Differentiating/ Worked Examples

Differentiated instruction is taking a lesson and making it accessible to all the students in the classroom.  This in turns making the content understood by all of the students.  There are two types of differentiated instruction: low and high preparation.

Examples of Low-Prep Differentiation
Giving students who already has mastered the concept more challenging problems that take longer to work on instead of 30 questions.  All of my students take an interest survey and grouping students together who have something in common is a goal in my seating arrangement or grouping high ability learners with low ability learners gives the chance of re-teaching in small group format.

Examples of High-Prep Differentiation
In math giving students different objectives or assignments for them to do.  Having a May Do/Will Do board gives the student chances to show what they know in a variety of ways.  Having students create a project instead of a test shows knowledge the same if it is done correctly.  Giving a student to learn the material such as khan academy or other learning sites makes the student accountable for their own knowledge and gives them tools if they get stuck they can go back to a site they found helpful.

Giving students options is the best way of showing knowledge such as: mentors, reading material, graphic organizers, reflections, learning contracts, or modelling.

To get more ideas check out this website: http://differentiatedinstructionlessonplans.com/

Worked Examples
A worked example is exactly what it sounds like, an example problem that is worked out step-by-step.  In math this is the go-to for showing students how particular problems are solved.  Teaching students the step-by-step process is not as fun as having students try different ways then "this is how you get the answer" techniques.  Having students develop their own techniques of solving the problem is crucial for creating a population of thinkers.  

One great way of getting students engaged if they struggle with the thinker model is using faded worksheets. This is where you show a fully worked out example.  Then the next problem is worked out except for the last step.  The next problem is worked out except for the last two steps.  You can “fade” one or more steps at a time (depending on the difficulty of the steps you’re fading or the level of your students) from the END of the problems as students go down the page.  When they have to fill in those missing steps and they don’t know how, they’ll refer to the worked out problems above and ask themselves those questions of “where did that step come from.” This helps the students understand the steps and still creates a learning environment.  Once they get use to the steps they are back on the path to discovery.

For more check out: http://kellymorganscience.com/

How would you apply faded worksheets in to your classroom?  What are examples of differentiation that you do in your classroom now?

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