Monday, November 3, 2014

Breaking Out of One-Size-Fits-All Instruction

In my last post, I shared about Science teacher Kari Sherman's inspiration to create a tiered lesson for her students on the concept of photosynthesis.  Today I had the opportunity to visit Kari's classroom and see it in action.  It's noteworthy that the physical environment of Kari's classroom speaks volumes.  You can see that Kari clearly posts the classroom objectives and outlines specific directions for students.  Another element really struck me about her room, however.  Her bulletin boards for motivation and fast-finishers immediately told me two things about Kari.  At her core, she believes all kids can succeed, and there's always more science to learn.  We're never done learning! What does your environment communicate?

Once the directions were outlined, students started exploring the content.  It was pretty interesting to watch every single student engage with the content the entire class period and an array of conversations take place without a spoken word.  Just before class started, Kari told me she decided to add a padlet wall for students to be able to add resources, questions, etc.  Now this is what we call crowdsourcing! 

As I observed students choose their path to understanding, I was struck by the variety of student selection.  Kari's TACKK outlined different ways for students to enhance their understanding of photosynthesis.  Some students chose the reteaching option, while many chose the "more practice" option, and a few selected the most difficult option.  I'm left wondering how the student learning would have been different if there had not been more than one way to process the information.  Kari's lesson provided a manageable and engaging way to break away from one-size-fits-all learning!

For more information about this lesson, you can contact Kari @MrsSherman_LHS!

1 comment:

  1. I co-teach Biology with Kari and I am continually impressed with her level of differentiation. I can't wait to try this lesson with our co-taught classes!