Natural Differentiation--or self-differentiated groups is becoming a new hobby in my classroom because I'm lazy and I hate pigeonholing anyone. I want to design lessons that remove the barriers to the top end of the class, while at the same time nurturing and scaffolding challenged learners so that both groups and everyone in between reaches his/her/their zone of proximal development (Mike Anderson Learning to Choose, Choosing to Learn--chapter one).
We had some amazing results this year. Check out the top three video projects this year.
This unit is designed to review the six traits of writing and the five steps of writing. To make this blendED, I gave the students pathways to accomplish the pre-write. They could work on a packet (I use this one from Lyndhurst Schools) which walks them through a brainstorm, listing of memoirs, choosing the best three and illustrating OR they could watch a video tutorial (I used this one from Susanne Rasely-Philipps) on how to write one and simply follow along.
I called this Path One and Path Two and told the students they needed to choose one.
So, once the students choose a path, they will start naturally differentiating themselves by rate of completion. Like this:
Here are the lesson plans I used. Also, the entire lesson would not have been possible without our iPad initiative. Here's just a quick list of all the apps the students and I used to make the videos and execute the lesson plans.
I'm an 8th grade English teacher in Bellevue, Nebraska, and I'm excited about technology in the classroom.