Constructs relevant, meaningful learning experiences which meet individual needs... (Activities are differentiated to meet individual needs of learners).

What Effective Teachers Will Do

Effective teachers design learning experiences with the needs of learners in mind. When students see the connections between the learning activity and the learning goal, and when they can relate the learning to their own life or to learning in another class or content area, learning makes sense. Illustrating relationships in subject matter and relating new ideas to past knowledge and experience adds interest and depth to learning. Understanding each student’s diverse learning strengths and needs helps the teacher select learning experiences that help students make these connections. When students have something to connect learning to, learning sticks; when information, skills, or knowledge is presented in isolation, students may not retain as much.

What Effective Teachers Consider

Do my instructional delivery methods include auditory, visual, and kinesthetic learning methods? Do I utilize alternative methods for assessing student performance and understanding? Do I plan activities that move the student learning forward?

  • Differentiating Instruction: Meeting Students Where They Are
    This short article is an introduction to differentiation. It was written by a former science and technology specialist for Lynchburg City Schools in Lynchburg, Virginia.
  • Three Strategies for Creating Meaningful Learning Experiences (Magna Publications, February 24, 2014)
    Students are more likely to pay attention and be excited about your course when they view the class as relevant to themselves and connected to their interests. This article talks about three strategies to create relevant and meaningful learning experiences.
  • How to Make Learning Relevant to Your Students (and Why it's Crucial to Their Success) (InformED, October 4, 2014)
    Research shows that relevant learning means effective learning. Meaningful activities that both engage students emotionally and connect with what they already know are what help build neural connections and long-term memory storage. This article offers tips on how to create meaningful and relevant learning activities for your students.
  • Just-in-Time Support (Educational Leadership, Powerful Lesson Planning, October 2016)
    By planning to provide scaffolding within each lesson, teachers can empower students to stay in the game and experience success.
  • 13 Strategies to Improve Classroom Discussions (We Are Teachers)
    A list of tips for teachers to keep in mind when planning class discussions.
  • Differentiating Instruction in the Regular Classroom: How to Reach and Teach all Learners, Grades 3-12
    (Diane Heacox, 2002)
    This is a practical guide for teachers new to or interested in the process of differentiation. Drawing on Bloom’s taxonomy, Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences and other experts in the field of educational psychology, Heacox presents several practical strategies and ideas that teachers can use to differentiate instruction at any level in any curriculum.
  • Standards-Based Activities and Assessments for the Differentiated Classroom
    (Carolyn Coil, 2004)
    Building activities and assessments that challenge children of differing abilities can be difficult. This book shows you how to put differentiation into practice with practical, time-saving methods with 49 ready-to-use differentiated topic lessons and units that include hundreds of activities.
  • Leading and Managing a Differentiated Classroom
    (Carol Ann Tomlinson and Marcia B. Imbeau, 2010)
    This book addresses two key elements for guiding the work of students in a flexibly organized classroom: leading students and managing details.
  • Differentiation and Brain: How Neuroscience Supports the Learner-Friendly Classroom
    (David A. Sousa and Carol Ann Tomlinson, 2011)
    This book describes the key elements in a full model of differentiation (e.g. learning environment, curriculum, assessment, readiness, interest, learning profile, classroom management) as well as current research from neuroscience that relates to those elements. Each chapter also includes classroom scenarios and application examples.
  • Balanced Assessment: From Formative to Summative
    (Kay Burke, 2010)
    Learn how to integrate formative and summative assessments seamlessly into instruction. The research, rationale, strategies, and examples provided in this book will help teachers develop their own repertoire of formative and summative assessments to monitor, grade, and make inferences about a student’s ability to meet standards and curriculum goals. Exercises at the end of each chapter provide opportunities to reflect and plan action steps.
  • Checking for Understanding: Formative Assessment Techniques for Your Classroom
    (Douglas Fischer and Nancy Frey, 2014)
    This resource includes variety of engaging activities that check for and increase understanding, including interactive writing, portfolios, multimedia presentations, audience response systems, and more.