Chapter 6 in Winebrenner, Susan, and Pamela Espeland. Teaching Gifted Kids in the Regular Classroom: Strategies and Techniques Every Teacher Can Use to Meet the Academic Needs of the Gifted and Talented. Minneapolis, MN: Free Spirit Pub., 2001. Print.
Offer students choices for learning learning targets by creating Differentiated Curriculum Charts:
- The chart provides learning mode & extension activities for each learning target. See below for example.
- Students get to choose which activity to perform to explore learning target
- For extension ideas, see the Analysis, Evaluation, & Synthesis products & trigger words in this article.
- For learning mode ideas, see below.
- Auditory Products
- audio recording, autobiography, commentary, crossword puzzle, debate, dialogue, documentary, editorial, experiment, fact file, finding patterns, glossary, interview, journal, newspaper, oral report, petition, position paper, reading, scavenger hunt, simulation game, song lyrics, speech, story, survey, teach a lesson, video, written report
- Visual Products
- advertisement, art piece, brochure, collage, comic strip, diagram, diorama, drawing, filmstrip, flow chart, graphic organizer, greeting card, multimedia presentations, illustrated manual, magazine, map, photo essay, picture dictionary, poster, slide show, video, website
- Tactile – Kinesthetic Products
- acting things out, activity plan, animated movie, dance, demonstration, dramatization, experiment, field experience, flip chart, game show, how-to book, jigsaw puzzle, manipulative, mobile, model, museum exhibit, play or skit, rap, scale drawing, sculpture, simulation game, survey, TV broadcast, video
Differentiated curriculum charts create options for students that fit their learning styles and readiness levels. Charts like these can be used as tools to create scaffolding that fits the needs of diverse groups of students.
- Recruit teacher team to help gather all the scaffolding.
- Analyze standards and rewrite in terms of long term and supporting learning targets
- Develop activities for each learning target that go with each learning mode – see above for example. Use suggested products above and here for ideas.
- Create learning centers to house the activities for the different learning modes. If many resources are posted online, this can be as simple as different wall segments (1 per learning mode) that house QR codes to activities.
- Create a grading system for crediting students’ different choices – a simple way to do this is to require 1 activity per learning target and assign a daily grade to each
Early Implementation Steps
- During scaffolding days, allow students to select 1 activity per targeted learning target. Explain how to get to resources and how to get feedback on work.
- Provide a lot of formative feedback on the work and (if possible) grade student work in class in conjunction with formative discussions with students.
- Use other formative assessments to ensure that ALL students are developing an understanding of learning targets.
Advanced Implementation Steps
- Develop a bank of short rubrics for assessing various types of products that appear frequently in differentiated curriculum charts.
- Use formative feedback data to determine which learning activities are the most engaging and effective and incorporate similar activities into upcoming differentiated scaffolding
- Taxonomy of Thinking
- Differentiated Instruction articles
- Questioning Strategies articles
- Understanding articles