Chapter 5: Just for You
"We struggle to meet the needs of our all our students, and we sense that there are groups of kids who are not being inspired, pushed, or helped the way they need and deserve," (pg. 2).
I have always struggled with differentiation. What does this really mean? What is the expectation? How can I possibly do it? Then comes chapter 5 of DIY Literacy. I really felt the tone of this chapter took the weight off the teacher's shoulders and placed some responsibility on the student. I have never thought of it this way. I always took full responsibility as the one leading the differentiation in the classroom. It was up to ME to inspire, push or help this students. Maggie and Kate took some of that pressure off by showing how tools can allow students to take ownership and become engaged in the type of learning they need and deserve.
- Demonstration notebook: Even though the demonstration notebook is lead by the teacher, it is left for the students to investigate if they need reminders of the lesson. "...a sticky note with their names as a tab on the page so they can refer back to the lesson easily," (p. 76).
- Charts:The chart on page 80 can be very useful for those students who may need extra assistance from the teacher, but will not have a conference that day.
- Bookmarks: The bookmarks "empower students with a sense of agency, an opportunity to take stock of all they were learning and then design their own mini learning plan," (p. 83).
- Micro-Progression: The micro-progression is a way for students to see "which level of work they might be able to reach that day," (p. 84).
Chapter 6: Nuts and Bolts
I was alarmed at this statistic on page 88, "In 2010, an average sixth-grader spent more than 7 1/2 hours a day consuming media." By accepting this version of our current students, I can tap into their consumption of songs, games, shows, cultural events and social platforms to build engagement and more relevance in my teaching. I appreciate the way Teacher's College supports pop culture. I have heard this mentioned by many staffers and it really helps bring a connection to our students.
I really liked #3 on page 96: Quiz your kids on the layout. I thought this was a great way of reminding students to use the tools by questioning them on which ones they could use for both pushing their thinking & staying productive.
Also, Whew! You don't have to have the most creative eye to build meaningful anchor charts! Use white space, write big & keep colors consistent.