This week was a great reminder for me on how important it is to approach differentiated instruction from many angles. When I think about differentiated instruction I am always thinking about my intervention groups which are created through several assessments and classroom teacher observation. When we actually get the students and have worked with them for a while then we become part of that progress monitoring system through observations and assessments. The students are moved pretty frequently from one group to another dependent upon their needs. We readdress every grade level at least once every six weeks, speaking with the classroom teachers and other interventionists. It’s a community effort to get these students to progress towards their goals.
Then I think back to me as a PE teacher and realize I am also differentiating instruction there. It’s not through reading or writing, it’s through physical activity. I have a curriculum as well that I use as a guideline for what my students should know and be able to do by the end of the year. Not all students are at the same level physically, whether it be their skill level, or their ability level they are all so very different. I have to adjust constantly to adapt for students who struggle physically and/or mentally. When the students walk through that door they all come in with highly differing active or inactive lifestyles. I have to try to help those who have never thrown a ball learn how to do it correctly. Or those kids who are an all-star player learn some honing skills that will increase their game and challenge them as a player. It’s a completely different area, but not so different in how I am constantly monitoring and changing what I am teaching according to the class, their skills and abilities. Reading through other’s blogs helped me to realize how much I do differentiate instruction in my own classroom (both in the gym and out).
I really enjoyed playing Minecraft this week. Though I was a little disappointed that there were some thieves out there who went through my entire inventory and took it all! I am glad I kept the important things on my person so I wouldn’t lose it. I guess survival mode is just that, try to stay alive and use your resources.
Tweeting is also a fun thing for me now. I really enjoy hearing from everyone and being able to get some insight into what everyone else is doing and thinking. It really helps to put it all together for me.