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Differentiating 
Instruction 
Shaylynn Curtis, Michelle Jones, Sarah 
Porter, Veronica Vande Kamp 
MTE/533 
Sylvia Hill 
September 29, 2014
Differentiated Instruction 
 Differentiation means tailoring instruction to meet 
individual needs. Whether teachers differentiate content, 
process, products, or the learning environment, the use of 
ongoing assessment and flexible grouping makes this a 
successful approach to instruction, (Tomlinson, 2014).
Four Trends in Differentiating 
instruction for science 
 Flexibility grouping 
Students in the science classroom benefit from 
interacting with each other and working toward a 
common goal. An example of a goal in science is the 
completion of a laboratory exercise. The teacher may 
present a concept to the class, then put the students 
into pairs or small groups. Changing up the groups 
should happen often based on student interests, 
student learning style, or whatever factors that may 
come into play (Willoughby, 2014).
Four Trends in Differentiating 
instruction for science 
 Role play 
Students with a variety of interests, learning 
styles, and abilities can benefit greatly from 
activities that are based on authentic situations. 
The teacher can create lesson plans around 
debates, computer simulations, or science topics 
currently in the news (Willoughby, 2014).
Four Trends in Differentiating 
instruction for science 
 Learning Stations 
The teacher can create spaces around the classroom 
for small-group or independent investigation of a 
scientific experiment or process. The essential 
materials and resources should be available at each 
space in the classroom. There should be a topic at 
each space that correlates with the focus of the study. 
The activities at each space should encourage thinking 
skills and help students to solve problems 
(Willoughby, 2014).
Four Trends in Differentiating 
instruction for science 
 Orbital studies 
Orbital studies is when the teacher develops a list of 
topics that is related to a science concept. The teacher 
allows the students to select a top that is of interest to 
them. Each student performs their own investigation 
with help from the teacher. This type of activity 
provides flexibility, level of difficulty, and the makeup 
of the product completed by the student 
(Willoughby, 2014).
Four Trends in Differentiating 
instruction for math 
 Student Grouping 
- Students are placed in groups according to proficiency. 
- Allows teachers to challenge high-achievers, while 
providing remediation, repetition, and review for low 
achievers, (Davis, 2009). 
- Provides specific instruction to a few students who are 
seen as very high achieving, and sometimes to provide 
more individualized assistance to students who are seen to 
be achieving significantly below their peers, (Davis, 2009).
Four Trends in Differentiating 
instruction for math 
 Learning Centers 
- Classroom learning centers are important part of independent 
exploration and learning, (Springer, 2011). 
- Math learning centers provide an opportunity to practice and 
apply skills and strategies taught within the classroom, (K-5 
Math Teaching Resources, 2010). 
- Math learning centers should include: a variety of activities 
differentiated to meet the needs of students, hold students 
accountable for the work in which they are engaged, and allows 
teachers to assess students math skills, strategies, and 
understanding, (K-5 Math Teaching Resources, 2010).
Four Trends in Differentiating 
instruction for math 
 Use of manipulatives 
- Manipulatives help students make the leap from intuitive 
to logical thinking, from concrete to the abstract, ( 
Learning Resources.com) 
- Manipulatives are helpful for problem solving skills.
Four Trends in Differentiating 
instruction for math 
 Increased use of technology 
- Apply technology to develop students higher-order- 
thinking skills and creativity, (Jahan, 2014). 
- Use technology resources to collect and analyze 
data, interpret results, and communicate findings 
to improve instructional practices and maximize 
student learning, (Jahan, 2014).
Instructional Issues With Trends 
for Science 
 Role Play 
 Requires careful, thoughtful planning which is time consuming. 
 Students must be highly interested and motivated in their topic; otherwise they will not be 
actively involved. 
 Expectations for students must be clear and students must be held accountable for their 
research, preparation, and collaboration with peers; otherwise they will not understand the 
purpose of the activity. 
 Learning Stations 
 Students might skip stations if they already know the material or if the materials is too difficult. 
 Some stations might have task designed for advanced students only. 
 Orbital Studies 
 May be too difficult or complex for some students. Teachers must provide varying levels of 
difficulty for these activities. 
 Flexible Grouping 
 Students may not like working with the students they are grouped with. 
 If students are grouped based on ability, the students with lower abilities will not benefit from 
their grouping.
Instructional Issues With Trends 
For Mathematics 
 Student Grouping 
 Group work consumes more time because students must coordinate time, 
meet, correspond, make decisions, and integrate the contributions of each 
team member. 
 Some students lose motivation during group work because of free riding, social 
loafing, and conflict with other group members. 
 Allocating time for group work, assessing teamwork skills and group dynamics, 
and assigning group grades can be difficult for teachers. 
 Learning Centers 
 Learning Centers require a great deal of planning because teachers must be 
able to articulate key skills being learned at each center and to evaluate the 
success of that learning center in promoting key skill development. 
 Learning Centers may be too difficult or too easy for some students.
Instructional Issues With Trends 
For Mathematics 
 Use of Manipulatives 
 Some teachers do not know when and how to use the manipulatives. 
Therefore, their students fail to achieve success with them. 
 Students can be easily distracted with manipulatives if rules and procedures 
are not put in place when using them. 
 Increased use of Technology 
 New software, training for teachers, and equipment can be very costly for 
schools. 
 Teachers need to receive training with the technology so they understand the 
benefits to learning and to themselves. 
 Adding technology into existing lesson plans takes additional planning time. 
 Some software requires a significant amount of classroom time to be utilized.
Whether the trend can be used for 
math, science, or both 
 Trend: Flexibility Grouping of students 
- This trend can be used successfully in any subject. In both math and science, 
students can work collaboratively in groups to reach common goals. Depending on 
the activity, teachers can use flexibility grouping in a variety of ways. Students can 
be grouped by ability or differentiate groups. 
 Trend: Learning Stations (centers) 
-This trend can be used in both math and science. In math, learning stations can 
provide a way for teachers to differentiate instruction. In science, learning stations 
can provide a way for students to learn material in a variety of ways. For example, 
if students are learning about weather. Stations could be set up for students to 
learn about different areas of weather.
Whether the trend can be used for 
math, science, or both 
 Trend: Role play 
- Role play can be used in science and math. It is commonly used in 
other subjects, but rarely used in math. Role playing can be used in 
science when students debate issues. It can be used in math by 
students solving real world problems that involve math. It can be 
difficult for some students to be motivated by this trend. 
 Trend: Orbital Studies 
- Orbital studies can be used in both subjects, however, it is easier in 
science. It is easier for students to learn and research different areas in 
science. Math is a harder subject to include orbital studies. Students 
could chose a math mathematician to research and present to the 
class.
Whether the trend can be used for 
math, science, or both 
 Trend: use of manipulatives 
- This trend is commonly used in both math and science. Students in math use manipulatives 
to help them learn math concepts. Students use base ten blocks to help them add or see 
relationships between numbers. While in science, students use science manipulatives to 
explore and construct their own ideas through trial and error in experiments. 
 Trend: Technology 
- The trend of technology is commonly used in math and science. Teachers use technology to 
help students practice math facts and to explore new concepts in science. Many 
teachers incorporate the use of smart boards, Ipads, and other forms of technology into 
their daily lessons.
Math Manipulatives Lesson Plan 
 Grades: 1 
 Subject: Math 
 Estimated Time Duration: 30 minutes 
 Lesson Summary: Students will use manipulatives as such 
currency, pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters) to learn 
how to count and add money correctly. This lesson teaches 
students to add coin currency correctly with the use of 
manipulatives.
Math Manipulatives Lesson Plan 
Continued 
 Instructions: Students will be given a ziplock bag 
contained with a dollars amount of each coin, 100 pennies, 
20 nickels, 10 dime, and 4 quarters. Students will then be 
given a worksheet where they are required to place the 
appropriate coin(s) in a box that has a desired currency 
amount. 
27 Cents 12 Cents 34 Cents 
52 Cents 96 Cents 44 Cents 
19 Cents 63 Cents 7 Cents
Math Manipulatives Lesson Plan 
Continued 
 Materials: Ziplock bag contained of with a dollars amount 
of each coin, 100 pennies, 20 nickels, 10 dime, and 4 
quarters, a worksheet, pencil and scratch paper. 
 Expansion: Students that are higher level achievers will be 
given a separate worksheet that focuses on subtracting 
currency. 
 Accommodations: Students that need accommodations 
will be provided assistance and different worksheet that 
focuses on currency of 1-10 cents.
Reference 
 Willoughby, J. (2014). Improving Science Education with Differentiated Instruction. Retrieved from 
http://www.glencoe.com/sec/teachingtoday/subject/improving_science.phtml 
 Howes, E. V., Cruz, B.C., (2009). Role-Playing in Science Education: An Effective Strategy for Developing Multiple Perspectives. 
Journal of Elementary Science Education, Vol. 21, No. 3, pp. 33-46. Western Illinois University. Retrieved from 
http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ849719.pdf 
 Pbworks. (2014). Learning Stations. Retrieved from http://2differentiate.pbworks.com/w/page/860074/Learning%20Stations 
 Teaching Excellence & Educational Motivation. (2014). What are the challenges of group work and how can I address them? 
Retrieved from http://www.cmu.edu/teaching/designteach/design/instructionalstrategies/groupprojects/challenges.html 
 Utah Education Network. (2014). Learning Centers. Retrieved from http://www.uen.org/k-2educator/learning_centers.shtml 
 BJU Press. (2014). The Proper Use of Manipulatives in the Math Classroom. Retrieved from 
https://www.bjupress.com/resources/articles/t2t/proper-use-of-manipulatives-in-math-classroom.php 
 About.com. (2014). Issues with Integrating Technology in the classroom. Retrieved from 
http://712educators.about.com/od/technologyandeducation/tp/Issues-With-Integrating-Technology-In-The-Classroom.htm
References 
 lAbout.com. (2014). Issues with Integrating Technology in the classroom. Retrieved from 
http://712educators.about.com/od/technologyandeducation/tp/Issues-With-Integrating- 
Technology-In-The-Classroom.htm 
 lBJU Press. (2014). The Proper Use of Manipulatives in the Math Classroom. Retrieved from 
https://www.bjupress.com/resources/articles/t2t/proper-use-of-manipulatives-in-math-classroom. 
php 
 Davis, H., (2009). Education.com. Ability Grouping. Retrieved from: 
http://www.education.com/reference/article/ability-grouping/ 
 lHowes, E. V., Cruz, B.C., (2009). Role-Playing in Science Education: An Effective Strategy for 
Developing Multiple Perspectives. Journal of Elementary Science Education, Vol. 21, No. 
3, pp. 33-46. Western Illinois University. Retrieved from 
http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ849719.pdf 

References continued 
 Jahan, A., (2014). Differentiation Using Technology in Math Classrooms. Retrieved from: 
http://www.tcea.org/handouts/2013/Speaker10494_Session1928_1.pdf 
 K-5 Math Teaching Resources, (2010). Math Centers. Retrieved from: 
http://www.k-5mathteachingresources.com/math-centers.html 
 Learning Resources. Research on the Benefits of Manipulatives. Retrieved from: 
http://www.learningresources.com/text/pdf/Mathresearch.pdf 
 lPbworks. (2014). Learning Stations. Retrieved from 
http://2differentiate.pbworks.com/w/page/860074/Learning%20Stations
References continued 
 Springer, S., (2011). Eduaction.com. Learning Centers in the Classroom. Retrieved 
from: http://www.education.com/reference/article/learning-centers/ 
 lTeaching Excellence & Educational Motivation. (2014). What are the challenges of group work and 
how can I address them? Retrieved from 
http://www.cmu.edu/teaching/designteach/design/instructionalstrategies/ 
groupprojects/challenges.html 
 lUtah Education Network. (2014). Learning Centers. Retrieved from 
http://www.uen.org/k-2educator/learning_centers.shtml 
 lWilloughby, J. (2014). Improving Science Education with Differentiated Instruction. Retrieved from 
http://www.glencoe.com/sec/teachingtoday/subject/improving_science.phtml 


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Differentiating instruction

  • 1. Differentiating Instruction Shaylynn Curtis, Michelle Jones, Sarah Porter, Veronica Vande Kamp MTE/533 Sylvia Hill September 29, 2014
  • 2. Differentiated Instruction  Differentiation means tailoring instruction to meet individual needs. Whether teachers differentiate content, process, products, or the learning environment, the use of ongoing assessment and flexible grouping makes this a successful approach to instruction, (Tomlinson, 2014).
  • 3. Four Trends in Differentiating instruction for science  Flexibility grouping Students in the science classroom benefit from interacting with each other and working toward a common goal. An example of a goal in science is the completion of a laboratory exercise. The teacher may present a concept to the class, then put the students into pairs or small groups. Changing up the groups should happen often based on student interests, student learning style, or whatever factors that may come into play (Willoughby, 2014).
  • 4. Four Trends in Differentiating instruction for science  Role play Students with a variety of interests, learning styles, and abilities can benefit greatly from activities that are based on authentic situations. The teacher can create lesson plans around debates, computer simulations, or science topics currently in the news (Willoughby, 2014).
  • 5. Four Trends in Differentiating instruction for science  Learning Stations The teacher can create spaces around the classroom for small-group or independent investigation of a scientific experiment or process. The essential materials and resources should be available at each space in the classroom. There should be a topic at each space that correlates with the focus of the study. The activities at each space should encourage thinking skills and help students to solve problems (Willoughby, 2014).
  • 6. Four Trends in Differentiating instruction for science  Orbital studies Orbital studies is when the teacher develops a list of topics that is related to a science concept. The teacher allows the students to select a top that is of interest to them. Each student performs their own investigation with help from the teacher. This type of activity provides flexibility, level of difficulty, and the makeup of the product completed by the student (Willoughby, 2014).
  • 7. Four Trends in Differentiating instruction for math  Student Grouping - Students are placed in groups according to proficiency. - Allows teachers to challenge high-achievers, while providing remediation, repetition, and review for low achievers, (Davis, 2009). - Provides specific instruction to a few students who are seen as very high achieving, and sometimes to provide more individualized assistance to students who are seen to be achieving significantly below their peers, (Davis, 2009).
  • 8. Four Trends in Differentiating instruction for math  Learning Centers - Classroom learning centers are important part of independent exploration and learning, (Springer, 2011). - Math learning centers provide an opportunity to practice and apply skills and strategies taught within the classroom, (K-5 Math Teaching Resources, 2010). - Math learning centers should include: a variety of activities differentiated to meet the needs of students, hold students accountable for the work in which they are engaged, and allows teachers to assess students math skills, strategies, and understanding, (K-5 Math Teaching Resources, 2010).
  • 9. Four Trends in Differentiating instruction for math  Use of manipulatives - Manipulatives help students make the leap from intuitive to logical thinking, from concrete to the abstract, ( Learning Resources.com) - Manipulatives are helpful for problem solving skills.
  • 10. Four Trends in Differentiating instruction for math  Increased use of technology - Apply technology to develop students higher-order- thinking skills and creativity, (Jahan, 2014). - Use technology resources to collect and analyze data, interpret results, and communicate findings to improve instructional practices and maximize student learning, (Jahan, 2014).
  • 11. Instructional Issues With Trends for Science  Role Play  Requires careful, thoughtful planning which is time consuming.  Students must be highly interested and motivated in their topic; otherwise they will not be actively involved.  Expectations for students must be clear and students must be held accountable for their research, preparation, and collaboration with peers; otherwise they will not understand the purpose of the activity.  Learning Stations  Students might skip stations if they already know the material or if the materials is too difficult.  Some stations might have task designed for advanced students only.  Orbital Studies  May be too difficult or complex for some students. Teachers must provide varying levels of difficulty for these activities.  Flexible Grouping  Students may not like working with the students they are grouped with.  If students are grouped based on ability, the students with lower abilities will not benefit from their grouping.
  • 12. Instructional Issues With Trends For Mathematics  Student Grouping  Group work consumes more time because students must coordinate time, meet, correspond, make decisions, and integrate the contributions of each team member.  Some students lose motivation during group work because of free riding, social loafing, and conflict with other group members.  Allocating time for group work, assessing teamwork skills and group dynamics, and assigning group grades can be difficult for teachers.  Learning Centers  Learning Centers require a great deal of planning because teachers must be able to articulate key skills being learned at each center and to evaluate the success of that learning center in promoting key skill development.  Learning Centers may be too difficult or too easy for some students.
  • 13. Instructional Issues With Trends For Mathematics  Use of Manipulatives  Some teachers do not know when and how to use the manipulatives. Therefore, their students fail to achieve success with them.  Students can be easily distracted with manipulatives if rules and procedures are not put in place when using them.  Increased use of Technology  New software, training for teachers, and equipment can be very costly for schools.  Teachers need to receive training with the technology so they understand the benefits to learning and to themselves.  Adding technology into existing lesson plans takes additional planning time.  Some software requires a significant amount of classroom time to be utilized.
  • 14. Whether the trend can be used for math, science, or both  Trend: Flexibility Grouping of students - This trend can be used successfully in any subject. In both math and science, students can work collaboratively in groups to reach common goals. Depending on the activity, teachers can use flexibility grouping in a variety of ways. Students can be grouped by ability or differentiate groups.  Trend: Learning Stations (centers) -This trend can be used in both math and science. In math, learning stations can provide a way for teachers to differentiate instruction. In science, learning stations can provide a way for students to learn material in a variety of ways. For example, if students are learning about weather. Stations could be set up for students to learn about different areas of weather.
  • 15. Whether the trend can be used for math, science, or both  Trend: Role play - Role play can be used in science and math. It is commonly used in other subjects, but rarely used in math. Role playing can be used in science when students debate issues. It can be used in math by students solving real world problems that involve math. It can be difficult for some students to be motivated by this trend.  Trend: Orbital Studies - Orbital studies can be used in both subjects, however, it is easier in science. It is easier for students to learn and research different areas in science. Math is a harder subject to include orbital studies. Students could chose a math mathematician to research and present to the class.
  • 16. Whether the trend can be used for math, science, or both  Trend: use of manipulatives - This trend is commonly used in both math and science. Students in math use manipulatives to help them learn math concepts. Students use base ten blocks to help them add or see relationships between numbers. While in science, students use science manipulatives to explore and construct their own ideas through trial and error in experiments.  Trend: Technology - The trend of technology is commonly used in math and science. Teachers use technology to help students practice math facts and to explore new concepts in science. Many teachers incorporate the use of smart boards, Ipads, and other forms of technology into their daily lessons.
  • 17. Math Manipulatives Lesson Plan  Grades: 1  Subject: Math  Estimated Time Duration: 30 minutes  Lesson Summary: Students will use manipulatives as such currency, pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters) to learn how to count and add money correctly. This lesson teaches students to add coin currency correctly with the use of manipulatives.
  • 18. Math Manipulatives Lesson Plan Continued  Instructions: Students will be given a ziplock bag contained with a dollars amount of each coin, 100 pennies, 20 nickels, 10 dime, and 4 quarters. Students will then be given a worksheet where they are required to place the appropriate coin(s) in a box that has a desired currency amount. 27 Cents 12 Cents 34 Cents 52 Cents 96 Cents 44 Cents 19 Cents 63 Cents 7 Cents
  • 19. Math Manipulatives Lesson Plan Continued  Materials: Ziplock bag contained of with a dollars amount of each coin, 100 pennies, 20 nickels, 10 dime, and 4 quarters, a worksheet, pencil and scratch paper.  Expansion: Students that are higher level achievers will be given a separate worksheet that focuses on subtracting currency.  Accommodations: Students that need accommodations will be provided assistance and different worksheet that focuses on currency of 1-10 cents.
  • 20. Reference  Willoughby, J. (2014). Improving Science Education with Differentiated Instruction. Retrieved from http://www.glencoe.com/sec/teachingtoday/subject/improving_science.phtml  Howes, E. V., Cruz, B.C., (2009). Role-Playing in Science Education: An Effective Strategy for Developing Multiple Perspectives. Journal of Elementary Science Education, Vol. 21, No. 3, pp. 33-46. Western Illinois University. Retrieved from http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ849719.pdf  Pbworks. (2014). Learning Stations. Retrieved from http://2differentiate.pbworks.com/w/page/860074/Learning%20Stations  Teaching Excellence & Educational Motivation. (2014). What are the challenges of group work and how can I address them? Retrieved from http://www.cmu.edu/teaching/designteach/design/instructionalstrategies/groupprojects/challenges.html  Utah Education Network. (2014). Learning Centers. Retrieved from http://www.uen.org/k-2educator/learning_centers.shtml  BJU Press. (2014). The Proper Use of Manipulatives in the Math Classroom. Retrieved from https://www.bjupress.com/resources/articles/t2t/proper-use-of-manipulatives-in-math-classroom.php  About.com. (2014). Issues with Integrating Technology in the classroom. Retrieved from http://712educators.about.com/od/technologyandeducation/tp/Issues-With-Integrating-Technology-In-The-Classroom.htm
  • 21. References  lAbout.com. (2014). Issues with Integrating Technology in the classroom. Retrieved from http://712educators.about.com/od/technologyandeducation/tp/Issues-With-Integrating- Technology-In-The-Classroom.htm  lBJU Press. (2014). The Proper Use of Manipulatives in the Math Classroom. Retrieved from https://www.bjupress.com/resources/articles/t2t/proper-use-of-manipulatives-in-math-classroom. php  Davis, H., (2009). Education.com. Ability Grouping. Retrieved from: http://www.education.com/reference/article/ability-grouping/  lHowes, E. V., Cruz, B.C., (2009). Role-Playing in Science Education: An Effective Strategy for Developing Multiple Perspectives. Journal of Elementary Science Education, Vol. 21, No. 3, pp. 33-46. Western Illinois University. Retrieved from http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ849719.pdf 
  • 22. References continued  Jahan, A., (2014). Differentiation Using Technology in Math Classrooms. Retrieved from: http://www.tcea.org/handouts/2013/Speaker10494_Session1928_1.pdf  K-5 Math Teaching Resources, (2010). Math Centers. Retrieved from: http://www.k-5mathteachingresources.com/math-centers.html  Learning Resources. Research on the Benefits of Manipulatives. Retrieved from: http://www.learningresources.com/text/pdf/Mathresearch.pdf  lPbworks. (2014). Learning Stations. Retrieved from http://2differentiate.pbworks.com/w/page/860074/Learning%20Stations
  • 23. References continued  Springer, S., (2011). Eduaction.com. Learning Centers in the Classroom. Retrieved from: http://www.education.com/reference/article/learning-centers/  lTeaching Excellence & Educational Motivation. (2014). What are the challenges of group work and how can I address them? Retrieved from http://www.cmu.edu/teaching/designteach/design/instructionalstrategies/ groupprojects/challenges.html  lUtah Education Network. (2014). Learning Centers. Retrieved from http://www.uen.org/k-2educator/learning_centers.shtml  lWilloughby, J. (2014). Improving Science Education with Differentiated Instruction. Retrieved from http://www.glencoe.com/sec/teachingtoday/subject/improving_science.phtml 