Sunday, October 11, 2015

Random teaching reflection: Differentiated Instructions

There is this inherent struggle in the pass when I think about differentiated instructions (DI) for kids.

At the end of the day, every pupils sit for the same exam, so how can we "short-changed" our pupils by giving them different materials (differentiation in products)

The reflection was the a base-line need to be established first, and then we allow pupils to learn "more" at their own pace.

Now, after teaching a different profile of pupils for a year, I realised I cannot wait for the "base-line" to be established.

I taught in a boys school, and now in a co-Ed school. Girls, who matured earlier, are generally more focused and hardworking. After 1 year of "drilling", most of them could memorized the "good lines" and is already learning the way to apply them and combine them for writing of a ending etc. some of the pupils have problem remembering how to write the words even at the eve of PSLE.i went through with the weaker pupils one by one, identifying the words they had problem "spelling" and make up stories for them  to remember. 

I wonder the reason I didn't do that earlier was because I knew the girls who already learn the words will be "bored to death" for this lesson. 

I could have ask the girls to complete some tasks while I guide these weaker pupils one by one. 

Differentiation by process, now no longer is a textbook concept but a need in the classroom. 

Pitching it at the middle no longer work when the class has a wide diverse pupils of different abilities. 

We have been looking at differentiation at product since it has been the easier way to go about it. Different worksheets and notes for different pupils. 

The difference should not be just about having "more" or "less" or having a "simplified" version. 

We should allow the Higher progressing pupils to analyze and create and not frame their mind to just write a "good" essay.

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Back to writing, I wonder why do we write?

The easy answer would Defintely to be able to communicate and interact with others.

Is it just words and grammar that is needed to "interact"

Blogging makes me understand there is Defintely more than that.

Interaction required a "voice" as much as the form. I have been teaching the "form" because the "voice" is not in the syllabus.

It is the "voice" that calm yourself when u are writing a diary, it is the "voice" that allow your readers to "relate" to u. 


15 comments:

  1. Sillyinvestor,

    You have made a very enlightened observation!

    Buddha was able to "attract" the children out of the burning house by presenting DIFFERENT toys that appeal to EACH child.

    The West has, "Different strokes for different folks."


    The problem is the implementation.

    Resistance will not be from your students. It may come from your fellow teachers and the student's parents...


    We all want to send our children to elite schools. But if they can't get in, we'll complain our school system not fair!

    We want to be given opportunity and our talents recognised in our corporate jobs. When we found out we are not in the "High Potential" or "Potential" folders, we'll complain our companies play office politics!

    Make money in the stock market, I so smart! Lose money it must the shortists' fault!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi SMOL,
      I think the resistance is not so
      Much from the sources u mentioned, but HOW to do it EFFECTIVELY for class of at least 12 pupils.

      DI is the core competency we wanted to develop, we have done DI for products quite extensively but have not move on up process.

      U cannot fly with one wind.

      I have no answers, hopefully we can have a fruitful discussion during year end

      Delete
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      Delete
  2. It's like IQ not the only main component to determine how successful you are in the investment world.
    There are countless

    ReplyDelete
  3. There are countless knows and unknowns in the markets.
    Can you count sentiments of the market?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Temperament ,

      I totally with u about academic excellence is not the sole determinant of future success. However, I teach primary school kids, I cannot say that in case they twist it and say it's ok to be lazy and fail

      Delete
  4. HI SI,

    Same here. I used to think that we should scrap all types of streaming when I first started out as a tutor. But as I get more into this game, I realised that streaming serves a very rudimentary way of segregating students of different abilities so that the mode of instruction can be more uniform. If I have a class with extreme capabilities, ranging from A to Z, then it'll be extremely hard for me to teach it well. What's most likely to happen is to pitch in the middle, boring the A students and yet too challenging for the Z students.

    I've a group session with 4 students, with abilities ranging from A to D grade. In the past, I would really pitch in the middle, and ended up helping nobody. Now, I tasked the A student to do hardest work, while also giving the A student the responsibility to teach the D students. While she is teaching, I'll pay attention to the way she is teaching and correct her and step in if needed. If not, I'll leave it to her to handle. Teaching is the best way to learn something, and I feel she'll be adequately challenged doing both the hardest work and also the role of teaching her weaker peers.When the A student is stuck, I'll chip in to help her in her work, but most of my time will be spent monitoring and supervising the weakest and moderate student. Everything works out fine, and everyone felt engaged and being pushed, though I wonder if I'm neglecting the middle ability student somewhat.

    Your job is way harder, having to deal with 30 students plus minus. Your kungfu must really be up there lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Idiot LP!

      Bringing up the hurt I try to forget...

      I too were against streaming in the past.

      That's because if streaming had started when I were in Primary 3, I would be posted to Primary 8 looking at the sea of reds in my Primary 3 results. Lucky for me it was started AFTER me. Phew!

      Imagine me being "punished" for being a late developer...


      Now that I have more life experience, I now understand the necessary evil of "streaming". But I still hate it like hell!

      The head understand the logic. The heart still screams, "You can't expect a fish to climb tree!"

      Delete
    2. Ah, but there's a difference between streaming to help students learn at their own pace and streaming to focus on the stronger ones and ignoring the weaker ones. I feel we're more of the latter than the former. In the past I only see the latter, but now I see the former too. That's the diff.

      I'm a late bloomer too ;) There's a time my mum thought I'll be retained in pri school...

      Delete
    3. Hi LP and SMOL,

      Seriously, which human in the right mind will think it's ok to be in the bottom? It's more of a bo bian situation

      Normal stream used to feel damn lazy until they have the normal technical now to boast their morale

      But reality cannot take care of people stomach and ego at the same time.

      It is tough love perhaps. But ask pupils to embrace being at the bottom, stop kidding me.

      I feel damn lousy just going from golden boy to lower 30 percentile. I wonder how the bottom 10 percentile will feel about themselves! I consider myself a non- jelly but it is breaking me everyday such that I need to reframe and reframe

      How do u expect a 12 year old to accept failures so readily ?

      But is there a better alternative? Sadly no...

      Of course, there are people who deserve it la

      Delete
  5. well said on the part that writing is the inner voice interacting with yourself. If gives us more time to truly think than a normal conversation, which is important.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. SI
      Indeed, i dun think my pupils will answer the way I think I would when asked why we write...

      Delete
    2. To build the love of language takes immense interest..how to initiate self driven learning is the question? Once this interest gets kick off, learning becomes free play. But how to inculcate such interest to the little minds?

      Delete
    3. To build the love of language takes immense interest..how to initiate self driven learning is the question? Once this interest gets kick off, learning becomes free play. But how to inculcate such interest to the little minds?

      Delete