JPS Holds Teacher Workshop in Differentiated Instruction

Jamestown Public Schools recently held a differentiated instruction workshop for elementary, middle and high school teachers. Differentiated instruction is an approach whereby teachers adjust their curriculum and instruction to maximize the learning of all students: average learners, English language learners, struggling students, students with learning disabilities, and gifted and talented students. Differentiated instruction is not a single strategy but rather a framework that teachers can use to implement a variety of strategies, many of which are evidence-based.

Over four days, JPS teachers explored best practices for differentiated instruction including adjusting three main instructional elements: content, process, and product in order to increase student achievement according students’ readiness. Facilitators for the workshop were JPS District Instructional Coaches, Christina Spontaneo and Amanda Sischo.

During the JPS workshop, teachers explored the works of researchers in the field of differentiation, including Carol Ann Tomlinson, Rick Wormeli and Diane Heacox.  Teachers also took part in the online module Differentiated Instruction: Maximizing the Learning of All Students from The Iris Center at Vanderbilt Peabody College and Claremont Graduate University, a national center dedicated to improving education outcomes for all children through the use of effective evidence-based practices and interventions.

As part of their work, teachers studied and discussed how best to apply the five principles of differentiation: Quality Curriculum, Respectful Tasks, Flexible Grouping, Ongoing Assessment, and Supportive Learning Environment. Teachers worked diligently to enhance their current lesson plans by tiering lessons and assessments for the upcoming school year.

posted on 07/29/2016 - filed under: Academics, Elementary School, JHS, Middle School, Spotlight, Staff