This week's links are from a differentiation training I am in right now. It repeats a lot of stuff we are fully conversant in here at Piedmont but it also meshes with our 1:1 initiative in that tech helps teachers truly personalize and differentiate in a way that we could only pretend to do before the days of online playists like Blendspace and learning management systems like Edmodo and Google Classroom:
Click through them and linger on the ones that speak to you:
http://www.educationworld.com/a_issues/chat/chat010.shtml - an interview with Carol Dweck
http://envisiongifted.com/critical-thinking.html - Critical thinking
http://pl.cmslearns.org/toolkit/ - Personalized Learning (tech infused) Clearinghouse
A nice explanation for students about why we differentiate was shared by Sonjateacher here:
"Look around the room. Do we all look exactly the same? Are our voices exactly the same? Do we all like the same things? Do we all behave exactly the same way? Of course not!"
"We are all different. Some of us are really good at reading. Some of us are really good with numbers. Some of us are great artists. Some of us can build amazing things with lego."
"Turn to your neighbor (or partner) and tell him/her something that you are good at. Just like we are all good at things, we all have things that are harder for us to do. Some of us have a hard time listening. Some of us find it difficult to wait our turn. Some of us need help standing in line. Some of us need more help with reading. Some of us don't remember our number facts. And that's okay! We are all different, and that's what makes our classroom such a wonderful place."
"You will see me doing some things differently with different students, because we are all different. And that's okay. Some of you will spend more time reading with me. Some of you will spend more time doing math with me. Some of you will spend more time talking about being a responsible member of the class. And we might even make special rules together for some of us. And that's okay."
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Lisa Gurthie is the PD facilitator at Piedmont IB Middle School. She specializes in tech and arts integration, interdisciplinary holistic education, and unschooling school to reconnect academia to real life. One day she will modernize her "about" page. She curates this blog for the professional development convenience of the teachers at Piedmont, but the editorial comments are her own.