Differentiation in Mathematics
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differentiated_sample.pdf

Rachel Dwyer's insight:

My purpose in creating and curating this topic comes from my own concern and curiosity about the variety and diversity of the learners in my classroom. Curriculum 2.0 has posed as a challenge not only because it is different, but because it challenges the learner, including the teacher, to look at learning differently, and to take on different perspectives and approaches. The students in my class are only experiencing this curriculum this year, and that is it. Therefore, it has been a lot for them to digest and to process. We have been working through it, and have taken our time. Yet I have struggled with how to differentiate instruction and learning so that each and every student can connect to their learning, no matter what level and point that they are at. There has to be a common ground where all students can be instructed, so that everyone is on the same track, but students still need the support and development of their individualy needs.

This particular article paints a picture for the reader as to what differentiation in Mathematics looks like. Our instruction should respond to the strengths and interests of the students, which requires us to look at math in a whole new way.

The article explores differentiation in terms of the multiple intelligences, and then describes and gives examples of what that might look like in math. I had never thought of the intelligences in connection with differentiation in math in this much depth, and it was extremely informative. I am really excited to take these ideas and thoughts into consideration and come up with ways to implement it in the classroom.

I will now observe and categorize my learners based on their intelligences in math. This will help me to better understand the way that they learn and to then use the information from this article to come up with ways to enhance the learning and instruction for these students. They also split up the article into the different sections of math, to give a more focused and in depth look at different options and ideas.

I think that the students will then experience learning that is targeted at the way that they think and learn, and will come a little bit easier for them and serve as something to fall back on as they are grappling with new and challenging content.

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Grade 5: Differentiated Number Talks part 2

via YouTube Capture
Rachel Dwyer's insight:
I am only giving insight on Part 2 because both of these videos go together as one complete activity, but the videos were split up on YouTube. I found the teacher's approach to math groups in these videos to effectively differentiate the learning in the classroom. Each group was taking a look at the same type of problem, but just with different numbers. These students had the opportunity to look at a problem, and each come up with a way that they might approach it or try to solve it based on the contributions and input of the students, they each brought a unique and valuable approach to the experience and task of solving the problem. Each of the students were at a different point in their learning and understanding of Math, yet they were provided with a common ground in which they could each join in and contribute based on their own experience. These particular types of problems were new for the students, and in think that having them explore them with their peers where each student has a responsibility really enhancing their knowledge and experience. In my own classroom, we have not done something like this with the students. I think that they would really benefit from this type of activity and approach. They would need some scaffolding in the beginning as they learn to work with each other and give each person the chance to contribute to and add to the conversation. When it comes to the new content of the curriculum and a different way of analyzing and looking at math, this gives the students the opportunity to collaborate with their peers and to have meaningful discussions and interactions about what they are learning and thinking about. In terms of my own teaching, this will impact the way I think about and plan learning in the classroom for Math. I can now consider adding time for the students to discuss and explore problems on their own, and to have the opportunity to work with different students as they are looking at and learning new information in different ways.
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Active Learning Is Key to Differentiated Instruction

Active Learning Is Key to Differentiated Instruction | Differentiation in Mathematics | Scoop.it
“ When I was a new teacher, I remember looking at my roll sheet and seeing multiple letters after several students' names. I asked colleagues what the abbreviations stood for and soon learned that the”
Rachel Dwyer's insight:
While this resource does not specifically focus on Math, I found it to be extremely insightful. He defines differentiation as: "ensuring that teachers focus on processes and procedures that ensure effective learning for varied individuals." I feel that my classroom is very similar to his own that he refers to. Some of our higher students go to sixth grade math, but we have some who do not and are still at a considerably higher level than the other students. It has been a real struggle finding a balance and a common ground for our students because they are at such different points in their understanding that it has been difficult to target instruction and learning experiences in the classroom to be the most effective and meaningful for all students. I feel that the writer of this particular blog makes some really important points. The grouping of students should be a mixture of random, heterogeneous, and homogeneous. The groups should be cooperative and should allow students to tackle and approach any type of project, problem, or learning. This impacts my teaching in that I plan to apply this to my planning in Mathematics and even in other content areas as I am thinking about the second half of my internship. How can I create groups of students and give them a task, like the open-ended problems, that will allow them to have meaningful and valuable learning experiences that is for all students, and not just a select handful of them. I am really excited to think some more about and actually implement grouping to allow for differentiation. The particular type of differentiation that the author discusses so intrinsic differentiation, where students are given options in terms of choosing their tasks and learning, which allows them to find purpose and relevance in their leaning. This will impact the learning of my students in that they will take responsibility for their learning, and will experience Math in various ways, learning to collaborate and cooperate with their peers to accomplish goals. This learning will cross the limiting factors of level-based grouping and instruction, and can provide a common ground for them to experience learning through their participation in meaningful tasks.
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How Differentiated Instruction and Formative Assessment Work at Forest Lake Elementary

Educators use frequent formative assessments to determine the needs of each student at Forest Lake Elementary School, and then leverage technology to tap into their learning styles.
Rachel Dwyer's insight:

This particular resource shoes a video of a particular school who has effectively differentiated mathematics instruction. They begin by giving several formative assessments in the beginning, before a new unit or content section begins.  These particular assessments employ the latest technology, and allow students to support and discuss their repsponses. These assessment allow the school and the educator to determine where each student is in terms of their skills and their needs. The data from these assessments is then used to create an individual learning strategy that will help them get to the next level.

 

By providing these assessments, then gaining knowledge and understanding from these assessments, and then adjusting and creating instruction and learning to support this data, the students are receiving differentiated instruction that specifically targets the point that they are at in math. They consider their school to be a microcasm of the world, where time is precious and should be specifically targeted at what the students need to know.

In terms of my own teaching, I think that conducting these assessments would allow me to better understand and know my students. Currently in my classroom we conduct formative assessments, mainly in the form of exit cards and graphic organizers. These help us to track with what the student is actually knowing and understanding at differing points in the learning process. I think that I will definitely implement the conducting of these formative assessments to allow students to demonstrate the skills that they have about particular content that we have addressed or have not addressed, so that I know how to best target and address their needs.

For the students, I think that the assessments might seem redundant and boring, but with technology and other creative aspects, even an open-ended problem-solving could be an idea, they would enjoy them and see them as another activity. I do think that it will be more meaningful and valuable for them because what they will be learning and experiencing will be directly tied to and connected with them and where they are at, which is extremely motivating and encouraging. The students definitely like the activotes, where they can submit an answer and then see if they were right or wrong. I am excited to come up with some ways of assessing the students more often as an embedded and integrated part of learning so that I can constantly be determining and analyzing what my next step is.

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Grade 5: Differentiated Number Talks, part 1

via YouTube Capture
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Active Learning Is Key to Differentiated Instruction

Active Learning Is Key to Differentiated Instruction | Differentiation in Mathematics | Scoop.it
When I was a new teacher, I remember looking at my roll sheet and seeing multiple letters after several students' names. I asked colleagues what the abbreviations stood for and soon learned that the
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