Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development. ebrary.