Practice Differentiated Instruction

P2 – Practice differentiated instruction. Teacher should build a language consistency that will allow the learned information from previous assignments to connect with new information from new assignments.

My interpretation of HOPE Principle P2 is that it explains the importance for teachers to learn and put into practice multiple pedagogies. Teachers need to have different approaches to teaching different learners in order accommodate students academic needs. In my internship thus far, I have gained the abilities to differentiate my instruction of curriculums. I have recently taught two literacy lessons in which my students learned how to visualize using text clues and background knowledge in order to understand what they are reading. I have attached the lesson plans I used to teach as evidence (Lesson 2.1 Lesson 2.2). In the first lesson, students acted out what they visualized from Eloise Greenfields “Rope Rhyme” as it was read in class. Later in the second lesson, students made visualizations from Eloise Greenfields “Honey, I Love” using text clues and background knowledge. Instead of acting out what they visualized, students made drawings of it. In both lessons, students practiced visualizing in different ways to gain understanding of the reading. I had students physically use their bodies to present what they visualize in the first lesson and draw what’s in their mind on the second lesson.

In both lessons, I have differentiated the instruction based on what I thought was appropriate for students learning. I had students show their understanding of the poem as they connect text clues to what they already know in both of the lessons. In the first lesson, I chose to have students act out what they visualized as the class read the poem. This strategy allowed students to come up with a mental image and even a movie of how they they were interpreting the text. Having students visualize what was happening in their mind and even act it out allowed kinesthetic learners, those that learn by doing, to comprehend the poem better. In the second lesson, I chose to have students draw what they visualized to show their understanding of the poem. Having students draw their interpretation of what happened in the poem combined auditory, those that learn by hearing, and visual learner, those that learn by seeing, to comprehend the poem better.

I strongly believe differentiation in instruction is important. It allows teachers become more effective in their abilities to teach. According to Bobby Hobgood, teachers who negotiate variables such as age, cultural background, cognitive ability, and physically challenges benefit from differentiating their instruction to accommodate the various needs of student population. Hobgood lists process, content, and product as critical areas in which differentiation needs to take place. In my case, I differentiated the process the students were learning the material in order to allow them to better connect with the content being learned. In my instruction of these two lessons, I learned that it is important for students to interact with the material through different methods, and both strategies were affective in allowing students to do so. One way I can improve in this area is by learning more teaching strategies that meet the needs of the many different learners in my classroom.

References:

Hobgood, B. (2013, January 1). Reaching every learner: Differentiating instruction in theory and practice. Retrieved April 18, 2015, from http://www.learnnc.org/lp/editions/every-learner/cover

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