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    Professional Development and Differentiated Instruction

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    Please help, I have to write a paper and need some help with finding some information. We have to identify an area in the schools in need of professional development for differentiated instruction. I have to research the objectives, assessments, strategies and implementation of a professional development plan to address the need by including leadership principles, choice of differentiated instruction for improvement, and key players involved. For example, a school site would include parent groups, teachers, teacher leaders, school staff and students. If you can help me with this information and where I can get started I would appreciate it.

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    Solution Preview

    Differentiated Instruction:
    How to implement this assignment: I provided you with some links and resources that will assist you to do the following:
    STEP ONE: Create an Introduction: Define "differentiated instruction" and provide some examples or stress the importance of this useful learning strategy in the classroom. Talk about its impact on student learning and how it might increase student achievement. The following references will provide you with an overview of DI and the blogs will allow you to see what is going on in classrooms today incorporating DI as a learning tool and strategy.
    Some References/Sources

    1. Differentiated instruction is a way to reach students with different learning styles, different abilities to absorb information and different ways of expressing what they have learned.
    What Is Differentiated Instruction? | Scholastic.com

    3. Another great reference with multitudes of information from Edutopia, The George Lucas Educational Foundation, May 24, 2014:

    Defining Differentiated Instruction
    APRIL 13, 2010

    Photo credit: US Department of Education via flickr (CC BY 2.0)
    Updated 01/2014
    When I lesson plan with teachers, out of earshot from their fellow teachers and their principals, I can't tell you how often I'm asked, "what exactly does it look like?" when it comes to differentiated instruction.
    In the education world, differentiated instruction is talked a lot about as a policy or as a solution, but rarely do educators get opportunities to roll up their sleeves and talk about what it looks like in practice.
    The definition begins with this: Equal education is not all students getting the same, but all students getting what they need. Approaching all learners the same academically doesn't work. We have to start where each child is in his learning process in order to authentically meet his academic needs and help him grow. With a classroom full of children at different stages of learning, this certainly sounds overwhelming, I know. So I'd like to suggest a place to begin and provide some examples.
    Start with the Student
    If a child in your class is really struggling with reading, writing, organization, time management, social skills or all of the above, the first step is to find out as much as you can about her educational history and anything else. This includes learning about her interests, cultural background, learning style, and something about her home life (The youngest? Foster care? Single parent home?)
    The fact is we are mainstreaming a larger number of our students to general education classes, who, 15 years ago, may have instead been assigned to a special education class. That's good news in so many ways but makes a teacher's job more challenging. This is also one of the reasons why differentiated instruction has become such a hot topic.
    Several years ago, in one of the general education language arts class I was teaching, 8 of the 34 students enrolled had an Individualized Education Program(IEP). When a child has an IEP, it is required that all teachers provide accommodations and modifications to assignments and instruction for that student. Speaking of overwhelmed. I definitely was, to say the least.
    So, I learned. I spent many of my conference periods combing through student files. It's amazing what you can discover about a child from doing this. For instance, I had a student with perplexing behaviors then I learned he suffered from schizophrenia. How did I find out? Looking at his file. I was a much better teacher for him after gaining this information. Of course, he had an IEP, and someone should have told me in the beginning of the year, but we all know how things -- and children -- fall through the cracks of large public schools in enormous school districts.
    A Classroom Example
    Making an assignment, task, or objective different for one student than the rest of the class is meeting that child where they are in their learning journey. It's okay, you don't have to feel bad or feel as if you are being unfair, or lowering the bar. You are the child's teacher and you spend enough time with her to understand what she needs. And remember, equality is about meeting the needs of the individual.
    Here's an example from my teaching:
    It's a high school language arts class, and students are reading a novel. The daily objective is practicing inference and application of this skill. They are writing a brief essay predicting what the character Crooks from Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men might do next. They must pull textual evidence from the book to support their predictions and ...

    Solution Summary

    This assignment will assist the student in the development of a professional development plan that focuses on differentiated Instruction.