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Report from the Field: Differentiated Instruction Training in Arkansas
posted by: Jill | November 17, 2010, 04:20 PM   

Bentonville, Arkansas. Whole Hog Café. Differentiated Instruction. Three of my favorites. And three entities worth checking out. Of course, since this is a blog about professional development, I will refrain (mostly) from talking about the two former items and focus on the latter.

For the past two weekends I traveled to Northwest Arkansas to present a free professional development workshop to members of the Arkansas State Teachers Association.

I was impressed with how many teachers gave up two Saturdays in November to attend full-day workshops focused on Differentiated Instruction. They came ready to learn and share. On my end, as the presenter, it was electrifying. How I love seeing educators who are committed to their improvement for the benefit of their students. Many thanks to the teachers for their efforts, comments, and commitment.

Differentiated Instruction is so manageable. I love how Staff Development for Educators (SDE) describes DI as a "path" that teachers walk, not an "all-or-nothing" program. I know that the teachers which I trained appreciated hearing that.

The fact is that many teachers already execute many strategies which are differentiating instruction. For example, I am quite good at assessing my students and managing my classroom. I am still working on better tiering of my assignments. With the mindset that DI is a path, I am never overwhelmed with the thought that I'm not "doing it all." I'm differentiating my instruction bit-by-bit and I know that I am becoming a better teacher. And I have assessment scores to demonstrate that the growth I see in me has translated to growth in my students.

Speaking of growth, this is where my shout-out to Whole Hog Café in Bentonville comes in. My waistline has grown since I've discovered Whole Hog's pulled pork and sour cream potato salad. This kind of growth is questionable...

How are you differentiating instruction in your classroom?
Comment below.

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