A Differentiated Approach to the Common Core: How Do I Help a Broad Range of Learners Succeed with Challenging Curriculum?

A Differentiated Approach to the Common Core: How Do I Help a Broad Range of Learners Succeed with Challenging Curriculum?

A Differentiated Approach to the Common Core: How Do I Help a Broad Range of Learners Succeed with Challenging Curriculum?

A Differentiated Approach to the Common Core: How Do I Help a Broad Range of Learners Succeed with Challenging Curriculum?

Synopsis

The Common Core State Standards require all students to think in complex and creative ways and apply classroom learning in new contexts. Yet many teachers already struggle with reaching all learners, who come to school with varied levels of readiness, interests, and learning profiles. What to do now that the expectations are even higher? Differentiated instruction experts Carol Ann Tomlinson and Marcia B. Imbeau offer practical, thoughtful advice on how to plan, deliver, and assess instruction that meets this new level of challenge. Combining the goals of the Common Core with the principles of differentiation, the authors present an eight-step process to help teachers make rich, intellectually rigorous curriculum accessible to a very broad range of students. With examples across grade levels and content areas and a checklist for reflection on the eight steps, this timely publication will show you how to meet high expectations with responsive instruction and help all your students grow as thinkers and problem solvers.

Excerpt

The Common Core State Standards provide teachers with an opportunity and a challenge. Taught effectively, the Common Core standards encourage students to understand what they are learning (rather than largely memorize and repeat information) and to apply and transfer what they learn. The result would be “deep learning,” which is much more durable and useful than rote learning or “surface learning.” That’s the opportunity. The challenge is that the Common Core demands this level of learning from more than just the “smart” or “advanced” kids. It requires virtually all learners to think in complex and creative ways and be able to use what they learn in contexts beyond those practiced in class.

While our best knowledge of teaching and learning indicates this expectation is entirely appropriate, for many of us, thinking about how to teach complex content in a classroom where student needs and readiness levels vary considerably is unfamiliar territory. The goal of this brief publication is to provide a framework for developing curriculum and planning instruction for academically diverse student populations in Common Core classrooms or, for that matter, in any classroom that calls on all students to master intellectually rigorous standards. To that end, we offer an eight-step process for creating differentiated lessons based on Common . . .

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