Wednesday, August 13, 2014

#Flipclass Workflow: Differentiated Instruction

Chatting this morning with Stacy Dawes on Voxer in the #ELA Flip group, we were discussing ways in which we can differentiate and diversify our instruction for students, especially those who are ESL/ELL immersed in mainstream classes.  Thinking about how to use technology to differentiate instruction in the flipped ELA classroom, we came up with the following ideas:

  • In your main Edmodo class, create small groups in which the students are leveled, then post tailored assignments to each of the small groups.  If all students are working with the same content, they will not know that they are receiving different versions of the same assessment or activity. Resources to assist that particular group of students can also be posted. Students can be in multiple small groups, but they can only see the content posted to the groups they are members of. 
  • Use Curriculet to differentiate reading instruction. Much like Edmodo, in Curriculet, teachers can create multiple versions of layered annotations, quizzes, and questions for texts and all versions are saved in the teacher library. Teachers can assign canonical texts or upload documents from their files or the web into Curriculet's interface meeting both literature and informational text reading standards. To manage assigning the texts to the students, I recommend creating reading groups by level instead of traditional classes.  Managing classes in Curriculet is very easy and students can be in multiple classes from multiple teachers at the same time.  So rather than having a Period 2 class in Curriculet, name your Curriculet classes to differentiate the reading level. For example, Level I, Level II, or Reading Group A, Reading Group B, etc. Assign the the particular custom curriculet to the particular group and track student performance.
  • Newela could also be used to differentiate informational text reading instruction since articles can be adjusted to meet student lexile levels. Newsela is an excellent resource for differentiating current event articles. Where as Curriculet anchors the text with the question and quizzes being adjusted, Newsela enables the text itself to be adjusted to meet student reading ability.  Students also take quizzes to assess their reading comprehension. 

As far as classtime is concerned, students could complete differentiated instructional tasks on asynchronous working days or at home.  Teaching 9th graders, I do not give them free reign, but instead give them small chunks to work asynchronously, usually about 2-3 days at a time.  We will start a task in class and then homework becomes whatever the students need to finish.  If they were productive during classtime, then homework can be avoided.

While the above ideas are focused on ELA instruction, they could also be applied to all subject areas.  What ideas do you have for using technology to differentiate instruction?  Share

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