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Student-Driven Differentiation
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Student-Driven Differentiation
8 Steps to Harmonize Learning in the Classroom

First Edition
  • Lisa Westman - Author and Educational Consultant, Lisa Westman Consulting
Additional resources:


May 2018 | 216 pages | Corwin

Conduct Orchestras, Not Trains

“What if we understood that we can teach the important ideas and skills of the disciplines in a hundred different ways?  And that students can learn them in a hundred different ways?” 
– Carol Ann Tomlinson

How can teachers create harmony in the classroom when the educational field is lacking tangible action plans for how to differentiate learning for every student?  Full of just-in-time, step-by-step guidance, Student-Driven Differentiation: 8 Steps to Harmonize Learning in the Classroom will show you how to incorporate student voice and choice in the process of planning for differentiation. This unique approach is based on building collaborative student-teacher relationships as a precursor to student growth. The result? Every student learns according to their own needs. 

Organized into three parts for quick reference, this book will lay the foundation for student-driven differentiation and 

  • Identify the criteria for positive teacher-student relationships
  • Examine four areas for differentiated learning – content, process, product, environment
  • Describe the process of planning and implementing student-driven differentiation
  • Motivate and support you in your student-driven differentiation journey
  • Provide unique examples and engaging vignettes throughout, including a fun project inspired by Shark Tank!
Student-Driven Differentiation illustrates relevant, real life examples of authentic learning, using student-driven differentiation as the foundation for these experiences. You’ll also receive an 8-step roadmap outlining actionable strategies that will help you foster a culture of student-driven differentiation and student-driven leadership.
 

 
List of Online Tools and Resources
 
Foreword
 
Preface
Why Did I Write This Book?

 
What Is Student-Driven Differentiation?

 
Student-Driven Leadership: A Crucial Component to Student-Driven Differentiation

 
How to Read This Book

 
 
Acknowledgments
 
About the Author
 
Part I: Foundation
 
Chapter 1: Relationships Come First
What Are the Criteria for Positive Teacher–Student Relationships?

 
How Do You Build Respectful Relationships?

 
Discussion Questions

 
 
Chapter 2: Differentiation Is What Happens When Teachers Focus on Student Growth
Differentiation Lessons Learned

 
Lesson 1: Differentiation Is Not a Goal—It Is a Result

 
Lesson 2: The Terms Data and Assessment Are Often Misunderstood

 
Lesson 3: It Is Easy to See Different—It Is Not Easy to See Differentiation

 
Lesson 4: Differentiation May Never Feel “Easy”

 
Lesson 5: There Will Always Be Challenges and a Way to Overcome Them

 
Discussion Questions

 
 
Chapter 3: Four Areas to Differentiate
Content: What Is to Be Learned?

 
Process: How Students Acquire Knowledge

 
Product: How Students Demonstrate Learning

 
Learning Environment: Where and With Whom Students Learn

 
Discussion Questions

 
 
Part II: Implementation
 
Chapter 4: Planning Student- Driven Differentiation
Step 1: Define

 
Step 2: Hook

 
Step 3: Assess and Analyze

 
Step 4: Group Students Strategically

 
Discussion Questions

 
 
Chapter 5: Include Student Voice
Step 5: Set a Goal

 
Step 6: Differentiate

 
Step 7: Monitor Progress

 
Step 8: Assess Again

 
Discussion Questions

 
 
Chapter 6: Student-Driven Differentiation Through Experiential Learning
Student-Driven Differentiation Example 1: Shark Tank

 
Student-Driven Differentiation Example 2: Mock Trial

 
Student-Driven Differentiation Example 3: The Amazing Geography Race

 
Student-Driven Differentiation Example 4: Mock ER

 
Discussion Questions

 
 
Part III: Reimagining Schools
 
Chapter 7: Create Learning Environments That Promote Student Ownership
Don’t Update the Factory Model; Discard It Altogether

 
Meet the Needs of All Students

 
Design Classrooms Conducive to Student-Driven Differentiation

 
Make Student Ownership Part of the Classroom Culture

 
Use Technology to Promote Learning and Creativity

 
Monitor Student Progress Toward Learning Intentions

 
Enlist Parents’ Help in Furthering Student Learning

 
Discussion Questions

 
 
Chapter 8: The Role of Choice in Meeting Learning Intentions
Offer Choices That Fulfill Learning Needs

 
Example 1: Use Choice as Part of Curriculum Compacting

 
Example 2: Align Choice to Learning Intentions

 
Example 3: Incorporate Choice in Homework Assignments

 
Example 4: Use Choice to Give Students Ownership of Their Own Learning

 
Example 5: Use Choice to Allow Students to Work at Their Own Pace

 
Example 6: Use Choice to Promote Student Autonomy and Student Efficacy

 
Lack of Choice Can Inhibit Creativity

 
Discussion Questions

 
 
Chapter 9: Your Journey With Student-Driven Differentiation
We Are Entrusted With Instilling the Desire to Learn

 
We Are Better Together: Collective Efficacy

 
Mastery Experience: Set Goals to Increase Efficacy

 
Vicarious Experiences: Observe Teachers in Action

 
Social Persuasion: Inspire Through Storytelling

 
Affective States: Support Fellow Educators Through Positive Communication

 
Now What? Summing It All Up

 
Discussion Questions

 
 
Afterword
 
Glossary
 
References
 
Index

Supplements

Key features
In this book, educators will find:
  • Real-life examples in every chapter, from the author and from educators all over the country
  • Checklists
  • Helpful infographics to guide implementation
  • Ideas to give students autonomy to create, learn, and grow at their level
  • A companion website maintained by the author with links to helpful resources

For instructors

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