5 Takeaways from Chaper 5: Differentiating in Response to Student Readiness - History Gal

5 Takeaways from Chaper 5: Differentiating in Response to Student Readiness

The Musings of a History Gal
I have to admit, while this chapter is full of great information and ideas, it is a little overwhelming to think of its complete implementation. As a teacher who taught on average 180 students a year on an A/B rotating block schedule, the sheer magnitude of differentiating for student readiness for 180 students makes my head pound.

There are several places in the chapter where I wrote comments in the margins like "how do teachers have time to do this?!" The idea of having to look through 180 preassessments a few days before a new unit and then use that data to create ways to differentiate the unit had me wondering if the authors had really even taught in a high school. However, the more I read, the more intrigued I became and here are 5 things I plan on doing.

The Musings of a History Gal5 Takeaways from This Chapter:

1. At the beginning of the year, assess students' readiness in reading, writing, and listening by having them (1) write out a set of directions, (2) read a passage and answer questions, (3) listen to me read a passage and then answer questions. This way I can identify students who struggle and will need help.

2. Create tiered reading assignments that cover the same essential content, but in a way that struggling students will understand and non-struggling students can be challenged.

3. Redefine preassessment. In my mind, a preassessment is a test. But, it doesn't have to be! It could be as simple as having students move to a certain corner of the room based on what they know about a topic we will be covering. For example:

The Musings of a History Gal

4. Create more checkpoints during a unit to make sure students are understanding what we are covering.

5. Remember that students' readiness is not static - it changes from topic to topic and skill to skill.

Did you miss my summary of Chapter 5? Read it here.

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  1. I love the 4 corners idea as a pre assessment--I will be borrowing. Thanks, Andrea!

  2. I'm glad you'll be able to use it!


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