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Differentiated Instruction Training in Arkansas
posted by: Jill | May 25, 2011, 02:37 PM   

The Arkansas State Teachers Association (ASTA) recently held a Differentiated Instruction (DI) Training at the Dawson Education Cooperative located in Arkadelphia. AAE director of professional development, Jill Newell, lead the workshop.

DI functions off the premise that all students are different. Training focuses on addressing those differences through ongoing student assessment, learning profiles, tiered activities, curriculum compacting, learning contracts, independent study, flexible grouping, anchor activities, learning centers/stations, problem-based learning, and project-based learning.

Ms. Newell encouraged teachers to not only collaborate with people at their table, but also online using Similar to Twitter, this website provides a backchannel for sharing helpful web links, notes, and books during the training without interrupting the presenter. Teachers can also go back to the "room" later as a refresher. One attendee said of this new tool, "I loved using It was easy to navigate and I liked the examples given by others in the training." Ms. Newell was also able to reply to questions and leave comments during the presentation and afterwards so that everyone's questions would be addressed.

ASTA's motto "Teaching is a calling. Professionalism is a choice" rang true for the participants. "The training and overall atmosphere was very professional, relaxing, and inviting. I feel that everyone felt comfortable to ask questions and participate in the training," shared one educator.

The best way to describe the training would be as one attendee put it, "Like a tall glass of pink lemonade on a hot July day." Those in the south understand the full value of that description.

AAE is pleased to assist ASTA to assist the teachers of Arkansas and provide them with professional development which they can use to teach students more effectively. ASTA looks forward to offering many more workshops throughout the state.

>> Originally posted by Pamela on the ASTA Blog.

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