EW: Collection of the Essentials: Differentiated Instruction
Quick note from world-shaker: I’ve had a chance to look through these, and they’re awesome.
A Brief Intro to DI
DI, or differentiated instruction is “my baby”, because it’s what I’ve been living, learning, and breathing for the last 19+ months. The most challenging concept that many, including myself in my early exposure, grapple with is that d.i. isn’t a trend, strategy, or another acronym to throw into your educator’s alphabet soup. It’s a living and breathing “being” that I hope consumes classrooms everywhere.
So what exactly IS differentiated instruction? As I mentioned before, there aren’t any clear cut definitions that will allow you to say, “Oh, okay, I get that now.” Rather, it’s process of putting pieces together, synthesizing them, and producing meaning. Since I can’t exactly regurgitate my entire masters program for you in a blog post as preface to the real goal of my series (i.e., websites), I’m going to give you the 2 minute low down.
D.I. guru, Carol Ann Tomlinson is my top recommendation of field experts to pursue for additional reading material. She provides some of the most clear and easily understandable concepts of d.i. in her book, The Differentiated Classroom: Responding to the Needs of all Learners (1999). She does provide a great mini interview with Education World (who consequently acknowledge this book) that’s worth a look, too! If you’re knee-high in your summer reading already, add this to your list, and digest my reader’s digest definition:
The practice of differentiating instruction has allows teachers to provide an integral classroom foundation, where children can learn . D.I. solicits the practice of monitoring student learning profiles, interest, and ability, which enable the manipulation of each lesson’s content, process, and product.
I’ve also produced a Google collection of DI documents of my own personal work from my program. You are welcome to use or reference these materials with permission and acknoweldgement to the producer.
Onward! Websites!: *Note that the “quantity” of sites isn’t nearly as comparable to the others in the series, you’ll find many more sites in my other homage to G/T (gifted and talented education) later in the series. I’ll explain more about that when the time comes.
- National Center on Accessible Instructional Materials: DI: If your looking for a more thorough (i.e., better) definition of d.i. and it’s implications in the classroom, this article is another great starting point.
- SDE: Differentiated Instruction National Conference: So, if anyone wants to pony up the cash for me to go to this conference, I’d totally be excited to go. Ha. Maybe someday. Anyhow, I posted this link because it provides a great list of presenters, who are “experts” on the topic of d.i., that would be helpful in your own personal research and further exploration of the topic.
- DOE: IDE- Tiered Curriculum Project: Not only is this project phenomenal (can you imagine if we did something similar on Tumblr—hint, hint), but it pays a little homage to our Tumblr teachers in Indiana! Tiered curriculum, or layered curriculum is one of the backbones of d.i.—-“A tiered lesson is a differentiation strategy that addresses a particular standard, key concept, and generalization, but allows several pathways for students to arrive at an understanding of these components, based on the students’ interests, readiness, or learning profiles.” This project is unique in that it is a lesson plan collection organized by (1) learner profile, (2) readiness, and (3) interest, and then by GRADE LEVEL, and then CONTENT. And if you love a good PDF, you’ll appreciate these easy to store lessons to jump start (or revive) your current lessons.
- 21st Century Learning: D.I.: If you’re looking for a crash course to d.i. complete with youTube videos, PowerPoints, and other helpful resources, this is an excellent place to go! (And it’s f-r-e-e-!)
- Reading Rockets: DI: If you caught my mini-content series earlier last month, I’m sure you’re well acquainted with Reading Rockets by now! This link is no exception. Here you’ll find a great collection of articles about d.i.
- Schools Moving Up: DI Collection: A super collection of articles regarding DI and implementing it into their classroom. One of my favorites is from teach-ology, and is a great overview for beginners.
- Montgomery County Public Schools- Management Strategies in DI: Even if you don’t love, love, love the idea of submerging your class into a DI haven, there are still lots of helpful strategies you can take away and implement into your current classroom set-up. This district provides a dozen great strategies to keep students engaged and “mischief managed!” *(Sorry, I can never avoid a good Harry Potter reference).
- DI Strategies for Teachers: This pretty basic site provides access to the “meat and potatoes” of d.i. Without any bells and whistles, this site is a good resource to provide more basic understanding of how to implement the strategies and pillars of d.i.
- West Bloomfield School District: Differentiated Instruction: What I love most about this site is that it a) explains DI, b) provides resources for parents and students, and c) a handy-dandy PowerPoint to share. [Sidebar, haven’t any of these districts heard of the awesomeness that is PREZI?!]
- Key Resources on Differentiation: A pretty basic bibliography of the quality resources that exist on DI. Also broken down into categories.
- Pieces of Instruction: DI: I love that this site really plays on the metaphor of learning functioning as a puzzle, and d.i. providing the pieces [to complete the puzzle]. They cover many of the strategies used in a d.i. class, as well as research topics, and other important components. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this site!
- WV Strategy Bank: A great collection of DI strategies
- Differentiated Instruction: Enhance Learning with Technology: This is another great site with a very comprehensive scope of DI and how it plays out in the classroom. There are tons of resources available and many additional links to explore.
Direct PDF Downloads:
*Note: You WILL NEED ADOBE, or similar PDF reader to enjoy these!*
I found a couple of really awesome PDF guides and strategies for DI for everyone from newbies to experts on d.i. I have not provided extensive descriptions on the pdf, as I hope the titles are informative enough:
- Dan Mulligan’s Strategy Hand Out for Developing Student Learners
- Strategies that Differentiate Instruction (K-4)
- Differentiated Instruction Flow Chart
- DI: What is IS, and What it ISN’T (A similar website provides a little more depth than was the previously linked PDF explores)
TagseducationsubmissionteachingTeam Teachersteamteachersdifferentiated instructionDIteachersteaching ideateaching ideas
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