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Closing the Gap:
Raising Special Education Achievement through DifferentiationAdam Zunic
Something to think aboutWe Learn... 10% of what we Read 20% of what we Hear
30% of what we See50% of what we See and Hear95% of what we Teach Others80% of what we Experience Personally-William Glasser 70% of what we Discuss With Others
Our Goal10% increase in the number of students in our IEP population scoring Proficient or Advanced on PSSA Math
How?Differentiated InstructionUnderstanding by Design - Backwards DesignBlooms Revised Taxonomy and Higher-Order Thinking
Aide in the development of our students intellectual abilities.
Focus on all aspects of human development necessary for mature adult living
Educate and inspire a community of life long learners
Students are academically proficiency and have the ability to succeed in either higher education or productive employment.
Our MissionTo insure that all of our graduates achieve their full potential as persons competent to participate and interact intelligently in the complex and dynamic society of the 21st century.
It FitsHigher-Order ThinkingStudents become problem solvers, not problem do-ers
Backwards DesignAll students will gain the same core set of knowledge and skills, meeting state standards
DifferentiationAll students will be successful!
ResearchCognitive DevelopmentHigher-order thinking engages frontal lobe of the brain.This engagement helps learners make connections between past and new learning, create new pathways, strengthens existing pathways, and increases the likelihood that the new learning will be consolidated and stored for future retrieval. Asking students for explanatory responses to higher-level questions prior to instruction activates prior knowledge and focuses attention, resulting in better learning.
Sousa, David. How the Brain Learns. Chapter 7: Thinking and Learning Skills. p. 245-274.Pressley, M., (1984). Synthesis of research on teacher questioning. Educational Leadership, 42(3), 4046.11122
ResearchTIMMSHigh achieving countries had similaritiesRather than covering many discrete skills, primary aim is to develop conceptual understanding in their students. Emphasize depth vs. superficial coverageEmphasize problem-based learning, in which rules and theorems are derived and explained by the students, thus leading to deeper understandingMartin, M., Mullis, I., Gregory, K., Hoyle, C., Shen, C. (2000). Effective schools in science and mathematics: IEAs Third International Mathematics and Science Study. Boston: International Study Center, Lynch School of Education, Boston College.
Student Performance Data2007-2008 11th Grade Demographics
11th Grade Math PSSA Performance
*percentages are rounded.
General InformationEnrollment399Special Education Population15%
Total Number AssessedPercentage* of Students in each Performance LevelBelow BasicBasicProficientAdvancedAll Students 39912163240IEP594239190
Our ConcernsOnly 21% of our Special Education population scoring proficient or above.
32% drop in the number of IEP students scoring proficient or above between middle and high school.
DI: What is It?A way of teaching in which:
The teacher proactively modifies the curriculum, instructional strategies, and student products Lessons are designed around student readiness, interest, and learning styles
The teacher and students collaborate in learning
Teacher and students work together flexibly
Maximum growth and individual success are the ultimate goal
DI: What is It?Handout #1
Three General Principals of DIRespectful Tasks: Know your Students
Learning Profile: How a student learnsLearning Styles www.howtolearn.com
Readiness: What does the student know already?
Interest: Students affinity, curiosity, or passion for a topic or skill
Flexible Grouping: Options
Three General Principals of DI
Individual, Small group, or Whole Group instructionThree General Principals of DI
Ongoing Assessment and Adjustment
Instruction and assessment are inseparable
Content, process, and product are adjusted based on the needs of the student
Three General Principals of DI
What does DI look like?Video: A Visit to a Differentiated Classroom
Small Group Discussion:What evidence of DI did you see in the video?What questions do you have about DI after watching this video?
Whole Group Discussion:Share your observations and questions
The DI ContinuumWhere are you on the continuum?Place an x on the line where you feel your classroom practices fall.Are your practices more traditional or more differentiated?Handout #2
Blooms Revised TaxonomySix levels of thinking provide a framework for planning units that incorporate low to high-level thinking activitiesWhen used as a planning framework we can plan for student thinking at all levels.
Teach Higher-Order Thinking Skills (HOTS)
BLOOMS REVISED TAXONOMY
CreatingGenerating new ideas, products, or ways of viewing thingsDesigning, constructing, planning, producing, inventing.
EvaluatingJustifying a decision or course of actionChecking, hypothesising, critiquing, experimenting, judging
AnalyzingBreaking information into parts to explore understandings and relationshipsComparing, organising, deconstructing, interrogating, finding
ApplyingUsing information in another familiar situationImplementing, carrying out, using, executing
UnderstandingExplaining ideas or conceptsInterpreting, summarizing, paraphrasing, classifying, explaining
RememberingRecalling informationRecognizing, listing, describing, retrieving, naming, finding
How to use itHigher order thinking occurs at the top three levels of the taxonomy: creating, evaluating, and analyzingWe must teach students how to think, providing opportunities for:Problem-solvingOpen-ended responses
Teaching HOTS Help students understand the thinking processIncite discovery, invention, and creativity Make learning meaningful to the studentEngage students in real life problem solvingEncourage questions and discussion Make cross-curricular connectionsProvide models, graphic organizers
The Top Three LevelsAnalyzing: Breaking information into parts to explore understanding and relationshipsAnalyzing Verbs:ComparingOrganizingDeconstructingAttributingOutliningFindingStructuringIntegrating
The Top Three LevelsEvaluating: Justifying a decision or course of actionEvaluating VerbsCheckingHypothesizingCritiquingExperimentingJudgingTestingDetectingMonitoring
The Top Three LevelsCreating: Generating new products, ideas, ways of thinking, or ways of viewing thingsCreating Verbs:DesigningConstructingPlanningProducingInventingDevisingMaking
Put your HOTS to the testTake a Concept Up the TaxonomySplit your small group into pairsChoose a concept that you teach in classUsing the handout, create a question or activity related to your concept for each level of the taxonomy.Handout #4
Understanding By Design - Backwards DesignBEGIN with the END in mind
What is Backwards Design?An approach to designing curriculum or unit that begins with the end in mind and designs toward that end.
Viewed as backward because many teachers begin their unit with the means - textbooks, favored lessons, and time-honored activities - rather than deriving those from the end - the targeted results, as content standards or understandings. (Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe, Understanding by Design, 2005, page 338)
How to use itIdentify desired resultsGoals, knowledge and skills, essential questions, enduring understanding
Determine acceptable evidenceTests or quizzes, academic prompts, formative assessment, performance tasks, observations or dialogue
Plan learning experiences and instructionBased on desired results and acceptable evidence
Backwards FrameworkThis framework can be used to plan your lessons utilizing backwards designStage 1 Utilize the StandardsStage 2 Products and AssessmentsStage 3 Implement DI
Video: Connecting Differentiated Instruction, Understanding by Design and What Works in Schools: An Exploration of Research-Based StrategiesHandout #5
Culminating ActivityLets put it all togetherYou will need: Handout #2 DI ContinuumHandout #4 Take a Concept up the TaxonomyHandout #5 Backwards Design Framework
Culminating ActivityYour Task:Choose a concept you teach in classCreate a lesson using the Backwards Design FrameworkInclude differentiated instruction strategiesInclude questions/activities related to Blooms Revised Taxonomy
Questions for DiscussionHow can you implement DI in your classroom?Using HOTSUsing Backwards DesignHow can we support you in this process?What resources/support systems will you need to be successful?
ClosureSet a goal. Choose an area from the DI continuum that you rated yourself more traditionalBrainstorm ways to make this are more differentiatedCreate a Plan of Action describing how you will implement this change in your classroomShare this with your principal for informal observations and feedbackSee Handout #6 Look-Fors
Remember:Our goal is to increase the success of our students on the Math PSSAs. Take what you learned today and use it to help our students reach their maximum potential!