Reasons for Lesson Differentiation
Differentiated teaching is an activity-driven educational method tailored to diverse students’ learning abilities and styles within a course or subject, applying various tasks, tools, or problem-solving activities. The goal of differentiation is to boost the performance of the whole class, including those who lag and those who transcend the course’s level of expectations (“Differentiation to improve,” 2020). Thus, this approach generally benefits all students throughout a curriculum by providing activities that correspond to pupils’ interests and skills.
In particular, differentiated instruction encourages educators to design their lessons considering learners’ existing knowledge, which can considerably lift their engagement in the lesson. Studies must be connected with previous experience and understanding of all students to ensure tight cohesion between different learning materials. Second, teachers should regiment pupils based on their capabilities and interests to warrant that delivered information and assessments match their levels. Otherwise, teachers’ attempts to convey necessary material become insignificant or even barren. Third, differentiation allows educators to diversify lessons using a wide variety of activities, thereby noticeably enlivening students and improving their enthusiasm. Finally, employing the approach, the teachers manage the classroom to shape a conducive learning atmosphere, which can be provided by adjusting lessons’ pace, content, and process.
The Strategies to Manage the Lesson
The first strategy I used in Unit 3 is carousel brainstorming, the active learning technique that aids in refreshing students’ prior knowledge and memorizing and comprehending ongoing information. This method is built on collaborative learning utilizing dynamic movement and conversation to examine a new topic profoundly, together with linking it to previous lessons. Substantial evidence states that brainstorming enhances students’ engagement, creativity, and confidence through the intense exchange of ideas (“Carousel brainstorming,” n.d.). According to carousel brainstorming, a class should fall into minute groups (3-5 persons) that revolve around the classroom and top at specific points to discuss designated items.
In addition, unit 3 comprised a 2-minute talk activity that is similar to carousel brainstorming by their prime goal, that is, to activate students’ previous knowledge and learning process on a particular theme. This exercise encourages pupils to share and discuss their ideas intensively, which promotes learning new information of skills. The activity demands division into two pairs who receive a topic-related question for discussion. The question should be linked to prior material, or the information learners are familiar with. Further, using a stopwatch, student A firstly conveys their ideas for two minutes, then the relay is passed to student B of the opposite group. Finally, I applied Think-Pair-Share teaching students to articulate their thoughts and think independently. In this exercise, students obtain a question and are divided into pairs. First, two pupils discuss a topic with each other and then share their ideas with the class.
The main aim of formative assessment is to track students’ learning to deliver continued feedback that can be appropriately employed to improve a teacher’s approach and students’ performance. Compared to summative assessments, it possesses a low or no point value (Carnegie Mellon University, n.d.). The instances usually embrace group activities and discussions, self and peer evaluation, and exercises such as asking to write several sentences or draw a concept map that shows students’ thematic understanding. This type of assessment assists pupils in revealing their strengths and weaknesses and problematic areas needing urgent consideration. Besides, faculty can use this evaluation to detect and address students’ learning difficulties immediately. Overall, formative assessment is a beneficial tool to keep an eye on students’ progress, and, based on it, form further learning activities and curriculum.
Carousel brainstorming: the research behind it (n.d.). Web.
Differentiation to improve engagement and learning (2020). Web.