Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Differentiating Instruction in High School

I know it's a good idea. I know it's what we're supposed to do. Maybe I'm even doing it sometimes (most times?) and don't even know it. BUT. There's always a part of my brain saying, "too many kids, too little time, not enough resources specifically for math or for high school ...". Everything I have read in the past seems to be, "give projects!" and that seems to be the bulk of what I got from their suggestions.

This book (http://www.amazon.com/Differentiating-High-School-Classroom-Strategies/dp/1412917166/ref=sr_1_1/105-4459711-7881269?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1216748751&sr=1-1) seems to be different (from my glance and quick read through at the bookstore and through reading the 1st 5 pages and looking at the bulk of what each topic is about). I like the fact that the woman is (was?) a high school teacher. She has taught not just the "cream of the crop". She's not a PhD researcher who only knows theory. She talks about many obstacles and how to overcome them. She talks about the fact that, yes, we do have lots of things that get in the way. AND. The best part. It's geared to high school. Hopefully, I'll absorb the material and be able to use it as a springboard to make some progress this year on my differentiation.


  1. I spent some time looking through that book earlier this week, too. I really like how the book is organized by obstacles. I thought the suggested for overcoming the obstacles, or shooting down the negativity, seemed very reasonable.

  2. Anonymous9:37 AM

    Hey! You have great taste :). Now I'll have to get off the movie-watching couch and finish the book and reflect on how I can start incorporating the ideas.

    Ms. Cookie

  3. Anonymous9:51 AM

    When you do finish the book, I'd love to know if you still think it's as great as the beginning promises. I want to get it -- I need to learn differentiation -- but since it's on the pricey side, I only really want to get it if it's useful.

  4. A thought I'm playing with for this year deals with differentiation for remediation. For example, let's say kids in my support class bomb 3 specific topics on a chapter test, I'll pull them in for tutoring on those topics alone, and those are the topics they will be tested on again for a re-take. The 3 specific topics may differ for several studets, but their low skills are the only ones I'll ask them to re-test. This alleviates the pressure of taking an entirely new test while also focuses on the specific skills they need more help on. Now I will make the questions on the second test more difficult than the first simply because it will be so focused. Be sure and share what you learn from that book or what you decide to try out this year.