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What is the most effective differentiation technique?

Discussion in 'Secondary' started by Pilchard1408, May 1, 2019.

  1. Pilchard1408

    Pilchard1408 New commenter

    rather than scaffolded worksheets - have been asked to give a presentation?
     
  2. CheeseMongler

    CheeseMongler Lead commenter

    Why have you been asked? Surely if you've been approached it is because you have some expertise in this area to share with colleagues... trust yourself and just explain what works for you.
    Alternatively, if you've just been lumbered with this because you need to deliver whole school training or some other hoop jumping, then jog on. You're not going to become an expert on differentiation by reading comments on an internet forum. Teachers and SLT regurgitating other people's practices without having experienced them themselves is at the heart of the painful INSET sessions we have to sit through.
     
    minnie me likes this.
  3. minnie me

    minnie me Star commenter

    Agree with above post.

    My concern is that you have only indicated (albeit very briefly ) that there ‘may’ be only one method of differentiation to highlight ?

    If this works for you and your subject area then great BUT I doubt that a presentation on differentiation could / should be about one strategy ? If this is for an interview then I suspect you may struggle ?

    I may be missing the point but I would question seriously if there is only one ‘effective’ approach and perhaps this is really at the heart of the task ?
     
    MissGeorgi likes this.
  4. MissGeorgi

    MissGeorgi Occasional commenter

    Agreed with Minnie, there are many ways to differentiate. It’s a huge area. Far too huge to explain here. The answer to your title question is “a different technique for every pupil, based on your knowledge of their ability”.

    As a starter for 10, I would touch on the following areas:

    Different SENs of pupils and how this affects learning

    EAL and literacy ability

    General differentiation techniques

    How these relate to your subject area
     
  5. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    It's not just a different technique for every pupil, it's also different techniques for different topics/tasks.
     
  6. teachtronic

    teachtronic New commenter

    the way you use questioning both verbal and written can be an effective form of differentiation
     
    minnie me likes this.
  7. minnie me

    minnie me Star commenter

    Differentiation by dialogue
     
    OneLooseCrank and CheeseMongler like this.
  8. CheeseMongler

    CheeseMongler Lead commenter

    One of the few useful INSETs I vaguely remember had a huge list of "differentiation by …" as examples of different ways of differentiating. Trouble is, I can only ever remember a handful (… by task, outcome, grouping) which is a shame because it meant you could make all your everyday teaching sound so much better to observers.
     
  9. minnie me

    minnie me Star commenter

    Yes that’s right
     
  10. CheeseMongler

    CheeseMongler Lead commenter

    As I've reminded myself, here's the ones I can remember (or find on google): differentiation by... task, outcome, grouping, dialogue, support, pace, resource, assessment... anyone got any others?
     
  11. electricsheep

    electricsheep New commenter

    Differentiation need not be too onerous or time-consuming to plan. Try having a range of questions that cover the main tasks - questions of varying depth such as from 'what' to 'why' and 'how' questions. Also, differentiation can be implemented by seating plan that pairs or groups of more able kids to help share skills with lower ability kids. Some teachers say 'teach to the top end' in your class. This is one that is doing the rounds right now but it doesn't work because too many kids won't be able to access the 'top end'.
     
  12. OneLooseCrank

    OneLooseCrank Occasional commenter

    I was going to say this too!
    The thing that makes the biggest difference to a student's progress is the amount of time and the conversations that they can have with adults. But increasing class sizes, reduction in non-contact time, increases in non-teaching responsibilities (like data input) all reduce the amount of time a teacher can give to one-to-one conversations. The best differentiation technique is the one we can no longer employ, and to bring it back schools would need more money to employ more staff. So, heads need to be writing letters to Ministers, teachers need to be striking, and parents need to be on our side with this.
    That's your presentation right there.
    Then walk right-outta-there with a placard screaming 'whozwimee!'
     
    minnie me likes this.
  13. minnie me

    minnie me Star commenter

    Yes and some students spend v little time conversing @ home.

    Teachers need to model good questioning techniques too and the ‘content’ agenda squeezes this out so there can be too much formulaic q and a which is detrimental to exposing how students really think and then articulate those thoughts .... when I rule the world ;):D
     

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