Thursday, March 18, 2010

Differentiation Chapter 2

A key point of chapter 2 of the differentiation book I'm reading is that you can differentiate in one of 3 areas:
* content
* process
* product

Her examples are not from math classes (wait! there's one at the end of the chapter), so I have to brainstorm about how to differentiate content. Let's say I'm teaching solving inequalities in 2 variables. Maybe a content differentiation would be to have separate groups of kids: one with basic line inequalities (y=mx+b set-up), one with point-slope inequalities, and one with standard, point-slope, and basic all mixed. Or maybe a group with line equations given where there is some thinking involved to graph the line (the y-intercept is not an integer, or the "easy" point is off the grid I've given them). So then my thinking goes to: when do I separate them into groups? At the outset? After my initial spiel? After a day together? How do I gather them back at the end of class and make sure they learned? Do they have an opportunity to advance to another level if they mastered the basic ones? Is there enough time, or will we move on to the next topic?

Continuing on with the same example for process differentiation: this would be how they're originally learning the information (among other things). Maybe they could listen to me speak, or separate off and learn from the book, or maybe I have a sheet pre-typed out that goes through the process and prompts them to learn the concept.

For the product differentiation: hmmm, this always smacks of "project" to me, and I know it shouldn't. If I get away from a paper and pencil test, how will I allot the time to assess them orally or in other ways? How will I stop from giving them hints either with my body language or with actual words? How do I know they really know the material?

She does discuss starting your differentiating small and adding to your bag of tricks each year.

1 comment:

1. What book are you reading?

My next school book will be Choice Theory.