Posts Tagged "differentiation"

Selecting Materials to Support Differentiated Instruction

As this school year resumes, teachers are going to need to differentiate and accelerate instruction to ensure that students are ready for their new grade level’s content. Whether you are selecting from your district/campus’ existing materials or purchasing new materials, we offer the following questions to help you identify materials that will support teachers in differentiating instruction to meet the needs of their students.

(1) Do the resources offer differentiated planning support for teachers?
Teachers need resources that will help them differentiate instruction to meet their students’ varied learning needs while simultaneously implementing the district curriculum. Here are three features to look for in teacher materials to support teachers in planning differentiated instruction.

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New Product Review: Carnegie Learning’s Integrated Math

Carnegie Learning High School Math Solutions: Integrated Math (I-III)Learning List has reviewed Carnegie Learning’s Integrated Math Series. This is a set of comprehensive integrated mathematics products for high school students in Integrated Math I-III courses. Content is available in print and blended learning (i.e., print and digital) formats.  The program focuses on developing conceptual understanding and procedural fluency through collaborative learning experiences. Adaptive online resources support differentiated instruction and self-paced learning. [Read more…]

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The Importance of Developing Teachers: Part One Using Instructional Materials to Support Teacher Growth

The new report Leadership Perspectives on Public Education: The Gallup 2017 Survey of K-12 School District Superintendents identifies the key challenges that school leaders believe are facing public education today.  Not surprisingly, superintendents say that quality teachers who can engage students and build excitement about learning are the most critical element in improving student outcomes. However, surveyed superintendents underscored the difficulty of finding talented teachers. The report’s conclusion explains:

Superintendents believe having teachers who create excitement about the future is, more than any other proposed strategy or initiative, extremely important for preparing students for success later in life. But finding enough quality teachers is a difficult task, and superintendents are much less likely to see their district as effective in recruiting new teachers as effective in selecting, developing or retaining them. A majority also see the quantity of new teacher candidates decreasing, and more view the quality of those candidates as decreasing rather than increasing (p. 31). [Read more…]

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Meeting Students’ Learning Needs: Alignment Information Supports Selection of Materials for Differentiation

Using Materials Effectively to Differentiate InstructionHave you ever been frustrated when attempting to plan differentiated lessons? Though “differentiation” is a rather simple concept, it is complex to implement successfully.

Most teachers understand that any resource used to differentiate instruction must have the requisite adaptions for the students being taught. For example, materials being used to teach ELLs should have multi-lingual glossaries, linguistic accommodations, and culturally relevant examples and activities to engage ELL students. Materials being used to engage Gifted and Talented students would have extension/ enrichment activities, higher-level questions, and options for inquiry-based learning.  And, for RtI, the materials should have options for each tier of intervention. [Read more…]

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WARNING – Poor Instructional Decisions Cause Failure

This is the time of the year when all hands are on deck to help struggling students achieve. We, as educators, have a tendency during the crunch time before state testing to work harder and faster but not always smarter. Due to this sense of urgency, teachers often give students stacks of worksheets designed in the same format as the state tests, thinking that more practice is better.  Computer labs are booked solid with students needing additional help on specific skills.  When instructional technologists ask the teachers what the students need to work on in the lab, the answer many times is, “Just pick whatever lesson you can on that particular skill.”  Now, what is wrong with this scenario?

One reason that many struggling students are not more successful each year is that the provided instruction is not aligned closely with the academic standards.  If the practice worksheets or online lessons that the teacher assigns do not address standards completely, the student may not be learning a skill or concept or may be learning it wrong repeatedly. That type of damage is difficult to rectify.

When a classroom teacher or instructional technologist arbitrarily assigns a lesson without first reviewing it, students may not achieve the intended learning outcome.  Not all instructional materials are aligned closely to the standards, so it is very important to check the alignment first.

Learning List’s alignment reports are designed to save teachers time and effort in this process.  Each report lists multiple citations (e.g., lessons, activities, pages) that our subject matter experts have reviewed for alignment to the content, context, and cognitive demand of each standard (or breakout in Texas). If a district purchases a product Learning List has reviewed, teachers can assign the reviewed citations with confidence that they are providing their students with instructional materials that are aligned to the standards.

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