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Laregilon Hughes Laregilon Hughes 975 Points

What are some ways to differentiate instruction in the science classroom?

Bo Cheli Bo Cheli 60 Points

You should definitely check out the [url=]NSTA Teacher’s Toolkit article on differentiating inquiry[/url]. It’s a great general resource about differentiated instruction, and walks through a differentiated inquiry on density. For a more general overview of differentiated instruction, check out [url=]How to Teach Students with Different Learning Abilities[/url]. For me, I think the open-ended nature of inquiry and project-based learning invites unique and diverse questions and solutions, making them ideal for differentiated instruction. Here are some specifics about how I differentiate instruction in inquiries: -Create a lab report checklist or rubric that students can come back to over multiple labs. This way you and students can focus on growth over time which is the essence of differentiated instruction. -Provide various levels of scaffolding for authentic inquiry tasks. Throughout all labs there are some common reasoning tasks that can be tacked on to increase difficulty and make inquiry more authentic. Here they are, in the form of prompts: [i]What generalizations can you make about your results? Explain the limits of those generalizations. What variables were controlled in this experiment? How do your results differ from other groups’ results? Construct an argument for or against your hypothesis using your results from the lab.[/i] For any of the above questions you can provide the level of guidance appropriate to students’ needs. For example, here’s how you might differentiate math instruction in the results section of a lab or project report (from low to high difficulty). You can set up a table for students, or have them format their own data (same for graphs). For cases where you’re dealing with continuous data sets, have your advanced students draw a line of best fit and find the equation relating the independent and dependent variables.

Pamela Dupre Pamela Dupre 92349 Points

I agree with what Bo and others have posted on here. Once you get to know your students and you discover their learning styles, it is easier to determine what type of differentiation is needed. Use the Explore All Resources button at the top and you can find a variety of material geared toward differentiation.

Tara Spitzer-List Tara Spitzer-List 60 Points

I agree with what Bo said, above. I think of differentiation as thinking of what is the end goal -- then how can you scaffold it, and how can you extend it. Some examples:

  • Can you provide a graph with the axes set up?

  • Can you provide easier reading material on similar content?

  • sentence starters or graphic organizers?

  • An extension question or a presentation/application for an advanced students?

Is there a specific lesson or topic that you are trying to differentiate?

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