Final Thoughts and Completed Mind Mapping Activity

There is an abundance of information available about differentiated instruction but I have come to conclude that the basis on which this type of instruction is situated is that all learners have varied experiences, abilities, interests, and culture. So it is not surprising that students in any class will have different levels of readiness to learn. One of the first things to do before any instruction is to try and simply get to know the students. Take time to observe them and talk to them; find out what interests them.  Teachers must be able to communicate effectively with their students and knowing the students personally will make this much easier. Tomlinson (2001) stated that it is the responsibility of the teacher to create a learning environment in which students will feel accepted, secure and respected. When students feel comfortable in this way, they may be more likely to ask questions or request help when they feel it is necessary.

It was interesting to learn about differentiated instruction for readiness, interest and learning style and how each of these can be used to differentiate the content, process and product of learning (Tomlinson, 2001). I feel more confident about addressing different cognitive levels of thinking relative to how students demonstrate their understanding.   Grey and Waggoner (2002), demonstrated how to use Bloom’s Taxonomy and Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligence Theory to strategize ways in which students can demonstrate their knowledge and understanding. The table they presented in that article is a great tool. The 4MAT process of learning will also be very helpful for planning instruction (McCarthy, 2010).  Coming to the end of this class I feel equipped to begin differentiating instruction with purpose!

Here is my completed mind map for differentiated instruction.

DI - Mind Map

Reference

Grey, K. C., & Waggoner, J. E. (2002). Multiple intelligences meet bloom’s taxonomy. Kappa Delta Pi Record, 38(4), 184-187.

McCarthy, B. (2010, April 6). Delivering information: Step four of the 4MAT cycle. Retrieved September 23, 2015 from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pNofKVgSDbM

Tomlinson, C. A. (2001). How to differentiate instruction in mixed-ability classrooms. Alexandria, Va: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development

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One thought on “Final Thoughts and Completed Mind Mapping Activity

  1. Hi Tania,

    My first response to your final mind map is how detailed it is. You took a lot of care to layout what was taught during the eight weeks of differentiated instructing. I found they way you presented the content, process and product was clear to any reader. You provided both definitions and examples of what it meant to differentiate content, process and product. The sublevels you placed under readiness were also clear and concise: flexible, culture, pace, pre-assess, and styles of thinking. Readiness does encompass more than just preparedness. A student’s readiness can be enhanced or hindered by culture, the pace of the teaching, the pre-assessments, and the students’ styles of thinking and processing information. Under the category of interest you listed choice. When a student can make a choice in their learning they gives them interest to learn, that leads to personal motivation.
    You addressed the issue of students’ comfort level. That is something we as teachers can and should control. The challenge we face as human beings sometimes is that our emotions try to take over. I have seen that with some teachers and the results of the brokenness of the students under that teacher. We, as teachers, need to always place our students first and as you stated set up a safe and motivating environment so they can grow. I use the analogy of a plant. When we care for it a plant it brings forth blossoms. The same applies to our students; when we nurture them, differentiate our lessons to enable them to do their best they too will “bloom”.

    Elizabeth

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