Setting the PACE—Engaging and Motivating Students Utilizing Differentiation

Presented by: Kathryn Jones-Pisano

Students now come to us possessing a wide range of academic abilities and learning styles.  Being able to meet students–from kindergarten to college–where they are “at” and to engage them through differentiation is critical to helping our students acquire the basic skills and higher order thinking abilities to help them become college and career ready.  This session’s objective is to inspire teachers to return to their classrooms and try the differentiation strategies and games in which they participate during 2/3 of the session. A brief overview of learning modes and multiple intelligences will be conducted and then conference participants will explore how the four cornerstones of engagement through differentiation—Positivity, Attention, Connections and Efficacy—can help them engage students. Session participants will experience an immediately usable teaching strategy for two of the four cornerstones.

The 45-minute session will be broken into three segments. During the first fifteen minutes, the presenter will explore the key concepts of Time To Teach’s differentiated instructional approach and the importance of utilizing differentiated instruction to engage individual students through their stronger learning styles (because one size just doesn’t fit all) and to encourage strengthening less dominant ones.  Participants will be encouraged to share experiences and insights through a jigsaw format.

For the second segment, participants will engage in an experiential activities on utilizing the 5-Whys and “I Do-We Do-You Do” as teaching strategies to explore promoting divergent thinking and Positive feelings, a precursor to individual risk taking and classroom engagement.

The third section will focus on promoting Attention through multi-sensory storytelling. Participants will engage in a story telling activity to demonstrate how to teach recall thinking utilizing this multisensory approach. During this segment, they will participate in an five-point story presentation on study strategies and then will discuss how to close this high-energy interpersonal activity with an intrapersonal writing prompt to solidify learning. The session will close with a brief question and answer period.

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