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EDU382: Meeting the Needs of Diverse Learners

EDU382: Week 3 – Discussion 1

Week 3 – Discussion 1

Your initial discussion thread is due on Day 3 (Thursday) and you have until Day 7 (Monday) to respond to your classmates. Your grade will reflect both the quality of your initial post and the depth of your responses. Refer to the Discussion Forum Grading Rubric under the Settings icon above for guidance on how your discussion will be evaluated.

Student Readiness 

Although it would be easier if all students walked into our classrooms at the same readiness level, this simply will never happen. You will have students who are below, at or above grade level and you have to somehow effectively teach them. This is why differentiation is so important to our classroom instruction. After reading Chapter 5, answer the following questions:

  • Explain the difference between student readiness and ability and how readiness is related to Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD). Provide an example to support your explanation.
  • Pages 94- 98 of our text provide specific guidelines when differentiating for student readiness. Based on these guidelines, develop at least three different ways you will determine the readiness levels of your students. How will these guidelines help you understand the level of readiness to plan differently for content, process, and product?

Use the text to support your opinions.

Guided Response: Review several of your classmates’ responses. Respond to at least two and examine their five guidelines to determine student readiness. Provide additional ideas to their guidelines that may have been different than your own. Be sure to respond to any queries or comments posted by your instructor.

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EDU382: Meeting the Needs of Diverse Learners

EDU382: Week 2 – Assignment

Week 2 – Assignment

Examination of Curriculum and Assessment

As a future educator, many of your lessons will come from internet searches that will then be adapted to meet the needs of your students. Therefore, it is important that you are able to examine lesson plans thoughtfully to ensure that it includes the components to support student learning needs. For this assignment, you will examine an Immigration Lesson Plan for Grades 3-5 (Links to an external site.) and answer the following questions.

  1. Justify the alignment of the learning objectives, the learning activities, and assessments.
  2. Justify the construction of the unit to ensure high relevance to students’ lives and experiences so that they can build new knowledge on their prior knowledge or experiences that they bring to the classroom. Provide specific examples and show how this supports the characteristics of a quality curriculum. What are some other ways or activities that you could add to this lesson to make those meaningful connections to students?
  3. Explain how the work asked of students in this lesson helps them to understand how experts use important content to address problems and how the content makes a difference in the world. If this is not evident in the lesson plan, develop a way to incorporate this into the lesson plan.
  4. Explain how the work asked of students in this lesson plan supports them in becoming thinkers and problem solvers, often drawing on methods and practices of experts. If this is not evident, devise a way to make it part of the lesson.
  5. Evaluate why you may or may not think the assessments in the lesson are the right type to use to measure the learning objectives.
  6. Determine how to refine and revise your instructional plans for the next time you teach this lesson based on the information provided in the results of the assessment.
  7. Explain how the assessments provide students with multiple means of representation, expression, and engagement. If this is not evident in the lesson plan, how might you alter it to include these variations? See page 76 of your text for further support.

You have two options in completing this task:

  1. Write a two- to three-page paper (not including the title or references pages).
  2. Develop an eight- to ten-slide PowerPoint presentation (not including the title or references slide).
    • You must utilize one scholarly source in addition to the text to support your assertions.
    • Here is an example of the Week 2 Presentation  downloadoption.

You must reference the course text and at least one additional scholarly source using the Ashford University Library. You must include title and references pages or slides regardless of which option you choose. For information regarding APA formatting, visit the Ashford Writing Center, located under the Learning Resources tab in the left navigation of the online course.

Carefully review the Grading Rubric (Links to an external site.) for the criteria that will be used to evaluate your assignment. 

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EDU382: Meeting the Needs of Diverse Learners

EDU382: Week 2 – Journal

Week 2 – Journal

Meaningful Learning

Reflect on a time when a lesson was meaningful. Consider how the lesson relates to the five important characteristics of a quality curriculum. Then reflect on times when you were assessed on your knowledge. What types of assessments stressed you out the most and why? Which ones did you feel were least threatening and why? Why do you think it is important that teachers should consider multiple approaches to assessments? How do you think your learning would improve if you were given options? Utilize the text and any additional resources to support your response when applicable.

Carefully review the Grading Rubric (Links to an external site.) for the criteria that will be used to evaluate your journal entries.

Docicon.png Click to view an example of this week’s journal. 

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EDU382: Meeting the Needs of Diverse Learners

EDU382: Week 2 – Discussion 2

Week 2 – Discussion 2

Your initial discussion thread is due on Day 3 (Thursday) and you have until Day 7 (Monday) to respond to your classmates. Your grade will reflect both the quality of your initial post and the depth of your responses. Refer to the Discussion Forum Grading Rubric under the Settings icon above for guidance on how your discussion will be evaluated.

Classroom Assessment 

As a result of the standardized reform movement, assessment data has been used to influence rewards and punishment rather than to drive teacher instruction. If differentiated instruction is going to work, a teacher must also differentiate his or her assessments.

Before reading Chapter 4, reflect on your educational experiences with assessments and answer the following questions:

  • When you think about assessments, what do they remind you of?
  • How did they make you feel?
  • Were you ever given options to show what you had learned? Explain.

Now read Chapter 4 and the following video titled What is Differentiated Assessment?  (Links to an external site.)You can also read the video transcript.  

Based on your reading and the video, 

  • What should be the purpose of assessments? Explain diagnostic/pre-assessment, formative assessment, and summative assessment in your own words.
  • How do these three types of assessments work together to improve student learning? Give an example of how you might use all three to teach a unit on a particular subject.
  • Explain the difference between grading and assessment. When is it appropriate for assessments to be graded and when is it not? Provide evidence to support your opinion.

Be sure to use the text to support your opinions.

Guided Response: Review several of your classmates’ posts. Compare and contrast your personal reflections on assessments. Discuss how your views of assessment have changed based on this week’s readings and how you might use assessments in your own classroom. Please respond to at least two of your classmates. Be sure to respond to any queries or comments posted by your instructor.

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EDU382: Meeting the Needs of Diverse Learners

EDU382: Week 2 – Discussion 1

Week 2 – Discussion 1

Your initial discussion thread is due on Day 3 (Thursday) and you have until Day 7 (Monday) to respond to your classmates. Your grade will reflect both the quality of your initial post and the depth of your responses. Refer to the Discussion Forum Grading Rubric under the Settings icon above for guidance on how your discussion will be evaluated.

Curriculum 

An effective educator understands the distinction between curriculum and instruction, as they are not synonymous. Curriculum is what we teach (the planning) and instruction is how we teach (the implementation). Differentiation begins with a quality curriculum.

After reading Chapter 3, identify the five characteristics of a quality curriculum and explain in your own words why these elements are considered important. How do they support student learning?

An important feature of any quality curriculum is that the content is meaningful to students and relatable to authentic personal experiences.

Choose ONE of the three unit topics:

  1. The Life Cycle of a Frog
  2. Two Dimensional Shapes
  3. The Civil War

Then answer the following questions about your selected topic:

  • How could you relate the unit topic you selected to the real world?
  • What meaningful question could you ask your students as you begin your unit to engage and motivate students to want to learn more about the topic?
  • Create a brief learning activity where students are creators of knowledge based on the topic you selected as opposed to the consumers of knowledge. This would involve the students making discoveries of their own with regards to the content. How does this activity engage students in developing problem solving skills and help them to make meaning of what they are trying to learn? Consider how it extends understandings, builds neural networks, and creates different pathways to common goals.

Be sure to support your response with evidence from the text. 

Guided Response: Review several of your classmates’ posts. Critique or enhance their discussion by suggesting possible modifications or alternative activities to make the learning experience more meaningful. Please respond to at least two of your classmates. Be sure to respond to any queries or comments posted by your instructor.

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EDU382: Meeting the Needs of Diverse Learners

EDU382: Week 1 – Assignment

Week 1 – Assignment

Parent Meeting

As a future educator, will you be charged with effectively teaching all the students in your classroom despite their differences. A one-size-fits-all approach will not work, and parents will ask you how you plan to support their child’s needs. The answer is differentiation, but many outside of the world of education will not know what that means. Therefore, you have been asked to address a diverse group of parents and their concerns on the topic of differentiation in the classroom. 
In your assignment, cover each of the following items to address parental concerns. Possible parent questions follow the topics; ensure you address each one:

  1. Explain the history and theory behind differentiation.
    • Is it based on research, or it is it just another “educational fad”?
    • How does differentiated instruction look different from traditional instruction approaches?
  2. Discuss the characteristics of a diverse student.
    • My child is a “regular” student–why do you say he or she is diverse?
  3. Discuss the benefits of differentiation in the classroom for all students.
    • Will my special-education student or gifted student benefit from differentiation? How?
  4. Analyze the negative outcomes of differentiation.
  5. Analyze the teacher mindset required for differentiated instruction to work.
    • It seems like so much work for the teacher to differentiate–can you comment on this idea?

In the spirit of differentiation, you may choose one of the following options to address the parents’ concerns and questions:

  1. Prepare a two- to three-page newsletter (excluding title and references pages) to address parents’ concerns about the pros and cons of differentiation in their children’s classroom. The parents will then have a visual reference to remind them of the purpose of differentiation. Make the newsletter visually appealing with the use of graphics and organize it clearly. Your assignment must be formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing center (where applicable with regard to in-text citations and references). You must utilize one scholarly source in addition to the text to support your assertions. Here are a list of websites with templates and newsletter examples that can be used in a Microsoft Word document to get you started:
  2. Design a presentation to address parents’ concerns and questions. The presentation must include a minimum of ten slides (excluding title and references slides) and appropriate graphics. Your assignment must be formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing center (where applicable with regard to in-text citations and references). You must utilize one scholarly source in addition to the text to support your assertions. Consider using one of the following digital tools to make your presentations:

You must include title and references pages or slides regardless of which option you choose. Reference the course text and at least one additional scholarly source using the Ashford University Library. For information regarding APA formatting, visit the Ashford Writing Center, located under the Learning Resources tab in the left navigation of the online course.

Carefully review the Grading Rubric (Links to an external site.) for the criteria that will be used to evaluate your assignment. 

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EDU382: Meeting the Needs of Diverse Learners

EDU382: Week 1 – Discussion 2

Week 1 – Discussion 2

Your initial discussion thread is due on Day 3 (Thursday) and you have until Day 7 (Monday) to respond to your classmates. Your grade will reflect both the quality of your initial post and the depth of your responses. Refer to the Discussion Forum Grading Rubric under the Settings icon above for guidance on how your discussion will be evaluated.

Teacher and Student Mindsets 

According to Sousa and Tomlinson (2011), “Brain studies suggest that a stimulating learning environment may have a significant impact on an individual’s brain development and eventual level of intelligence” (p. 33). Creating a stimulating learning environment is largely dependent on teacher and student mindsets that are influenced by beliefs, assumptions, and expectations.

Take a moment to reflect on your personal educational experiences and answer the following questions:

  1. Describe a positive and negative classroom experience you have had in your educational experience and the mindset of the teacher in both those situations.
    • Did you feel that your teacher’s mindset in both situations impacted your own mindset in any way? How?
  2. Using these educational experiences and watching the video Building a Community (Links to an external site.)describe at least three ways in which you will create your own positive and stimulated learning environment.
    • How will you create an atmosphere where students can take intellectual risks without fear of ridicule?
    • How will you manage inappropriate behavior, avoid bullying and put-downs?
    • What steps will you take to create an atmosphere where students feel safe and included?

Be sure to use evidence from the text to support your assertions.

Guided Response: As you read the responses of your classmates, consider how their negative educational experience could have been changed to support student learning. Respond to at least two of your classmates’ posts. Provide additional suggestions for them in creating their own positive, stimulating learning environment. Be sure to respond to any queries or comments posted by your instructor.

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EDU382: Meeting the Needs of Diverse Learners

EDU382: Week 1 – Discussion 1

Week 1 – Discussion 1

Your initial discussion thread is due on Day 3 (Thursday) and you have until Day 7 (Monday) to respond to your classmates. Your grade will reflect both the quality of your initial post and the depth of your responses. Refer to the Discussion Forum Grading Rubric under the Settings icon above for guidance on how your discussion will be evaluated.

The Importance of Neuroscience in Education 

In order to effectively differentiate, a teacher must be familiar with how the brain prefers to receive and process information and realize that each student’s brain is uniquely organized. Research suggests that a teacher’s knowledge of brain function is instrumental in planning differentiated instruction. 

After reading Chapter 1 of our text, please:

  • Examine the seven basic principles of how we learn starting on page 13 of our text.
  • Select three of these principles and describe how you might specifically incorporate them into your classroom instruction.
  • Examine how these approaches will support student learning needs based on brain research.

Be sure to use the text to support your response.

Guided Response: Consider the ideas shared in several of your classmates’ posts and respond to at least two. Provide additional ideas on how they may incorporate the principles they selected in their response to their classroom instruction. Be sure to respond to any queries or comments posted by your instructor.