Guest Post and Question of the Day!

Monday, July 9, 2012
Everyone I would like to welcome Ashley from
as my guest blogger of the day!!

Hello :) I'm Ashley From The Teacher's Treasure Chest!!! I teach first grade and absolutely love it!!!! My favorite subject to teach is guided reading! I love watching students progress in their reading skills throughout the year.

I wanted to blab a little bit about differentiated instruction. This is SUCH a hard task to do. In the primary grades, (or any grade for that matter) it is crucial we teach to every child, not to a class.

I try and take simple steps to be sure my activities and centers are differentiated. I would like to share a little system I use during my reading groups, and hopefully it can help you as well :)

Each center has a 1,2,3 level. All students MUST do level 1. So for example, a level one center maybe buddy sight word reading.  A level 2 of that same center would be write the sight words read in a sentence. A level 3 of that center would be create a story using the sight words from the center.  This will ensure that each  student's needs are met.

This is so easy to do with a lot of the make and take centers on TpT. A lot of these centers come with ready made responding sheets.For example, Cara Carroll's Compound Word Unit includes recording sheets in which students arrange the words in a certain order. All students must do level 1 which would be the activity it's self. A level 2 would be the recording or responding sheet. A level 3 would be on the back of the responding sheet, writing the compound words in a sentence and drawing a picture.

Another center that can easily be differentiated is puzzles. Some teachers disagree with using puzzles in the classroom, but I see it as important cooperative learning skills. If used correctly, puzzles can be a valuable instructional tool. I usually only purchase puzzles with words on them.  So when the students have completed the puzzle, they can write about it. For example, if the students are doing a solar system  puzzle, a level 2 or 3 center would be to put the planets in ABC order upon completing the puzzle.

I am throwing in a little side bar about literacy stations. I find that Debbie Diller's Launching Literacy Stations is an amazing tool. I love to pull out my copy and refresh on her ideas and techniques.

 I hope that you were able to take a little bit of something away from this post. This is the second time I've written this post, and I'm bummed because I know the first one was so much better. A storm came through and knocked my computer off, and I didn't save it :( I hope that you will stop by and visit my blog! Jessica,  I adore your blog and appreciate you giving me a chance to blab a little bit :)

The Teacher's Treasure Chest

Thanks Ashley!!!

If you've known me my whole life or you've just followed me for a few short months/weeks/days... whatever it is you know I'm always trying to organize, plan, or create something new and guess what?? I have something new for you.

Okay, okay, I did NOT reinvent the wheel on this one, but it's something new here. I do looooooooooove my new button that I made with an adorable background from Michelle over at The 3am Teacher and fonts from Kevin and Amanda!

Well anyway back to what I was saying...
I created this adorable button because I always have a lot of questions. Whenever you see this button you know there is something I'm wondering/pondering/guessing....

SOOOOOOOOOOOO let's try it out!

Today's question of the day is:
Are you in a PBL (project based learning) school? If so, how is it set up? What training did you have? What do your plans look like? What projects have you done?

Okay, okay, maybe that isn't ONE question but you get the point lol!


Anonymous said...

Thanks Jessica and Ashley! One of my goals next year is to do a better job differentiating so I really appreciated this post!

Delighted in Second
Hope you will join my $20 TPT gift certificate giveaway!

Lisa R. said...

I love these tips on differentiated instruction!! Thanks so much for your insight on this topic! :)
Learning Is Something to Treasure

Unknown said...

Hey Jessica! I signed up for the swap but was wondering when we get our swap buddies! This is a great idea and I'm really looking forward to it:)

1...2...3...Teach With Me

Chynna said...

Thanks Ladies! Ashley, we are learning about differentiated instruction right now in my methods course as we make our final units. It is kicking my butt! Thanks for the advice. I'd love to see you at my student teaching blog sometime:)


Unknown said...

Thanks everyone. I always try every year to improve my DI. I will post again on this topic in July!!

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