Differentiated instruction is probably the hardest thing for a new teacher to do. Maybe I’m just biased because I teach a World Language that builds upon itself, but having 30 students in a classroom all on different assignments is a crazy idea to me. It’s good in theory, but I need more practice as a teacher, I think.
Laura Robb discussed 9 practices to differentiated instruction in her article on Scholastic’s website. Some of the ideas that she mentions are ones that I already incorporate in my own classroom.
- Teach with diverse materials – In any given chapter, my students will read and analyze several media: textbook reading passages, YouTube videos, song lyrics, and images. This broadens their connections to real-world scenarios and items that they are already familiar with.
- Show students how to construct meaning while reading – When I read something out loud, I have students annotate what they understand along the way. They also ask questions and discuss the plot in partners or small groups. I also teach them how to text code sentences to better dissect the ideas and gain a better understanding.
- Encourage discussion – It’s probably easiest to hold discussions in the language classroom. I think students engage in conversation naturally while reading, either with the text and themselves or with their peers to bounce ideas off each other. We hold several speaking activities that are outlined in the text or that I created myself.
The UDL that I chose to use is the Multiple Means of Representation tools. I explored the International Children’s Digital Library. I love that there are several books available for students to access. I can use this to roll out small book reports. Each student can research a book in their desired reading level and have access to it online. It can also supplement my own classroom library and authentic resources for students.
Finally, I use audio sites to help create several assignments for my students. I mainly use a software feature on Windows called Sound Recorder. Then, I use Zamzar to convert the file to an mp3 file that I can share with my students using Google Drive. I mainly use it for my 504/IEP students that need to have assessments and assignments read out loud.
For this assignment, I chose to use Spokentext.net . I created a website to save my recordings.
This will prove to be most useful to give students more listening activities!!! I can’t wait to use it!!