Category: Differentiated Instruction

RAFTs: Coaching Writing Tips

During workshops, I sometimes survey the teachers in the room: Rate yourself on a 5 pt scale. A five equals, “I can write for publication with confidence.” A one equals, “I do not like to write, preferring to avoid it when I can.” Yes, I know… rating scales should avoid an odd number range because …

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Formative Assessment Cycle – A necessary good

“Differentiation is making sure that the right students get the right learning tasks at the right time. Once you have a sense of what each student holds as ‘given’ or ‘known’ and what he or she needs in order to learn, differentiation is no longer an option; it is an obvious response.” –Lorna M. Earl[i] …

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Student Voice & Minecraft PBL

Last week during the snow days, or rather the Freeze days of -30+ degree weather, my son spent those two days writing and revising a proposal, sharing its content with his peers, and analyzing work by others for critical logic flaws and idea development. The weekend prior he spent researching several ideas, and then pitched …

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Learning Preferences Cards

Students need opportunities to practice Global Competencies like Collaboration, Communication, Creativity, Innovation, and Influencing across networks. This is why working in teams gives them the opportunities to practice these skills and to get coaching by the teacher and others. Yet one challenge with teams is the fear that some students will dominate, while others will …

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Inspiring the Writer in everyone

The Window activity was taught to me by Sally Jessup, my close friend and colleague. She had a gift for recognizing in others a capacity that they did not always see in themselves. The Window activity, as she designed it, is a powerful tool for inspiring writing in all people. She understood that writing skills …

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Communication = Voice

Student voice in learning is a reoccurring topic for me. At every workshop I do, voice becomes an integrated action item that teachers grapple with. This was the case during my sessions at the PBL World Conference in Napa, CA. Fostering student voice is a critical key to enabling them to effect their learning experiences. …

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Differentiated Instruction through the 8 Elements of Project Based Learning

On June 20th, I’ll be presenting at PBL World on Differentiated Instruction (DI). As I immerse myself into that process, I thought this would be a good time to make several posts in the theme of DI. What follows is a way to kick things off… Project Based Learning (PBL) is an efficient structure for …

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Making the Invisible Visible: Scaffolds

I love watching the show, “So you think you can dance.” A show about “amateur” (emphasis on the air quotes) dancers who perform on a televised stage in the hopes of either winning or staying in the competition long enough to get noticed. When the contestants dance in their style of choice their movements appear …

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Adjusting for Success

“Defense wins games; rebounds wins championships.” As a sports fan and a former basketball coach I’ve seen this to be a truism. Take the Chicago Bulls in the 1990s. Michael Jordan was the leader who could will a victory from games that should have been lost. While an offensive force, he and Scottie Pippen lead a team …

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