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Differentiated Planning For Great Staff Development
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Differentiated Planning for Great Staff Development

As an administrator, differentiated planning, and classroom climate is of utmost importance. Fortunately for administrators, the same content, and strategies used by the best teachers are adaptable for the best administrators. The one common denominator shared by both of these great educators is: differentiation.

Gayle Gregory and Carolyn Chapman write about successful differentiated planning methods in their book, Differentiated Instructional Strategies: One Size Doesn’t Fit All. They discuss six effective steps to help plan an effective lesson or effective meeting. These steps are:

1) Establish which standards to teach.

2) Identify what content and skills to teach.

3) Determine students’ prior learning.

4) Decide what to teach, make a plan, how to execute the plan.

5) Practice and assign tasks.

6) Decide the best way to understand if students have learned knowledge of the lesson. This is best accomplished by planning what type of test or informal tests to give students.

The following fictional scenario illustrates how a great administrator implements the above tips in planning, executing, and following up in a meeting at her school.

Mrs. Andrews, the Principal at Cedar Crest in California, is planning for a video viewing at her school. She wants to plan for the climate involved. She sets up the room so that the room have a TV with video viewing equipment. She also provides: warm popcorn, comfortable seats for all of her staff. Mrs. Andrews will arrange the seats so that every teacher can see. All of the teachers with disabilities will have any necessary adjustments needed so that they can see the video and hear the video easily.

At the meeting, all of Mrs. Andrews will put forth an effort to make her staff feel supported, wanted and needed. Mrs. Andrews will encourage all of her staff’s involvement in the meeting. She will set the expectation that everyone's opinion is welcome and respected. She will also let her staff know that mistakes are essential to any learning process, and a part of growth. She will even make a few “intentional” mistakes during the course of the meeting to start a discussion on mistakes as learning opportunities.

Mrs. Andrews will consider and get to know each of her staff’s learning styles. Some teachers may need to take notes or play with a ball. Others may want to knit or stand. Others still may have other methods that help them learn the material at the meeting.

Mrs. Andrews will pretest the teachers of their prior knowledge either formally or informally before the video. She will also test for understanding at the end of the video. Mrs. Andrews plans to do this by passing out a set of questions that teachers can complete before, during, and after the video. Also, Mrs. Andrews plans to read the questions before the video starts. She also plans to stop the video periodically to discuss of the questions. At the end of the video, Mrs. Andrews will give her staff a few minutes to finish answering the questions and discuss their answers with them.

By planning meetings around each teacher, administrators instruct teachers how to plan lessons around each student. Administrators show by example how every person is vital to the school community. They help to create fun, safe, differentiated communities that students, teachers, and parents want to come to every day.


Street Talk

Very cool Merrilly, I never thought about it too much. Good ifo to have.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Good info Merrily...

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
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