DI

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Gopher4, Aug 10, 2008.

  1. Gopher4

    Gopher4 Comrade

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    Aug 10, 2008

    The buzz word for this year is Differentiated Instruction. Our school is one of 9 that will be pilot schools for a new district-wide initiative to implement DI strategies in our classrooms. We haven't received training yet, but I was wondering if those of you who are very familiar and have DI classrooms could share some of the ways you started (small) to get your room in DI mode. Some of our teachers are freaking out. Soon they will find out that most teachers differentiate naturally. We just don't realize that's what we are doing. This year will be phase I for us. We will receive training and "start small" in our own classrooms before being observed by teachers from other schools next year. I teach 4th grade Reading and S.S. and already feel that I differentiate through Reader's Workshop (book choice), small group instruction, book clubs, reading interest surveys, cooperative grouping and others types of grouping. Any practical tips on starting small for those teachers who feel overwhelmed and confused?
     
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  3. teacherpippi

    teacherpippi Habitué

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    Aug 10, 2008

  4. gab

    gab Comrade

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    Aug 10, 2008

    Gopher4-we are starting RTI to work on differentiating instruction this year as well. My school is one of 3 in our district of about 15 elem. sch. which will go full throttle while the others are slowly working into it. I receive training next week so we'll see if I am enlightened to their ideas of DI. I think most teachers already do it without realizing it. Unfortunately, the RTI, is unknown to us at this time and yet we will be expected to implement it effectively with 1 day of training. I think it will be fine but there's so much of the unknown and the logistics of setting it up seem overwhelming. Anyway, good luck!
     
  5. loves2teach

    loves2teach Enthusiast

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    Aug 10, 2008

    This is a huge push in our district as well. We use higher order thinking skills with DI also.
     
  6. SouperTeach

    SouperTeach Companion

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    Aug 10, 2008

    Gab, we had a whole class over Response to Intervention in college so maybe I can help you with that. Basically, you assess a student who is having trouble academically. Then you design an intervention and implement that intervention. The whole assessment is data driven and is really good. It sounds more difficult than it really is. If you would like, you could pm me with specific questions, I would be glad to help. I could even email you some of my examples from class.
     
  7. michelb366

    michelb366 Comrade

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    RTI and differentiation are also key in helping those upper kids get the education they need as well. Too often the upper kids get less attention because they already understand or catch on quickly. Some of our teachers found out that their upper level kids needed more challenging material as they were not making the growth that they should have been making.
     
  8. jillybean

    jillybean Comrade

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    Aug 10, 2008

    We have this at our school. This year I have a smaller classroom and I think I am going to find it harder to do with 6 students and 3 different grade levels. Once you learn how to do it will get easier.
     
  9. gab

    gab Comrade

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    Aug 10, 2008

    SouperTeach-I sent a pm...I apologize now for its length but any help would be appreciated. I do understand the theory/philosophy behind RTI and I like it, the logistics are what I am finding the most challenging and answers do not seem easy to come by from the admin and others who have attended workshops. Thanks again for the help!
     
  10. cruiserteacher

    cruiserteacher Comrade

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    All of our PD was on DI last year. They hired someone that had DI knowledge as well as knowledge of our state standards. Though he did have some good ideas, lots were things that just came naturally to us as teachers. All of his DI was based on Bloom's, and we know how long that has been around. We were very disappointed because we had 4 PD days and it was very repetitive. I don't know how much he was paid, but it seemed like such a waste of money. Also, no offense to anyone, but I think DI comes very naturally to those of us that are more recently out of college because that is the big thing these days.
     
  11. Gopher4

    Gopher4 Comrade

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    Aug 11, 2008

    We are getting ready to have 2 days of Staff Dev. on DI and I'm not looking forward to for several of the same reasons you mentioned. I feel like competent, natural teachers do this all the time anyway. It's called Surviving in the Classroom". You do what you gotta do. Now we'll just have to code it or document it and that just means extra work.

     
  12. cruiserteacher

    cruiserteacher Comrade

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    Aug 11, 2008

    Gopher, fortunately (depending on how you look at it I guess, but for me, fortunately) our district puts a lot into our PD training then does nothing to back it up. So the only thing that I had to lose was time in the meetings. Nobody checked up on us to make sure we were implementing our strategies. We weren't even asked to share what we had been doing. So, no extra work for me :) I hope yours goes better than mine!
     

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