For many, a new school year starts soon, and teachers across the country most likely have mixed feelings: sadness that the summer (and the much-needed break) is almost over, excitement about teaching a whole new group of students, and anxiety about how to help each one of those students achieve the year’s learning outcomes. The fact that each student has different needs, different skill sets, and different interests can be overwhelming, and well-meaning teachers often find themselves teaching to the middle because that is the only way they can survive. However, there is a better approach: differentiated instruction. This is hardly a new concept; teachers who taught in a one-room school-house certainly didn’t teach the same thing in the same way to all of the students! Still, differentiating a classroom can be daunting, especially if you try doing it without support. Fortunately, you don’t have to do it alone. This Thursday, August 13, at 9 p.m. EST, educators across the country will share their knowledge about differentiated instruction in this month’s LitLead chat. Whether you are just beginning to experiment with a differentiated classroom or are an expert at it, join us for this practical discussion. Here are some of the questions we will consider:
Q1. How do you build a classroom community that is conducive to DI?
Q2. What resources have you found to be helpful when planning DI lessons?
Q3. What technology have you found to be helpful when implementing DI?
Q4. What classroom management tips regarding DI can you share?
Q5. What are some lessons you learned as you experimented with DI?
Q6. How transparent are you with students when differentiating?
Q7. What problems have you experienced when implementing DI?
Engaging in discussion about these important topics will ease the anxiety of a new school year and help prepare you to reach each of those students who will enter your classroom soon. Hope you can join us!
Janice Schwarze (@jschwarzeteach)
Associate Principal for Curriculum and Instruction
Downers Grove North High School, IL