Try DI!: Planning & Preparing a Differentiated Instruction Program
Instructor: Steve Dahl
Spring, Summer & Fall (Ongoing)
Academic Level: K-12 Professional Development
NDSU Credit Fee: $150 + Partner Course Fee: $125
Partner Class Offered Through Virtual Education Software, inc.
Try DI!: Planning & Preparing a Differentiated Instruction Program has been developed with the widest possible audience in mind because the core principles of a differentiated approach can be applied K-12. The primary goal of the course is to provide an overview of DI principles as well as DI strategies that will help teachers to implement a “theory of action.” The course will invoke a metaphor for teaching that is woven throughout the course and extends as the course unfolds. The course offers a variety of opportunities for reflection and culminates with an observation tool that will help professionals to align their theories with the actions they take in the classroom.
- Understand how differentiated instruction is defined and the distinctive elements of a classroom where DI is practiced.
- Outline elements of the rationale supporting implementation of a DI approach (i.e., why DI?).
- Identify the essential principles from which a DI approach is developed and implemented.
- Demonstrate understanding of a teacher reflection strategy aligned with principles of DI.
- Understand the need for alignment between instructional paradigm, educational priorities, principles of differentiation, and practices selected on a daily basis.
- Demonstrate understanding of a self-assessment tool used to reflect on current practice in comparison with elements of the DI approach.
- Understand the importance of having a “theory of action” as a teacher and the potential for elements entailed in the DI approach to enhance current practice.
- Identify several methods for gathering information about student-specific readiness.
- Understand the relationship between instructional decision making and student motivation.
- Identify DI strategies for designing environments that reflect Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles.
- Articulate some of the challenges when differentiating based on student readiness.
- Demonstrate understanding of strategies for differentiation to meet student-specific needs.
- Articulate the advantages of differentiating with regard to student interest.
- Explain the relationship between planning effective instruction and student motivation.
- Demonstrate understanding of methods for flexible grouping commonly used in a DI classroom.
- Identify general considerations to make when differentiating based on student-specific variables in the areas of interest and learning profiles.
- Explain the general parameters necessary for creating a positive learning environment.
- Outline a variety of teaching decisions that could be made in response to observations of students struggling to maintain progress.
- Articulate a number of instructional management strategies for improving the learning environment.
- Understand the significance of creating opportunities for students to reflect on and represent progress, achievement, and understanding.
- Outline the relevance of the DI approach to the topics of “traditional grading,” “competition,” “fairness,” and “equity.”
- Articulate difference between “assessment for learning” and “assessment of learning” within a DI approach.
- Outline the range of assessment choices and barriers most often encountered when implementing a differentiated classroom.
- Identify possible steps of a course of action for teachers transitioning from a non-DI (i.e., “one size fits all”) approach to a DI (i.e., “whatever it takes”) approach.
- Understand the functionality of an observation tool that reflects both the theories and practices with a DI approach.
Title: Try DI!: Planning & Preparing a Differentiated Instruction Program
Author: Steve Dahl, M.Ed.
Publisher: Virtual Education Software, inc. 2012