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Tiered Instruction

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Tiered Instruction

  1. 1. TIERED INSTRUCTION A PLANNING STRATEGY FOR MIXED ABILITY CLASSROOMS “ A Different Spin on an Old Idea.” SOURCE: based on work by Carol Ann Tomlinson
  2. 2. Tiered Instruction What words , phrases , or images come to mind when you hear the term tiered instruction ?
  3. 3. <ul><li>Teachers can’t possibly individualize for 30 kids, so they need to plan using “user friendly” strategies to address different readiness levels, interests, and student profiles. Tiered instruction allows the teacher to make slight adjustments within the same lesson or unit for different learners. </li></ul><ul><li>A teacher should only tier when it makes sense for the kids and the concepts or skills being taught. </li></ul>
  4. 4. WHAT CAN BE TIERED? <ul><li>ASSIGNMENTS </li></ul><ul><li>ACTIVITIES </li></ul><ul><li>CENTERS & STATIONS </li></ul><ul><li>LEARNING CONTRACTS </li></ul><ul><li>ASSESSMENTS </li></ul><ul><li>MATERIALS </li></ul><ul><li>EXPERIMENTS </li></ul><ul><li>WRITING PROMPTS </li></ul><ul><li>HOMEWORK </li></ul>
  5. 5. With a little thought, almost any classroom activity can be tiered. <ul><li>Two or three tiers is usually best for implementation. However, a teacher who is experienced and comfortable with the strategy may have more tiers if it facilitates the instruction or better meets the needs of the students. </li></ul>
  6. 6. What is Tiered Instruction? Teachers use tiered activities so that all students focus on essential understandings and skills but at different levels of complexity, abstractness, and open-endedness. By keeping the focus of the activity the same, but providing routes of access at varying degrees of difficulty, the teacher maximizes the likelihood that: 1) each student comes away with pivotal skills & understandings 2) each student is appropriately challenged.
  7. 7. Creating Multiple Paths For Learning Key Concept or Understanding Struggling With The Concept Some Understanding Understand The Concept READINESS LEVELS Reaching Back Reaching Ahead
  8. 8. <ul><li>The first step whenever you are planning tiered instruction is to identify the key concepts and understandings that you want students to learn. </li></ul><ul><li>Next, determine the readiness levels of the students and design tasks that will help them learn the key concepts and still challenge them at their level of understanding. </li></ul>
  9. 9. IDENTIFY OUTCOMES WHAT SHOULD THE STUDENTS KNOW, UNDERSTAND, OR BE ABLE TO DO? THINK ABOUT YOUR STUDENTS PRE-ASSESS READINESS, INTEREST, OR LEARNING PROFILE INITIATING ACTIVITIES USE AS COMMON EXPERIENCE FOR WHOLE CLASS GROUP 1 TASK GROUP 2 TASK GROUP 3 TASK
  10. 10. <ul><li>The graphic on the last slide represents a sequence for planning a tiered activity or assignment. </li></ul><ul><li>There is nothing sacred about three groups---the teacher may want to use two groups or as many as four or five. </li></ul><ul><li>Assessment, diagnosis, and prescription are integral to the use of this strategy. The strategy itself is very visible and viable and usually makes sense to students and parents. </li></ul>
  11. 11. THE TEACHER’S CHALLENGE <ul><li>Developing-- </li></ul><ul><li>“ Respectful Activities” </li></ul><ul><li>Interesting </li></ul><ul><li>Engaging </li></ul><ul><li>Challenging </li></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>No student should look at the task and say to themselves, “I guess I’m in the dumb group.” </li></ul><ul><li>The key to developing good tiered activities is to design them so that they are just above the level of the learner. </li></ul><ul><li>This helps students stretch and build from where they are. Challenging and supporting students at their levels of understanding will help them become successful learners. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Planning Tiered Assignments Concept to be Understood OR Skill to be Mastered Below-Level Task On-Level Task Above-Level Task Create on-level task first then adjust up and down. “ Adjusting the Task”
  14. 14. <ul><li>Another method for developing tiered assignments or activities is to first develop an on-level task and then make slight adjustments up or down. </li></ul><ul><li>Some tasks in each tier may be the same while others might be changed to match student readiness levels. </li></ul><ul><li>Factors from the six-step framework should still be considered in this planning process. </li></ul>
  15. 15. When Tiering: <ul><li>Adjust--- </li></ul><ul><li>Level of Complexity </li></ul><ul><li>Amount of Structure </li></ul><ul><li>Materials </li></ul><ul><li>Time/Pace </li></ul><ul><li>Number of Steps </li></ul><ul><li>Form of Expression </li></ul><ul><li>Level of Dependence </li></ul>
  16. 16. <ul><li>Dr. Carol Tomlinson from the University of Virginia has developed an instrument called “The Equalizer” that can be used by teachers to consider different factors that can be adjusted to provide challenge and success. </li></ul><ul><li>The next slide shows some of the areas that teachers should consider when making adjustments for students in different groups. </li></ul>
  17. 17. The “Equalizer” 1. Foundational Transformational 2. Concrete Abstract 3. Simple Complex 4. Fewer Facets Multi-facets 5. Smaller Leap Greater Leap 6. More Structured More Open 7. Clearly Defined Problems Fuzzy Problems 8. Less Independence Greater Independence 9. Slower Quicker
  18. 18. <ul><li>The equalizer works in the same way that you might adjust the volume on your stereo. </li></ul><ul><li>The teacher uses the equalizer as a planning tool to think about the kinds of adjustments that might be made for struggling, on-level, and advanced learners. </li></ul><ul><li>This is an attempt to match the task with readiness levels of the students. </li></ul><ul><li>It is not necessary to adjust all nine equalizer buttons for each activity. </li></ul>

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