Unconference – Sunset Room
  • Differentiated Instruction in LA and Math
    • Strengthening Core curriculum means differentiating
    • Resources
      • Small schools do not have resources but need to make it work
      • Every day learning in the classroom should have enrichment and readiness skills embedded
      • Nancy Atwell – the Reading Zone (readers developing at their own pace), letters to teachers about their books; readers finding just right books
      • Orbital curriculum – studies of interest for children when they finish projects and work
      • Instead of internal resources, talk about paradigm shift of how we envision differentiation – bringing in people to do teacher education
      • Embedding goal of differentiation into evaluations so faculty know it is a priority but have the goal talk about commitment to differentiation shown in certain ways
      • Multi-modal ways of teaching – kinesthetic (we’re all different learners); let teachers know that one lesson per week has to be (visual, auditory, and kinesthetic); teachers find that fair
      • Scheduling half groups to a special with others having more small group time for LA and math
        • In grade 1, having reading sp and learning sp designated to grade 1 certain times each week (they write report card sections)
      • Starting with Tomlinson’s work – common language as starting point for teachers to discuss differentiation
      • Davidson Young Scholar Program with great resources on enrichment
      • “Math in the City” as program – city college program – teaches teachers about mathematics – great feedback
      • Math demo lesson for interviewing and hiring, so we can really see where teachers are with this; math is harder typically than a Lang Arts demo
      • Math nights and educating parents about the importance of conceptual math is critical; rote skills is how many parents envision math teaching
      • Communication between Lower and Middle Schools is key to understand expectations of differentiation cross-divisionally
      • Cannot differentiate without assessment (ex - DRA 3x/year) to know where kids are (saying a child is solid in reading is not enough)
      • Backward mapping and planning as a way to understand where you are going
      • When a teacher refers to a Self-directed child, it can mean that they are not on the teacher’s radar and not the focus but we cannot forget about that child
      • Kids who are high level in math often just want to talk math – find the avenue for this to occur – club, etc.
      • Child Study – everyone studies one child per week with intense observations by resource people and all teachers who teach that child (starting with new kids)
      • Phonics programs we might use – Orton-Gillingham, Recipe for Reading, Wilson Reading
      • What’s good for one is good for all: K and 1 homeroom teaching are trained in Wilson as new hires;
      • Ability-based fluid literacy groups
      • Higher groups change from Wilson approach and lower students keep Wilson
      • Explaining to parents that top reading group in K does not mean top reading group in grade 3
      • Professional development to teachers – have different people accountable for different types of professional development opportunities
      • Guided reading – not just reading but isolated lessons that are relevant that are embedded into small group time