Posts Tagged research

Technology Tuesday – Supporting Differentiation in the Classroom

Differentiating Content:

Here are a few tools to help in finding content suited to the different levels in your classroom.

Twurdy – http://twurdy.com – Need to find content to help in differentiation in the classroom?   Twurdy searched the internet and labels results with a readability score.  The darker orange the background of the result is the higher readability level it has.  This would be great when searching  for materials for struggling readers and for the gifted students who need more of a challenge.   The have their own scale system so be sure to check out the feature to turn the age level to understand their system.

Google Reading Level – Google also has a search filter that will sort results based on Basic, Intermediate and Advanced Reading Levels.   Type in your search term(s) and then click on the reading level you want to focus on to see the websites that fall in that category.

Text Compactor  – http://textcompactor.com/ – Create a summary of your text by pasting in the passage, drag the slider to show how much of the text you want to keep in the summary and then view the results.   You can also cut and paste the results into a text to speech program or into a language translator to help process the information even more.  This could be used for those ELL students or for struggling readers to comprehend the text.  Or use it in the writing process as students pasting in their own writing and determining if the created summary really reflects what was intended by the student.

Sweet Search – http://www.sweetsearch.com/ – A search engine designed to give results based on analyzing the credibility of the website so students will have access to information that is more accurate than random sites.   This website also contains widgets that you can place on your website so that students can use it as a launching point for searches in class and at home.

 

Differentiating Product

This is easy with Web 2.0 technology tools.  Students do not need to all create the same product, but choices can be given to allow them to choose a method that is more in alignment with their intelligences.  All these tools help students create.  According to the Digital Bloom’s taxonomy – creating is on the high end of the spectrum of critical thinking tools.  You don’t have to be an expert in all of these tools.  Tutorials already exist in youtube or by talking to other teachers who have the how-to papers ready to go.  Students are ready to learn the program to accomplish the product so let them try!

Create:

This list is not comprehensive, but this should get you started.

Management of Differentiated Products:

Worried about grading all these different products?   With the design of a good rubric grading can be easy as the content should always be what you are looking for no matter what the packaging is.   Rubistar is a great place to start in designing a rubric.

Tammy Worcester had a great idea of how to gather all the links/products into one place with a digital dropbox.  Using a google form, create a place for students to turn in their links for easy access to all products posted online.

Example:

Resources:

http://cooltoolsfor21stcenturylearners.wikispaces.com/Flexible+Learning+Paths

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Ideas for Providing Feedback

Want to make a difference in your classroom? Let your students know how they are doing!

The most powerful single modification that enhances achievement is feedback. [Hattie, 1992]

According to Robert Marzano’s Classroom Instruction that Works -providing feedback to students can be the single most important change you make in your classroom.  Research shows that:

  1. Feedback should be corrective in nature – Let’s students’ know why what they are doing is right or wrong.
  2. Feedback should be timely – the more the delay the less effective it is
  3. Feedback should be specific to a criterion – Focus on how they are doing based on the skill and not in relation to other students.
  4. Students can effectively provide some of their own feedback – Students can track as their learning occurs – ex.  accuracy and speed

Technology can provide new and innovative ways to provide this for students.

  • Rubrics
  • Online Publishing – Blogs
    • Blogger – hosted by Google – also free to use.  You can take the “next blog link” off the top banner with some simple coding.
    • ePals – provides safe email and blog platforms for schools
    • Edublogs – free blogs for classrooms.  They are running google keyword ads now so be careful.
  • Polls
    • Turning Points – Clickers – RRISD created tutorials for Turning Points – https://rrisd-teacherguides.wikispaces.com/TurningPoint+2006
    • Quia – free 30 day trial version is available
    • Survey Monkey
    • Google Forms – create online quizzes for free.  Responses are stored in a spreadsheet for further analysis.  Must have a Google account.
    • Poll Everywhere create polls that participants can respond to via, text, twitter, smartphone, or web.

Note about Cell Phones:  We are a ways away in our district from asking students to pull out their cell phones to text in answers, but this is a technology worth watching.  The polls on Poll Everywhere allow for web voting as well.   Polls can be embedded into webpages and blogs to see instant results, as well as downloadable PowerPoint slides.

I built some sample text polls with Poll Everywhere to test it out:

Resources:
All my resources for this post can be found on my diigo account. http://www.diigo.com/user/robiny/feedback
I’ll continue to add more as I find them.

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