Thing 16 – Differentiated Instruction and UDL

Filed Under (Things 15-21) by on March 4, 2015

1.  A few of the key elements of differentiating instruction that I use are ongoing, formative assessment, recognition of diverse learners, and group work.

I use ongoing, formative assessment during every lesson. Sometimes I use it more frequently than other times depending on the material. Strategies that I use for this element is my favorite “thumbs up, thumbs down”. This is a quick visual to myself to see who is understanding and who needs some extra help. I also use “exit slips” that contains a question regarding the main idea of the lesson taught. I read these and see who is getting the big picture and who is not. My students recently took a Scantron test for reading and mathematics. I am using differentiated instruction by organizing the scores and data into an excel sheet to access which students need help in the same area of study. This will help guide my instruction and will give me ideas to add into my lesson planning.

Recognition of diverse learners is also an element that I use in my classroom. Before, during, and after my lessons I am always asking questions. I also stop when students are in the middle of an assignment to briefly ask a question to bring them together again regarding the topic learned. This method helps my few students who have trouble reading. It also helps my few students who have a hard time focusing. This strategy of ongoing assessments helps them because of the repetition. The instructions or the main idea will be repeated multiple times through my questioning. I also go to my couple students for one on one. I ask them what they are supposed to do and if they have any questions. Overall, I do recognize my diverse learners in the classroom and try to assist them by any means necessary.

Finally, I use group work in my classroom. I used to enjoy group work when I was an elementary school and now enjoy watching my students work with each other. I use group work in each subject I teach. Sometimes, more group work is done than on other days. I also use a lot of pairing up as well. Sometimes I choose the pairs that I think would benefit from each other to learn the best they can, while other time I let students pick their partner or group.

2. As I read the article from WestEd on Using Flexible Technology to Meet the Needs of Divers Learners: What Teachers Can Do, I discovered new ideas to support a struggling learner in my classroom. One idea is that I enjoyed the KidsClick website. I like this site because you can pick a subject topic and it will search the web for articles and other websites. I also like how it has an advanced search button, so students who are researching a topic to put the reading level in. This allows the web to distinguish what level the students can read at. This is great for differentiating instruction. Another website I liked was Benetech’s BookShare. I like this site because struggling students who are not familiar with certain books will be able to type it into the search engine and find out if the book is at the right grade level for them. Some other ideas I learned is through the best practices recommendations for technology. The article stated that graphic organizers and multimedia presentations with groups allows struggling learners in enhance their learning. Graphic organizers can be very visual with pictures and diagrams. You can also differentiate this by allowing some students to write more information and other to write the main ideas. Multimedia projects allows collaboration and each person can be in charge of areas they can individually handle.

3.  As I visited the Universal Design for Learning: Strategies, Tools, and Resources wiki, I navigated on the left the “Audio Support”.  I have two ESL students and three students who receive RTI. These audio resources can help these students in the support that they need. A tool I looked at were the audio books. I went to the website and was surprised by all of the free recordings of books there was. I looked for a few popular ones and was shocked they had The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. I also liked the link I like this because it is easy to use and very fast. It is also free which is also perfect. Reading this Audio Support, I found that there are many other resources that I had never known about that I could use with my struggling students. Overall, this is a break wiki!

4. Text-to-Audio Conversions are fantastic digital tools. It is a great way for students to see at the same time the print and the voice being said aloud. This would benefit my few students in my classroom who are ESL learners. This tool can be integrated for different things. I could write sentences and have students listen and read. I also could use this tool for new vocabulary words and etc. Here is a screenshot of a sample I did using the YAKiToMe audio conversion!

03-04-2015 5-25-19 PM

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