Monday, August 19, 2013

K-8 Differentiated Instruction

L. Elliotr, C. Forsten, J. Grant and B. Hollas complied the second edition of K-8 Differentiated Instruction: Different Strategies for Different Learners. The book contains 119 strategies for approaching different learning styles and levels. It is a nice selection of ideas that are easily indexed, although many that are targeted for literacy or math could be used for other content areas.

My favorite piece was the monthly manager chart which allows quick recording of a behavior you are watching, intervention you are attempting and the results. While I think graphs are far easier to read in terms of the successfulness or lack there of an intervention, this allows for a simple place to record results that could be graphed later.

Descriptions of some of the strategies are very brief and do not include many specific examples. This may be limiting to people in terms of implementation. Additionally, many of their strategies are just good classroom management techniques. The presentation might be useful for someone struggling in the area as they are brief.

One strategy they identify as what is my name. In it they give a name tag to each student with, for their example, a math fact on it. For a set time period- a day, a couple days or week- the student is referred to by the answer of the fact. I have seen this strategy highlighted for vocabulary use as well. Although it could easily be overused and become routine, it might be an interesting way to help students cement a personally troubling fact.

Not necessarily a book to read, but a useful book for a reference shelf.

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