The 3 Ds: Data, Differentiation, and Destiny
Data should drive instruction. We primarily use data based on what the learner has done. Only by knowing exactly how our learners are doing can we effectively offer them instruction and activities in areas in which they need help. There are a number of PowerPoints on the Internet that explain how to use data in the classroom. Two excellent samples are:
by John Snodgrass, "Turning Data Into Information" - you can right click and save or simply open and view
Differentiated instruction means we are determining exactly what is needed for the individual child and then providing that instruction using best practices and the learning methods which are most effective for THAT individual. The computer allows us to truly differentiate instruction. Small group instruction also works well - we focus on a lesson specifically targeted for up to six or eight students, preferably on the same grade level in the content area.
What does this have to do with destiny? Whether or not each of us has a specific destiny to fulfill or has choices about our contribution to life and society, we need knowledge and competence in order to play a positive part in Life. Knowledge and competence come from 1) being engaged, 2) building brain neuron pathways through comprehension and repetitive action (practice) and, 3) depending upon how strong one wants to make the pathways, using the capabilities through critical thinking activities.
One sure way to determine a positive destiny is to recognize the amount of emotional involvement one has with the tasks and subjects AFTER ensuring the tasks provided learning in a differentiated manner. Learning is correlated to emotions.
In looking at data, let us research and recognize in which areas our students are succeeding so that we can encourage even more development for them. Talent recognition comes from paying attention.
If these three "Ds" are used by the teacher, we have a much higher percentage of success with our students.
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