Saturday, August 1, 2015

Differentiation: Tips and Tricks

Over the last year, my school and team have taught me so much about differentiating. In 5th grade, I so struggled with this and when I differentiated I was moving mountains. But really - I felt like I deserved a gold medal. It was exhausting and overwhelming and rarely happened.
This year my 1st grade team has taught me so much about differentiating and my thinking about DI has shifted. Today on my blog I wanted to share with you what's working in our 1st grade classrooms.

For me, differentiating no longer means creating separate games/activities/learning targets. It doesn't mean that some students do more work or students are being taught different content. It does mean tweaking activities, so they have the just-right scaffolds and pushes for my students. To me - right now - differentiation means...
(1) I know where my students are and respect that they are individual learners.
(2) I begin with the end in mind. I am a master of content in my classroom and know where students need to go.
(3) I trust that I am a professional and can create an environment in which students are able to grow and succeed. I can move my students from where they are to where they need to be (or higher) through intentional decisions in my classroom.
Believing these things, our team has developed structures and organization to help us be intentional in our planning. Today I'm sharing some ideas, resources, and specific examples that have worked in my classroom. Stop by to read more how we make DI work in our classrooms.
Plus, you can snag a FREE differentiated math game for your students!

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