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Teaching to Students of Different Learning Abilities

Teachers in today’s classrooms orchestrate instruction for students of various learning styles and ability levels. They make decisions based upon their knowledge of and experiences with the students, while incorporating theory and pedagogy as well as being cognizant of local, state and national policies and procedures.

In this course, students will read, reflect and respond to information that is relevant to teaching in a mixed ability classroom. Students will design, prepare, analyze and reflect upon their instruction and upon their pupils’ responses to instruction. Participants will focus on understanding approaches for differentiating instruction in the classroom. Participants will: discuss the principles of Differentiated Instruction and how they apply to each individual student, learn effective strategies for managing flexible groups, and acquire ideas for providing students with a variety of options.

Learning Outcomes:

The student will be able to:

Design lessons and materials based on differentiated instruction theory and strategies

Examine his/her individual philosophy of education and incorporate principles of differentiated instruction

Interpret state mandates, requirements and/or standards to develop lesson plans in accordance with these rules and regulations

Prepare appropriate, differentiated assessments that correspond with explicit content areas and learning goals at various stages of instruction

Analyze student learning needs to apply differentiated instruction methods when preparing lessons for Gifted and Talented students, English Language Learners, Bi-lingual students and Special Education students

Describe major theories of learning that are relevant to the content of one’s lesson plans and the selection of classroom materials

Online Learning with Full Instructor Facilitation

Our institution maintains an online platform that automatically grades student pre- and post-assessments, monitors their participation in the lecture, and awards them credit when they post in the discussion area. Instructors will monitor the progress and quality of work the students provide, including the threaded discussions, and will provide feedback and evaluate the midterm and final projects.

Weekly Online Lecture Assignments:

Week 1

Text Reading: Read

Hall, T., Strangman, N., & Meyer, A. (2003). Differentiated instruction and implications for UDL implementation. Wakefield, MA: National Center on Accessing the General Curriculum. Retrieved [insert date] from http://www.cast.org/publications/ncac/ncac_diffinstructudl.html

Answer Questions (Open Ended)

Briefly state your philosophy of education. How is it reflected in your lesson planning and teaching? Now consider the Hall, Strangman and Meyer article. How can you incorporate that information into your philosophy of education?

Watch Video Clips

Clip 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3lzzZbPN-8s&playnext_from=TL&videos=QNXm4P0EbsM Differentiated Instruction: Some Ideas for the Classroom

Clip 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nkK1bT8ls0M&playnext_from=TL&videos=QNXm4P0EbsM

Assignment: Create a Think-Tac-Toe (T-T-T) lesson for use in your classroom. Provide a rationale for the educational choices you made in the design of your T-T-T.

Discussion Board: Students must submit one unique comment each week in regards to each of the assigned text reading and reply to a fellow student’s comments at least twice each week. The comments should relate to the material the text reading discusses. Each comment should be at least three sentences in length. The week ends Sunday at 9:00 p.m.

Week 2

Text Reading: Read

http://www.mcrel.org/PDF/Standards/5982TG_ModelsStandardsImplementation.pdf read pages 1-8 of this article

Title: National Education Standards: Getting beneath the Surface. Policy Information Perspective, Author(s):Barton, Paul, http://www.ets.org

Parrish, P., & Stodden, R. (2009). Aligning Assessment and Instruction with State Standards for Children with Significant Disabilities. TEACHING Exceptional Children, 41(4), 46-56. Retrieved from ERIC database.

Answer Questions (Open Ended): What did you learn about your state’s mandates, requirements and/or standards and how will this information drive your lesson planning and instruction?

Watch Video Clips

Clip 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HAMLOnSNwzA Dalton Sherman makes a keynote speech about educating students

Assignment: Locate your state’s department of education website to review the mandates, requirements and/or standards for addressing the needs of special education students, English Language Learners, bilingual students, and gifted and talented pupils within a general education setting. Why should this drive your instruction or why not? How does what Dalton speaks about in Texas apply to your students and your teaching situation?

Discussion Board: Students must submit one unique comment each week in regards to each of the assigned text reading and reply to a fellow student’s comments at least twice each week. The comments should relate to the material the text reading discusses. Each comment should be at least three sentences in length. The week ends Sunday at 9:00 p.m.

Week 3

Text Reading: Read http://www.nsdc.org/news/jsd/stiggins202.cfm An Interview with Rick Stiggins, by Dennis Sparks, Journal of Staff Development, Spring 1999 (Vol. 20, No. 2)

http://www.readingrockets.org/article/6016 Assessing Learning and Evaluating Progress By: Ann Bauer and Glenda Myree Brown (2001)

Answer Questions (Open Ended)

What is the relationship between pre assessment, ongoing assessment and post assessment?

Watch Video Clips

Clip 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=njeK8BGqJq0&feature=player_embedded

Clip 2: Office Chat with Sharon Russell Fowler regarding assessment in a mixed ability classroom

Assignment: Choose a learning goal. Design three assessments, one for pre-assessment, one for ongoing assessment, and one for post- assessment of mastery of the goal.

Discussion Board: Students must submit one unique comment each week in regards to each of the assigned text reading and reply to a fellow student’s comments at least twice each week. The comments should relate to the material the text reading discusses. Each comment should be at least three sentences in length. The week ends Sunday at 9:00 p.m.

Midterm Project Due

Week 4

Text Reading: Read about Gifted and Talented and ELL Differentiation

http://www.nagc.org/index.aspx?id=660

Teaching Gifted Kids in the Regular Classroom, Susan Winebrenner, Brooklyn, MI

http://www.carolyncoil.com/ezine21.htm What is Curriculum Compacting by Carolyn Coil, Ed.D

http://www.nagc.org/index.aspx?id=387

NAGC Position Statement: Differentiation of Curriculum and Instruction

Watch Video Clips

Clip 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ITZxENq3C

Clip 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MDJst-y_ptI

Assignment:

You have decided to use the Curriculum Compacting strategy in your classroom in order to meet the needs of your most able learners. Create a plan that identifies the topic to be compacted, the assessment and identification of targeted students and the alternate activities offered on the topic. Include a rationale that supports your decision to Curriculum Compact and how you will effectively infuse it into your classroom.

Discussion Board: Students must submit one unique comment each week in regards to each of the assigned text reading and reply to a fellow student’s comments at least twice each week. The comments should relate to the material the text reading discusses. Each comment should be at least three sentences in length. The week ends Sunday at 9:00 p.m.

Week 5

Text Reading: Read 1

Read about Special Education differentiation

http://web.ebscohost.com/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=14&hid=108&sid=10da0a0a-a285-47c0-8bcb-68e34677c7b7%40sessionmgr111

Lawrence-Brown, D. (2004). Differentiated Instruction: Inclusive Strategies for Standards-Based Learning that Benefit the Whole Class. American Secondary Education, 32(3), 34-63. Retrieved from ERIC database.

Text Reading: Read 2

http://www.k8accesscenter.org/training_resources/differentiationmodule.asp - Select the Differentiation Strategies Chart

Watch Video Clips

Clip 1:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6P-XVPFXL4I&playnext_from=TL&videos=DWLwem2TgZQ

Answer Questions (Open Ended)

Goldilocks and the Three Bears can be used as a metaphor for guiding differentiated instruction. If instruction is too simple, students become bored. If instruction is too difficult, students become frustrated. How do you determine what materials and instructional methods are “just right” for each student in an inclusive classroom?

Assignment: http://www.k8accesscenter.org/training_resources/differentiationmodule.asp - Select Differentiation Scenario – Using the strategies described and insight gained while reviewing the Differentiation Strategies Chart complete the task described on the Differentiation Scenario page.

Discussion Board: Students must submit one unique comment each week in regards to each of the assigned text reading and reply to a fellow student’s comments at least twice each week. The comments should relate to the material the text reading discusses. Each comment should be at least three sentences in length. The week ends Sunday at 9:00 p.m.

Week 6

Text Reading: Read about Maslow, Dunn and Dunn, and Rimm:

Read 1

http://psychclassics.yorku.ca/Maslow/motivation.htm A Theory of Human Motivation H. Maslow (1943), Originally Published in Psychological Review, 50, 370-396.

Read 2

http://wps.prenhall.com/wps/media/objects/863/884633/Volume_medialib/dunn.pdf Dunn and Dunn

Read 3

http://www.sylviarimm.com/parentingarticles.html

Read Rimm’s Laws and select one article from the Parenting Articles tab to read

Watch Video Clips

Clip 1: http://teachertube.com/viewVideo.php?video_id=72041&title=Understanding_the_Basic_Needs_of_Children__

Answer Questions (Open Ended)

After watching the video, describe the courage you needed to muster to become an educator? Think of one of your students and draw his/her circle of courage or circle of fear. List at least 2 factors in each quarter of the circle to support your selection of elements.

Assignment:

Create a three circle Venn Diagram in which you compare and contrast the Hierarchy of Needs, Dunn and Dunn’s Learning Styles, and Rimm’s Laws.

Then select two points from each article that you recognize as being present or absent from your classroom. Cite evidence from your classes to support your ah-ha moment.

Discussion Board: Students must submit one unique comment each week in regards to each of the assigned text reading and reply to a fellow student’s comments at least twice each week. The comments should relate to the material the text reading discusses. Each comment should be at least three sentences in length. The week ends Sunday at 9:00 p.m.

Final Project Due

Discussion Board:

Students must submit one unique comment each week in regards to each of the assigned text reading and reply to a fellow student’s comments at least twice each week. The comments should relate to the material the text reading discusses. Each comment should be at least three sentences in length. The week ends Sunday at 9:00 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time

If a student works ahead during the six week course they should still post every week for the automatic scoring software to count the postings.

Students are reminded to check the announcement section of the discussion board frequently for items of interest from the faculty.

Students are also reminded to use the email, not the discussion board, to ask questions or make comments directed to their facilitator.

Methods of instruction: Percentage of Course Credit

Video Lectures 20%

Textbook/Articles Readings 10%

Midterm project 25%

Final project 30%

Discussion Board interaction (weekly submissions) 10%

Participation 5%

Grading criteria/system and evaluation activities:

A faculty member will be reviewing students’ answers and providing feedback. Students will be evaluated on their creativity and ability to incorporate techniques from the lecture into the discussion board, research papers, examples, lesson plans and teacher work samples.

University Grading Criteria

Grade Equivalent

97-100% A+

93-96% A

90-92% A-

87-89% B+

83-86% B

80-82% B-

77-79% C+

73-76% C

70-72% C-

69% or below U

Attendance/Participation

It is expected that students will attend all instructional sessions, complete all required activities, and field assignments.

Students who do not post in the discussion area during the first week of class AND do not notify the instructor in advance will be dropped from the course and may be charged a course drop fee.

University Computer Lab/Library Services

Please refer to Section VI in the Student Handbook.

Disability Services

Please refer to Section VII in the Student Handbook.

Due dates of major assignments and projects:

Midterm Project Due Date: TBA

Final Project Due Date: TBA

Midterm Project 1:

Lesson Plan Activity

Using the strategies, concepts and rubrics presented in the course, design a lesson to be taught in an elementary, secondary, or high school classroom. The lesson plan should include the following:

Lesson Objectives

Correlation with the most recently adopted version of your state’s content standards

Prior Knowledge/ Understandings of Students:

Explicitly note the differentiated instruction based upon the varying population in your classroom.

Clearly state the basis of your differentiated approach i.e. ability, interests, language acquisition, reading levels, learning styles (or other)

Activities:

Explicitly note in the lesson plan how the activities connect to the approach you used to customize instruction

Materials and Equipment (including technology)

Assessment Method (for example, Rubric, Checklist, Anecdotal Notes, etc.)

Prior to teaching the lesson, write a reflective statement that focuses on your lesson planning. You may choose to audio or video tape the lesson to assist you in your post teaching lesson analysis. Also, using the Peer Review Checklist template, select criteria to guide a colleague in analyzing your lesson plan.

After teaching the lesson, write a reflective statement on your strengths, weaknesses and how you might modify the lesson plan to maximize student success the next time you teach it. An audiotape, if available, of the lesson should be made to assist you in your self-analysis.

Using the Self-Peer Review checklist, have a colleague review your lesson plan and provide you with written feedback. You are also to complete the checklist. Discuss the feedback with the peer reviewer. Compare your self-analysis of your strengths and weaknesses with those of the peer reviewer and include your reactions to this comparison in your final reflective statements.

Submit a copy of your lesson plan, your reflective statements, the Self-Peer completed checklist, and the comparison of the self analysis to the peer review, to the course instructor.

The assignment should be a total of 9-12 pages in length and include 3-5 references.

Use APA format:

Use the standard Cover Page and submit to your course facilitator.

All assignments are done in 12 pt. Times New Roman font and in APA, 5th Edition format.

Add a Reference page that lists items of the authors’ works cited in your document. Use APA format for the items.

INSERT Self and Peer Reviewer Lesson Plan Critique Checklist

Scoring Rubric for Assignment

Total Value: 100 Points

Content of Paper – Value: 70 points – Copy of your lesson plan, your reflections, and the self and peer reviewer lesson plan critique checklist, and the analysis.

Quality of Writing – Value: 20 points – Written work shows superior graduate quality in verbal expression, attention to detail, and correct application of the conventions of the English language. In students’ written work, paragraphing is appropriate with clear thesis statements and supporting details. Sentences are clear and concise. Students vary sentence structure making use of subordinate clauses. Transitional words and phrases are used effectively. Points and ideas are well organized. Word choice is effective. English language conventions are applied correctly (i.e. spelling, capitalization, punctuation, agreement, pronoun usage, sentence structure). 

Format - Value: 10 points – Cover Page, Reference Page and where applicable, citations and references are used correctly and consistently, with clear efforts made to include a wide range of relevant works. For any work requiring citations, students refer to a wide range of suitable sources. All non original ideas are cited correctly and referenced in a reference list. All works in the reference list are cited in the text. Students should follow the Writing Format and Style as required by their institution. Should the student not have a home institution, they will follow the APA Format and Style Manual, 5th Edition.

 

Final:

Assignment: Critical Issues Report

The purpose of the assignment is to increase the knowledge base, add to the repertoire of reading theories, and increase skills of reflection and problem solving through research and reading on topics that are current, controversial, or significant in understanding the theories behind why some students do not achieve at a satisfactory level and why some students surpass the standards set.

Select a topic that is personally intriguing and is addressed in the content of the course:

Critical issues in special education theory and learning

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs

Sylvia Rimm’s approach to underachievers

Opportunities for gifted students to be engaged in appropriately differentiated learning experiences

Modified Dunn and Dunn model of learning styles

Reasons for pre-testing

Knowing how to choose appropriate assessments for evaluation and planning for instruction

The Name Card Method for working in pairs

Understanding how to work with Gifted Children

Understanding how to work with special education children

Read a minimum of three (3) reference sources on the selected topic.

Write a 8 ½ - page report that includes:

 Cover Page

 Introduction: Background Information (1 page)

 Body of Report (6 ½ pages)

General review and summary of the articles’ content

Personal reaction to the information that has been summarized with specific attention to synthesizing the ideas found in the research with course concepts and personal background experiences (personal reaction/critique/reflections)

Complete responses to each of the following questions: (Elementary Education Competencies and Skills)

How did the information in the selected readings or online lectures increase your knowledge of emergent special education techniques specific to the identification of concepts in the course thus far?

How did the information in the selected readings or online lectures increase your knowledge of the Maslow Hierarchy of needs, specific to the developmental stages and the syntactic, semantic, and graphophonemic cueing of the hierarchy?

How did the information in the selected readings or online lectures increase your knowledge of the process of constructing meaning from a variety of texts, specific to essential comprehension skills?

How did the information in the selected readings or online lectures increase your knowledge of gifted children?

How did the information in the selected readings or online lectures increase your knowledge of effective listening and viewing strategies?

How did the information in the selected readings or online lectures increase your knowledge of the nature of assessing?

How did the information in the selected readings or online lectures increase your knowledge of developing different learning experiences for each student?

How did the information in the selected readings or online lectures increase your knowledge and improve your understanding of how to set up a classroom that will effectively meet the needs of all students?

Conclusion (1 page): Recommendations for using your research and knowledge base gain from the course to this point.

 Reference Page: List of cited references, following APA format or format required of your institution.

Scoring Rubric for Assignment

Total Value: 100 Points

Content of Report – Value: 70 points – Introduction, content review and summary, personal reaction/critique, responses to questions related to Elementary Education Competencies and Skills, conclusion (recommendations for using research in the classroom).

Quality of Writing – Value: 20 points – Written work shows superior graduate quality in verbal expression, attention to detail, and correct application of the conventions of the English language. In students’ written work, paragraphing is appropriate with clear thesis statements and supporting details. Sentences are clear and concise. Students vary sentence structure making use of subordinate clauses. Transitional words and phrases are used effectively. Points and ideas are well organized. Word choice is effective. English language conventions are applied correctly (i.e. spelling, capitalization, punctuation, agreement, pronoun usage, sentence structure). 

Format - Value: 10 points – Cover Page, Reference Page and where applicable, citations and references are used correctly and consistently, with clear efforts made to include a wide range of relevant works. For any work requiring citations, students refer to a wide range of suitable sources. All non original ideas are cited correctly and referenced in a reference list. All works in the reference list are cited in the text. Students should follow the Writing Format and Style as required by their institution. Should the student not have a home institution, they will follow the APA Format and Style Manual, 5th Edition.

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