MacKillop is continually reviewing the learning needs of all our students. With our unique environment, we can capture a wide picture of the needs of students in every cohort, while simultaneously targeting the needs of our individual learners. As teachers plan for activating their learning spaces for great student engagement, they also craft lessons that provide the right amount of support and challenge for every student.
Differentiating a lesson by adjusting content
By adjusting content, teachers deliver different parts of the curriculum to different students depending on their starting level and what you expect them to learn in that lesson. We often do this in our flexible groups. Practically, this may mean refining concepts for students so they understand the ideas, or it may mean supporting other students to really extend themselves deeper into the curriculum.
Differentiating a lesson by adjusting the process
When teachers adjust the process of a lesson, they change the methods they use to teach and how they expect students to learn. This adjustment could look like collaborative learning with our really confident students, and it may be more explicit instruction with others. It could look like very modelled approaches by the teacher or maybe teaching using some multimedia. Adjusting the process allows teachers to construct a lesson that supports individual learners to meet their learning outcomes in a way that suits their specific needs. We do this ALL THE TIME at Mackillop!
Differentiating a lesson by adjusting the product
When teachers adjust the product of a lesson, we change the specific success criteria for students to demonstrate what they have learned. Teachers can differentiate the product of a lesson in many ways; by asking some students to teach another student, or some students might show their learning by recording a video or making a powerpoint presentation. Some students may show their learning best through writing an essay, or perhaps they show their learning through working in a group and writing a script and presenting their play to the class.
Evidence of success and achievement can look so different for different students and especially at MacKillop this is definitely the case! Our teachers are really good at providing multiple activities where they provide students with the opportunity to work on the same concepts and ideas as everyone else, but at different levels of proficiency. Everything we do is intentional!
This is called “differentiated teaching and learning” and it ensures that all students can master their individual objectives and continually grow even if they aren’t necessarily at the same starting point or level as the other kids in their class.
Differentiated teaching occurs when our teams of teachers plan lessons that adjusts either the content being discussed, the process used to learn or the product expected from students to ensure that learners at different starting points can receive the targeted instruction they need to grow and succeed for their personal best.