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Rachel Yakey
Overwhelming
Sat Nov 22, 2014 09:47
75.183.1.132

Emily,

Differentiation does require a lot of prep work (as you know) and I think it becomes overwhelming when trying to fill the gaps in reading instruction like we are being taught. I normally differentiated with time allowed to complete assignments (i.e. if a students needs more time I give it to them), projects they can chose according to their multiple intelligence preferences, and reading level. Those seem to be the easiest ways to differentiated at the middle school level. The overwhelming part come in trying to modify and implement strategies like the repeated readings, etc. A lot of my time was spent with those students during the hour I had them. Luckily it was a small class and the other students were pretty self-sufficient. It would definitely be better with another teacher. I had hoped to use my teacher coach but that didn't work out this year.

I do want to continue trying to figure out how to make it less overwhelming and I think that comes with time and practice. The group of students I have this year aren't really self motivated. Even though the targeted students all acknowledged that the interventions were helping, they couldn't help but ask, "Do I HAVE to do this anymore?" I might keep recording them because if they know I watch it later, they actually do the intervention. :) Basically though, it is worth the time, I just need to figure out what works best with my students and my time.

  • Response - Emily Fox, Thu Nov 20 20:57
    Differentiation is definitely a buzzword in education these days. I think that studying how it affects students in a middle school classroom provides a unique twist. I appreciated the videos you... more
    • male student fluency - Stacy, Sat Nov 22 16:23
      What struck me in Emily's response was how well this went with the male students. Why do you think it had such a positive effect on the male students? Making growth in skills can be very difficult... more
      • Re Stacy - Rachel Yakey, Sun Nov 23 13:13
        I think with this particular student and another in the group that wasn't a focal student, was their motivation. K is a really good student that tries to do his best on everything. M really liked the ... more
    • Overwhelming - Rachel Yakey, Sat Nov 22 09:47
      • differentiation and motivation - catheyt, Sun Nov 23 11:57
        I was also wondering how this would impact your instruction in the future. I can imagine the challenge of differentiating instruction when you have a limited amount of time and MANY students to... more
        • differentiation - Melissa Boyd, Tue Nov 25 10:39
          Differentiation can be quite a juggling act. I color code stations that are differentiated. This helps for independent work when I am working with small groups. It does take extra time to plan and... more
        • Student Awareness - Rachel Yakey, Sun Nov 23 13:09
          I think the thing that makes it so hard to differentiate is that they aren't used to it anymore. They are so used to whole class instruction that it is hard for them to work on something while... more
          • boys motivation - catheyt, Sun Nov 23 18:20
            The boys and their reactions reminds me of the class we took with Dr. Meyers last year. Boys so often have this stereo typical view of themselves as (non)readers. It sounds like your students own... more
            • Graphic Novels - Rachel Yakey, Sun Nov 23 19:12
              I do read a graphic novel, actually I talked my school into buying American Born Chinese because it fit our social studies curriculum. :) My "non-reader" boys read in a day and half. I also an not as ... more
          • non-readers - Stacy, Sun Nov 23 18:18
            Some of my students say the same thing about not reading. I have read some research that talks about the decline in reading as the students enter middle school and that continues into high school.... more
            • Changing it up - Rachel Yakey, Sun Nov 23 19:13
              Hey Stacy, Do you mean how to I plan to keep the differentiation fresh?
              • change up - Stacy, Sun Nov 23 19:32
                Yes - how will you keep differentiation fresh?
                • Re change up - Rachel Yakey, Mon Nov 24 07:23
                  That is a great question. I'm not sure if changing interventions will be necessary in every area. It seems a lot of years of research has gone into the repeated readings, taped readings, etc. So I'm... more
                  • response to Rachel - Stacy, Tue Nov 25 08:18
                    I agree that the basic need to stay the same. I am always thinking about ways to change certain parts up so that the students stay engaged. I like the videos, and think that you are doing a great job.
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