Saturday, September 12, 2015

Differentiation That Really Works - Math

People, Child, School, GeniusI just purchased Differentiation That Really Works - Math by Cheryll M. Adams, PhD, and Rebecca L. Pierce, Phd.  I have been interested in differentiating my classroom but its hard to find the concrete examples I need.  This book has a variety of examples from Pre-algebra all the way up to Calculus and the examples are from real teachers who use these in the classroom.

The book has a short introduction and then its into the meat of the material.  The chapters cover exit cards, choice boards, cubing, graphic organizers, learning contracts and tiered lessons.  Each chapter has a template and  tons of examples.   For instance, I've always wanted to use exit tickets but I come up with ones that do not do much more than "What did you learn today?" or "Is there anything you still do not understand?"  Usually, I've gotten "I don't know" or they copy everything from their notes.  Neither answer gives me much to go on. 

The cubing is something new for me.  You design a dice cube with math things on it and the students play with it doing what the cube states when it finishes rolling.  The examples give me so much to work with and I can even see how to adjust some of the cubes to meet the needs of my students.  I am wondering if I could set a cube up on my Smartboard to do a whole class activity.

Even the learning contracts have some great examples that might be worth implementing with my students who are less motivated.  It might just provide that little push they need to start working harder.  I will be spending the weekend looking for ways to implement these ideas into my classroom so I am able to offer differentiated instruction.

I found a second book on differentiation that goes hand in hand with this.  I  will review it tomorrow.