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Five Tips for Getting Started With Differentiation in a Secondary ClassroomASCD Inservice

Five Tips for Getting Started With Differentiation in a Secondary ClassroomASCD Inservice | Coaching and educational leadership | Scoop.it
By Jessica Hockett Differentiation in middle and high school doesn’t need to involve designing eight different assignments, orchestrating complex group work, or turning the physical space into a kindergarten room. At its core, differentiation simply moves all students toward and beyond common and important learning goals. Sometimes, students share a route toward those goals. Other times, ongoing assessment compels teachers to plan different routes that vary by readiness, interest, or learning preferences. Teachers have many “entry points” to planning and implementing lessons and tasks that anticipate and respond to students’ needs. Here are five: Experiment with various groupings. Differentiation refers to adjustments that teachers make in response to student performance—not the way students are grouped, per se. In a differentiated classroom, students work in a variety of configurations—from whole-group to individual to pairs to other small groups—for different reasons. Before giving students customized assignments that are aligned with the same goals, get them used to collaborating with others—even if it’s only for a few minutes to discuss a question or two. Consider having not one seating chart, but rather various seating arrangements that differ by your purpose for the day (e.g., a small-group discussion seating chart, a Socratic seminar seating chart). Another quick strategy is to have students quickly line up according to a preference (say, how much they like hot dogs, with haters at one end and lovers at the other) or characteristic (birth month and day). Put students into groups of your desired size, or “fold” the line and group students from there. Various groupings, from more random to more purposeful, build classroom community and set the stage for targeted differentiation. Tweak an existing task or question. Many teachers are understandably wary of differentiation because they believe it involves creating a laundry list of options. In truth, some of the best (and most efficient) differentiation strategies simply “tweak” or adjust aspects of an assignment to create versions that certain students find more accessible, more advanced, or more interesting. This adjustment might involve varying the problem, challenge, or situation at the heart of the task; the product that students generate from the task; or the topic that students explore to make sense of a bigger concept. Pre-assess. Pre-assessment finds out “where” students’ abilities lie relative to your goals for a unit before that unit begins. You aren’t looking for ways to differentiate as much as you are gaining a general sense of how students approach the content. Pre-assessments can be efficient and powerful, as long as you design them to gauge conceptual understanding and not just facts and skills. A simple science example follows: Imagine that you are designing an experiment to test [the effect of certain variables on plant growth]. Write a question that could guide your experiment. Create a chart to show three variables that you could test, how you could test them, and why you would test them. In this experiment you’ve designed, which variables are independent? Which variables are dependent? How do you know? Such prompts can help the teacher spot significant misconceptions and skill gaps, as well as identify advanced thinking. The first few times you give a pre-assessment, focus less on discerning specific patterns among responses and more on how your findings might inform your general planning of all lessons in the unit. For additional guidance in designing useful pre-assessments, see Hockett and Doubet’s (2012/2013) Educational Leadership article “Turning on the Lights: What Pre-Assessments Can Do.” Check if they’re getting it. Like pre-assessment, this classroom-level formative assessment doesn’t need to be complicated. Many teachers use exit slips to pose several questions at the end of a lesson to gauge individual student understanding.  For example, after a lab, a science teacher might ask: What was the independent variable in today’s experiment? How do you know? What was the dependent variable in today’s experiment? How do you know? What did you find out about the relationship between the independent and dependent variable? Build on a familiar strategy. Differentiation is not a set of strategies; rather, it provides a way to think about teaching and learning. This is good news, because secondary teachers can use many strategies—such as RAFT and Jigsaw—as vehicles for differentiation by keeping a few key principles in mind. No matter what, teachers should align all differentiated tasks with the same learning goals and with one another. If you feel like you need different rubrics or sets of criteria to evaluate each task, for example, there’s a good chance that your lesson plan is simply different, but not differentiated. All tasks should be engaging, appealing, require high levels of thought, and equal in terms of workload and time for completion. Because secondary teachers often teach 100+ students a day with multiple preps, you may want to focus initial differentiation efforts—including the entry points listed above—on one class period or course. As the process becomes more familiar, you can begin incorporating it into additional classes. Ultimately, any middle or high school teacher should focus less on “doing differentiation” and more on building their skills in planning learning experiences—differentiated and otherwise—that help students meet or progress beyond goals and standards. More information on differentiated instruction.
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YouTube will fight fake news by offering workshops to teens

YouTube will fight fake news by offering workshops to teens | Coaching and educational leadership | Scoop.it
Google is already flagging fake news, but it knows that isn't always enough. People need to recognize what fake news is, too. To that end, its YouTube win
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#1: The 7 questions every new teacher should be able to answer

#1: The 7 questions every new teacher should be able to answer | Coaching and educational leadership | Scoop.it
Teaching for the 21st century looks a lot different. Here's what admins -- and teachers -- need to know for job interviews and beyond
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What Does a 'Modern Classroom' Look Like—and What Should Educators Leave Behind? (EdSurge News)

What Does a 'Modern Classroom' Look Like—and What Should Educators Leave Behind? (EdSurge News) | Coaching and educational leadership | Scoop.it

Want to hear the full panel? Check out the latest episode of the EdSurge On Air podcast here.The classroom. Since the 1950s, the setup of your average second, sixth or tenth grade classroom hasn’t changed all that much. Desks lined up, students facing forward, teacher up at the front giving a lect
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Four Things Schools Can Do to Keep Teachers Happy

Four Things Schools Can Do to Keep Teachers Happy | Coaching and educational leadership | Scoop.it
A new study shows teachers need a collaborative and supportive workplace to succeed.

Via Bonnie Bracey Sutton, Yashy Tohsaku, Les Howard
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Two Gratitude Practices for Building Trust Among School Staff | Huffington Post

Two Gratitude Practices for Building Trust Among School Staff | Huffington Post | Coaching and educational leadership | Scoop.it
According to research, trust between staff members is key to cultivating a positive school climate. And yet, because of the complexity of huma
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Nudges That Help Struggling Students Succeed

Nudges That Help Struggling Students Succeed | Coaching and educational leadership | Scoop.it
Small interventions can help underperforming students thrive in the classroom and even rethink their place in the world.
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16 skills students need to learn today to thrive tomorrow

16 skills students need to learn today to thrive tomorrow | Coaching and educational leadership | Scoop.it
The gap between the skills people learn and the skills people need is becoming more obvious, as traditional learning falls short of equipping students with the knowledge they need to thrive, according to the World Economic Forum report New Vision for Education: Fostering Social and Emotional Learning Through Technology.

Today's job candidates must be able to collaborate, communicate and solve problems – skills developed mainly through social and emotional learning (SEL). Combined with traditional skills, this social and emotional proficiency will equip students to succeed in the evolving digital economy.

Via John Evans
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Norton Gusky's curator insight, October 18, 2016 2:33 PM
Great global perspective on Essential Skills for ALL Learners
Ruth Reynolds's curator insight, October 18, 2016 11:44 PM
Nothing new here but good to reinforce this
J A Jones's curator insight, October 20, 2016 8:08 AM
These "soft skills" will provide students for a changing workplace.  
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A powerful Professional Learning Animation AITSL

“ Long version - Professional Learning Animation AITSL”
Via Derrick Senior, Simon Grubb
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Transformational Leadership

Transformational Leadership | Coaching and educational leadership | Scoop.it
With each member of a team being an individual, the ability to possess a transformational style to suit is an extremely important asset. What we receive as output, is always reflective of the input. Honing skills to manage teams through flexibility is what Stormley Consulting understand. Contact us at www.stormleyconsulting.com

Via Dr. Susan Bainbridge
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Ante Lauc's curator insight, August 9, 2016 2:12 AM
It seems autopoietic 
Shanel Jones's curator insight, August 9, 2016 11:27 AM

A reminder of how transformation works. I have learned to begin with S2 and adjust as needed.

Milena Bobeva's curator insight, August 12, 2016 3:32 AM
A memorable illustration of the dimensions of transformational leadership.
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5 Benefits of Digital Reading Devices for Boys

5 Benefits of Digital Reading Devices for Boys | Coaching and educational leadership | Scoop.it
Boys love anything with a screen! What’s on the screen engages them, rewards them and keeps them coming back for more. Screens = pleasure. What boys don’t love, especially 9- to 14-year-old boys, is reading and …

Via Dr. Susan Bainbridge
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Step 2 - Designing a Case for Action Narrative - Intuyu Consulting

Step 2 - Designing a Case for Action Narrative - Intuyu Consulting | Coaching and educational leadership | Scoop.it
Unless the teachers and middle leaders are connected to WHY change is occurring then the change is not likely to occur with any depth or sustainability. This is why developing a Case for Action is an important element for effective middle leadership
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Differentiation: The Magic Tool of Teaching

Differentiation: The Magic Tool of Teaching | Coaching and educational leadership | Scoop.it
I would like to take this opportunity now to explain some of the best “instructional methods” I have used to enable effective differentiation to take place.

Via Mel Riddile
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Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's curator insight, June 26, 1:00 PM
Differentiating learning is an essential aspect of good teaching. Having students sit at grade level tables enabled this. They shared, talked, and questioned. There was a barter system of sorts. The artist helped others with art work and was repaid with help in other subjects. "Differences make a difference."
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'Visible Learning for Literacy'

'Visible Learning for Literacy' | Coaching and educational leadership | Scoop.it
Nancy Frey and Doug Fisher agreed to answer a few questions about the new book they co-authored with John Hattie, Visible Learning for Literacy, Grades K-12: Implementing the Practices That Work Best to Accelerate Student Learning.

Between the two of them, Nancy Frey and Doug Fisher have led more than 1,000 in-services and written 40 professional books and programs across K-12, affording them unmatched expertise. Both are Professors of Educational Leadership at San Diego State University and work as administrators at Health Sciences High & Middle College.

Via Mel Riddile
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#8: 10 TED-Ed videos your students can use today

#8: 10 TED-Ed videos your students can use today | Coaching and educational leadership | Scoop.it
TED-Ed videos offer a vast array of resources for teachers and students, and teachers also can create their own lessons.
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The Five-by-Five Approach to Differentiation Success

Katie Hull-Sypnieski and Larry Ferlazzo offer stage-setting strategies and daily actions to help teachers effectively differentiate instruction in their classrooms.
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4 tips for making high-stakes leadership decisions | SmartBrief

4 tips for making high-stakes leadership decisions | SmartBrief | Coaching and educational leadership | Scoop.it
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Schools say bye to shop class, hello to maker space

Schools say bye to shop class, hello to maker space | Coaching and educational leadership | Scoop.it
Think about dreaming, like building stilts.

Think about designing, like collaborating in a flexible space from funky-colored chairs on wheels.

Think about testing, like crafting conductivity testers needed for your classmates.

Think about making, like programming and assembling a security card system for the space.

Above all, think.

Schools now are thinking a lot about maker spaces, and the term can mean many things, as shown in the examples above, from Brandywine High, St. Elizabeth, Newark High and Tatnall schools, respectively.

Via John Evans
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Bonnie Bracey Sutton's curator insight, November 11, 2016 10:30 AM
Shop and home economics were the first maker spaces.
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How to Use Social Media to Strengthen Student Writing

How to Use Social Media to Strengthen Student Writing | Coaching and educational leadership | Scoop.it
We share evidence and practitioner-based learning strategies that empower you to improve K-12 education.
Via Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.
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Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s curator insight, November 1, 2016 7:36 AM

Note the key word in the title is "strengthen." Students still require other writing experiences and strategies, but social media is a good resource for helping students understand how their voices are heard by those who don't know them.

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10 Essential Characteristics of a 21st Century Educator

10 Essential Characteristics of a 21st Century Educator | Coaching and educational leadership | Scoop.it
This is a first draft and I am trying to learn through reflection.  Would love your thoughts on the ideas below. People have come to loathe the term “21st Century Education”, or “…

Via Felix Jacomino
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John Zuluaga's curator insight, April 23, 1:56 PM
Innovation is not only related to technology and the use of it, but also with the professional skills and how we take advantage of them. The fact of becoming a 21st century teacher is pretty challenging but not difficult. Mixing professional skills and tools that we have in this trendy century can bring amazing results in education. 
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Strategies to Help Students ‘Go Deep’ When Reading Digitally

Teachers are finding that when they explicitly teach deep reading strategies geared to digital media, students can access and comprehend complex texts.
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44 QR Codes Resources For Teaching & Learning

44 QR Codes Resources For Teaching & Learning | Coaching and educational leadership | Scoop.it
While the potential is great, in short a QR Code is a physical link that can be scanned by smartphones or tablets in mobile learning circumstances. The following list from listly user Marianna Talei offers a huge variety of QR resources, from QR code generators to attaching images and hosting QR code treasure hunts.

Via John Evans
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How to Become and Remain a Transformational Teacher

How to Become and Remain a Transformational Teacher | Coaching and educational leadership | Scoop.it
Transformational teachers share best practices, build mentoring relationships, observe their peers, keep things fresh, model their subject's usefulness, and demonstrate caring beyond what they teach.

Via Nik Peachey
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Viljenka Savli (http://www2.arnes.si/~sopvsavl/)'s curator insight, August 3, 2016 3:33 AM
another enough ideas and sharing about this topic :)
Dr. Doris Molero's curator insight, August 7, 2016 9:36 AM
Interesting and useful advice for better teachers.
Victor Ventura's curator insight, August 11, 2016 10:16 AM
Teachers, in their never ending journey, must commit to continuous professional development. The suggested practices, in this article, can serve as a guide for the dedicated professional to use in their collaborative learning community.
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New Tech in Tennessee That Could Supercharge Education

New Tech in Tennessee That Could Supercharge Education | Coaching and educational leadership | Scoop.it
The technologies of tomorrow are making headway into Tennessee classrooms as one of the largest Digital Resources Library was announced today i
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