"If we teach today's students as we taught yesterday's, we rob them of tomorrow." --John Dewey

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Differentiator

More and more often, we as teachers are being asked to differentiate instruction to meet the learning needs of all of our students.  A noble intention, to be sure, but often easier said than done.  Between thinking about backward design, Bloom's Taxonomy, Marzano's Instructional Strategies, state standards, and . . . oh, right--content, weekly lesson planning can become a mind-boggling endeavor.  If only there was some sort of educational superhero to come to the rescue when you're staring at the blank page of the plan book in front of you, feeling defeated.

Introducing (drum roll, please) The Differentiator!  While not quite a superhero, this web site is definitely an invaluable lesson planning tool.

Begin by choosing the appropriate thinking skill (yes, those are Bloom's verbs you see), and it will be added to your objective.
Move on to the aqua tab to choose the type of content you want for the lesson.  The green tab allows you to choose the resource you expect your students to use, and the melon-colored tab will offer a wide array of finished product choices.  Next, use the Groups tab to select how students will work to complete the assignment.  Once all of those choices have been made, simply fill in the subject matter where you see (click to enter content), and you have a detailed objective that you can copy and paste into your lesson plans, or modify as needed.  
The Differentiator really is a pretty handy, dandy tool, and one certainly worth bookmarking for easy access.  Give it a try.  It may not be a superhero, but it may make you feel like one. 
(Insert your name here)--Super Teacher!

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