During my time in General Inquiry, Teaching, and Assessment Methods, also known as EDU 6150, I have found great importance in the teaching skill of differentiation. This class focused on how to structure lessons as well as how to account for the unexpected when teaching a lesson. The standard that I think applies the best to what I have learned in this lesson is the differentiation program standard of 3.1.
3.1 Demonstrating Knowledge of Students: Teacher recognizes the value of understanding students’ skills, knowledge, and language proficiency and displays this knowledge for groups of – students.
To me this standard doesn’t just say that teachers should be aware where their students are in their individual educational journey, but to also provide different opportunities for students within the same lesson to support those differences. In John Medina’s book Brain Rules (2007) he talks about how different each child is in their development and backs up the obvious need for differentiation in the classroom with his findings. In our class we had the opportunity to put this new knowledge to practice, and were able to build lesson plans and alter them over the course.
The first lesson shows my initial thoughts on how I would teach the lesson. The second is lesson shows all of the alterations and the highlights a couple of examples. I learned that I have to keep in mind all the needs of exceptional learners providing challenges, steps backwards, and possible opportunities to receive a little extra help. This class gave me the opportunity to alter my original lesson plan, to not only help me create a better lesson, but also allowed me to see my mistakes in my original lesson. I have found that when creating lessons it is so helpful to take a step back and keep in mind who the lesson is actually for. Thinking of individuals prepares a teacher to be ready to be flexible, rather than clumping the class’s abilities into one. In the future I am definitely going to have to keep in mind that my lessons are for individuals to learn, not just a whole class. To achieve this I think that I will always try to provide as much differentiation as possible, as well as doing a self-reflection after a lesson. This will always provide me an opportunity to comment on unexpected outcomes that need to be accounted for next time.
Medina, Brian. (2007). Brain Rules. Seattle, WA: Pear Press