Guided Response: Choose one of the five strategies identified by at least two of your peers. Evaluate the real-world application of this strategy and offer at least one suggestion, supported by the research (cite your sources), to make it accessible to a population who may have been overlooked including students with special needs, English language learners, gifted students, or another unique population.
Since my focused age group is 3-5 years old, the instructional strategies I chose are Five Senses from Edutopia.org and Create Learning Stations from Prodigygame.com. The Five Senses strategy incorporates all the learning styles, auditory, visual, kinesthetic, and tactile in lessons and activities as much as possible. Examples are picture cards or flash cards to correspond with shapes, colors, and vocabulary, and manipulatives for math. Creating Learning Stations also helps with the multiple learning styles, as well as assists with students finding new interests and enhancing their current interests. The learning stations will correspond to the different areas of the room: dramatic play, puzzles, construction, reading, manipulatives, computer, music, and art. In groups of four, the students will start at one station then after an allotted time they will switch. Because of the ages of the children, this type of strategy may only work for a short period of time and cannot be used frequently.
There are multiple tools for these instruction strategies and they will vary. The Five Senses strategy, as an example, can use flash or picture cards, where the teacher holds up the card, students call out what is on the card, then the teacher can pass around the card so students can get a better look. Creating Learning Stations will take multiple tools, such as: dress up items, puzzles, different types of building materials, manipulatives, computer, music, and art supplies.
The activity that I thought would be very engaging for this age group is Pass the Ball from All Children Can Learn. The teacher asks a question, or holds up a flash/picture card, passes a ball to a student, then if the student answers what is on the card correctly they can go shoot a basket. This activity caters to the multiple learning styles as well: the card is something visual they can look at; the teacher is facilitating the activity and going over what is on the card; the students get to touch the ball; then get up and shoot a basket.
Guido, M. (2016, October 12). 20 Differentiated Instruction Strategies and Examples. Retrieved from https://www.prodigygame.com/blog/differentiated-instruction-strategies-examples-download/
Raffaelli, L. (2014, December 5). 18 Teacher-Tested Strategies for Differentiated Instruction. Retrieved from https://www.edutopia.org/discussion/18-teacher-tested-strategies-differentiated-instruction
Stancil, T. (2011, November 30). All children can learn. Retrieved from http://cnweb.cn.edu/tedu/New%20Website%20Docs/DifferentiatedInstructionStrategiesKit.pdf
All children can learn was a great and helpful resource for me to read and learn more instructional strategies for my classroom. Two instructional strategies that I currently use in my classroom and would provide for this assignment are individual response boards and exit cards.
In my classroom, I use a lot of individual response boards during social studies before a lesson to see what students know and also at the end of a lesson to see if students have understood the content that was taught. I can also differentiate this strategy and ask questions that overall can be answered over a broad spectrum. This would allow for all student participation and allow for all students on every level to feel confident in using the boards. I find this strategy is also a great assessment for teachers as well. The exit cards are something we use at least twice a week. This allows me to provide students with higher level thinking questions based off of the content taught and also gives me an idea of what they have learned for the day. In my class, the way I use these exit cards is actually through google classroom which also incorporates some technology as well. I will often times refer back to our essential question and take that essential question and turn it into a question of higher level thinking based of students learning level.
Two instructional tools that are also great to use, one of them being very technology oriented and can be tailored to meet student’s needs, level and content being taught is Kahoot. Not only is this a great instructional tool to test students on their knowledge or do a review of a unit, I feel that it also gets students excited and motivated to participate in lessons when they know they can see their progress compared to other students when playing. Kahoot is a great tool that can be used when considering differentiation. Depending on how the Kahoot game is setup by the teacher, Kahoot allows for independent or partner pairing to play the game and answer the questions. Another great instructional tool that I just actually learned about in a PLT meeting was web quests. Teachers are able to create a web quest at the beginning of their unit as well as a summative assessment at the end of a unit. These web quest also promote students independent thinking and teaches them how to problem solve on their own using the internet and technology. Either of these instructional tools can be altered to meet each students needs based off of their learning styles as well as differentiated them to meet each student’s needs.
An activity that I would suggest and I also find that I use a lot, especially during ELA when we are doing novel studies is a think-pair-share activity. This activity allows for students to work in groups and have discussions on the content being taught and share their opinions with peers and collaborate on ideas.
Puckett, K (2013). Differentiating Instruction: A Practical Guide [Electronic version]. Retrieved from https://content.ashford.edu/ (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
Stancil, T. (n.d.). Differentiated instruction strategies. Retrieved from http://cnweb.cn.edu/tedu/New Website Docs/DifferentiatedInstructionStrategiesKit.pdf (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.