My Personal Experience with Differentiation in Schools

My Personal Experience with Differentiation in Schools

I am currently working as a Literacy Specialist Assistant for the High School Language and Learning Support Center at Lincoln International School. One of my duties is to collaborate with teachers and students in differentiating lessons. Coincidently, when studying in college, I became interested in Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences. Despite the criticism to of the theory, I was moved by several of its arguments. It was not long after reading Gardner that I started implementing these concepts into my lessons. I realized that I empowered students by giving them the opportunity to show their strengths. As a result, I was embracing classes with students willing to learn and participate, who would get involved in discussions and current topics. I like calling this, “closing the gap between teaching and learning”. I am briefly sharing in this article the lessons I learned about differentiating in a classroom.

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I prefer to write, so I am not going to speak!

Many times we face the challenge of, what is called, our students’ confrontational behavior. I mean that when we ask them to do something they are not comfortable at doing it, they would shut down. This is truth for many students in all schools, but I disagree that this is a confrontational behavior. From my experience working with many different types of learners, I realized that what it can be perceived as a behavioral attitude, it is just the way students process and understand the information that is given. Continue reading

The lost world

How many times in class have we felt like wandering in a lost world? In this blog, I will use this analogy merely for educational purposes. Spoiling alert: Steven Spielberg should be so proud of me!

When reviewing for Environmental Science and Societies, I was having problems with some abstract concepts. Many times we use terms but we cannot put them in students’ own words. Their view of the world is too complex at that age. Today, I would like to share my experience about how I used a Hollywood movie to recreate science terms. Continue reading

“ICP, Physics, Waves, and Electromagnetic Spectrum! This sounds like fun!” says no one

Right?!?!?!? It is not often that we hear students celebrating about sciences, writing, or the French Revolution. However, we can create activities that will bridge the gap between learning and teaching. The word fun and classroom do not belong together most of the time. Did we know that we were learning economics, math, and social studies when playing Monopoly? So how can we bring monopoly to our classroom? Continue reading

Please remain silent!Stay on your seats!

“THAT STUDENTS ARE TALKING OR MOVING DO NOT MEAN THAT THEY DON’T LIKE YOUR CLASS OR THEY ARE LOOKING FOR TROUBLE. FOR SOME OF US, THIS IS HOW WE ARE AND HOW WE LEARN”

Classroom management is one of the biggest concerns for teachers around the globe. How can teachers manage a class with so many different learning styles? Well, the main concern for teachers is how to differentiate in a class with students who cannot be sitting or those who cannot stop talking. In spite of old teaching practices, nowadays we need students who are capable of learning by moving around. We need students who can talk, even when talking means to explain to other students or to present the lesson to peers. The challenge is that with some subjects is more difficult to plan activities like this. However, there are several strategies that we can start implementing in order to make our classes more likable. Continue reading

Recipe For Math Wizardry

A big hooray to Laura R for her amazing blog! Best recipe and teacher ever!

The Learning Wizard

“What is the point of trying?” “I just don’t get Math!” “I don’t do Math!” “I am not a Math person.” “Can I work on something else instead?”  These are all comments that frequently come out of HS students’ mouths who have not yet had their mind spell broken to conceptualize Math in a comprehensible manner.  So how does one break that spell?  Read on and you will find the Spell Breaker Recipe….

Spell Breaker Recipe for Learning Math

Ingredients:  

One student’s brain which has closed off to Math

One teacher’s willingness to discover the turn-on switch

Simple Math Fluency and Math Computations skill sheets

Topic being studied in class with independent assignment

A pinch of willingness

1 cup of humor

          ½ cup spell breaking chemicals

Instructions: 

Step 1:  Sit down with student and find out what they know how to do.  Work together Math problems that involve…

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You are dumb!

“You are dumb!” How many times have we heard these words in so many different contexts? Most of the times, we hear these words when we cannot understand certain topics such as reading a Shakespeare play, solving Math problems, playing an instrument, or playing soccer. But, what if we were doing it all wrong? Are we all good at Math, Sciences, Languages, or Sports? The answer is NO! Most of us are not good at doing it all and that is OK. Continue reading