Great Tools for Differentiating Instruction

flickr photo by Sean MacEntee http://flickr.com/photos/smemon/5209796269 shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

Edutopia has a great piece by John McCarthy with dozens of tools for differentiating instruction. It’s a strong list with something for everyone. Even the strong tech user will likely find something in his list that they haven’t tried yet.

Learning Profiles

When students address concepts from diverse perspectives, especially in collaborative groups, it can lead to in-depth understanding. Learning profiles are about providing each student with experiences that incorporate a variety of learning style elements, not just one. Such activities help students find deeper connections, especially if they share points of view via peer reflection and dialog.

Try these tools:

Here are an additional 50+ tools for exploration. Consider which will best fit the “current” needs of your diverse learners. More will be added on a regular basis. What tools do you use?”

Read the entire piece here.

Is Your Feedback Helping or Hindering Student Learning?

Photo Credit: nexus6 via Compfight cc

We know how important feedback is for student learning, but what if it’s having the opposite effect? In this new post by Dylan Wiliam, he examines the research and helps us distinguish between helpful and unhelpful feedback for student learning.

“In 38% of well-designed studies, feedback actually made performance worse—one of the most counterintuitive results in all of psychology.

If there’s a single principle teachers need to digest about classroom feedback, it’s this: The only thing that matters is what students do with it. No matter how well the feedback is designed, if students do not use the feedback to move their own learning forward, it’s a waste of time. We can debate about whether feedback should be descriptive or evaluative, but it is absolutely essential that feedback is productive.

Add to that concept a second related principle: Feedback should be more work for the student than it is for the teacher.”  Read the entire post here.