So now I'm working as an instructional coach and as a writing interventionist at my same school. Some less stress, some more stress. But: today especially I wanted to share a victory:
one of my teaching partners just told me that she tried something this week w/ a tricky class, and "it worked really well!" She had a check-in or entry ticket that she used to sort the students into "got it," "almost got it," and "ain't got it" (essentially) groups, and she differentiated the entire day's plan based on those groups. The first group moved on to new material, the second one she provided with some clarifying materials and more practice opportunities, and then she worked intensively to help the third group learn the material they didn't understand (or had missed). She was really happy about how well it had worked, and I am over the moon!
While we were talking about it (and I was celebrating her willingness to do something different that would work for all kids as "just right instruction"!), we both remembered the video that we watched w/ Freshman team about differentiated instruction, and she mentioned that it had helped her figure out this approach. We are hoping that this model can become a routine in her class and that she can use our math/science support lab to gain more support: sometimes the first group can head down to do their work; sometimes maybe the third group could go there for intensive support, leaving her able to work with the other groups. However, the goal is to have the check/plan/organize/teach structure become a common Tues/Wed. work structure in her classroom.
CLASSIC example of differentiation.
CLASSIC proof that helping kids access the curriculum improves engagement (a problem w/ this class).
CLASSIC example of teacher growth and willingness to try.
CLASSIC example of how models and sharing/collaboration make a difference.
CLASSIC example of a learning routine.
I'd like to link the Teaching Channel video into this post, AND I FOUND IT!
Anyway: how nice to see such measurable and successful teacher growth!