P2 – Practice differentiated instruction. This program standard emphasizes the significance for teachers to apply principles of differentiated instruction. This includes theories of language acquisition, stages of language, and academic language development in the integration of subject matters. The evidence presented is the place value poem which was utilized and recited during the decimal unit. It was presented as a smart board slide but was also recreated as a poster to place on the walls of the classroom for students to reference throughout the decimal unit.
This evidence demonstrates the use of differentiated instruction as it incorporates a poem which was recited by the entire class in order to help students say and write decimals. This was used in combination with the district curriculum which places an emphasis on a place value organizer. The combination of both the poem and the organizer helped students become more successful in writing and saying decimals. The place value poem also helped promote students language acquisition of tenths and hundredths. This was a struggle for many of the ELL students in the classroom as they had difficulties spelling and saying both of these place values. The poem also promoted students’ academic language development as one of the focal points of the lesson was to be able to say decimals accurately. Many students began the unit saying for example 0.43 as forty-three hundreds rather than hundredths. By the end of the lesson, students were more successful in saying and writing decimals. During the next day’s lesson, the whole class reviewed the poem and practiced as a group saying various decimals.
This experience has helped me realize the importance of differentiating instruction for all students. Not only did the place value poem really benefit those students who had language acquisition deficiencies, it promoted all students in the classroom to really grasp and understand the concept of saying and writing decimals accurately. In additional to this, this experience taught me how important it is to differentiate the instruction due to the fact that each student individually learns in a unique way. The place value poem incorporates reciting (reading and saying) and has a visual component (for visual learners). It also requires students to chant tenths and hundredths at the end which is good practice for saying these decimal vocabularies and realize the difference between tenths and tens. It provided multiple approaches to reach the objective of saying and writing decimals because when students are able to say decimals correctly, they can then write them.
This evidence has promoted student learning in that the majority of the class were able to successfully say and write decimals. Students demonstrated their ability during whole group instruction and in small groups. Furthermore, students showed their acquisition of being able to say and write decimals throughout their homework which was turned in the next day. Students really enjoyed and were engaged with being able to recite the poem. It also allowed students to make the connection with their background knowledge of individual names. This really helped students understand how to write decimals as they are all familiar with first names and last names.
In the future, I plan to different instruction in a variety of methods. I believe that utilizing instructional strategies of reciting poems or songs provides students with a different type of exposure rather than just directly instructing the students. I hope to continue to use and learn methods to differentiate my instruction so that it best meets the needs of each individual student in my class.