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English Online. Every child literate - a shared responsibility.
Ministry of Education.

Laura's class - focusing inquiry

What was important, given where Laura’s students were at?
Students at Massey High School are grouped according to the results of their entrance testing, and placed in form classes based primarily on maths ability. Therefore there is a range of literacy ability in classes. Laura has a high ability Year 9 class. She deliberately chooses mixed ability groups - two high ability and two low ability - alongside a differentiated task to meet the learning needs of this class.

Video clip: Group work-Laura’s perspective

What evidence did Laura draw on?

The HoD has been a strong advocate for differentiation within her department. She has previously used support available from School Support Services (Team Solutions) and research acquired from The Best Evidence Synthesises (Quality Teaching of Diverse Learners as well as the Leadership BES) to build teacher capability in the area of differentiation.

What evidence did Laura draw on from her own practice or that of her colleagues?
The department has worked on having a solid understanding of the curriculum levels of students through the marking rubrics and e-asTTle reading tests. Laura has built a deep understanding of the strengths of her students within English and across the learning areas. She knows that students in her class have strengths in music, art and technology and so provides opportunities for her students to bring those interests into this task.

Video clip: Variety of interests

Laura's class - teaching inquiry

Published on: 25 Oct 2012


Examine your role as teacher in the differentiated classroom

  • Brainstorm ways to vary your instructional delivery methods. Target auditory, visual, and kinesthetic learners in your approaches.
  • Develop a general plan for facilitating time, space, and materials in your classroom. On any given day, not all students will be working on the same assignment at the same time. Plan for student access to necessary materials, where individuals or groups will work, and how much time can be allotted to specific tasks.
  • Identify alternative methods of assessing student performance and understanding. Assessment results should increase teacher understanding of students' abilities, interests, and needs, and should be incorporated into future planning.


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