P2 – Practice differentiated instruction. To me, P2 means that when planning instruction for a class, I will take into consideration the specific students in that class. I want to consider the differing levels of English and how students learn.
In the following lesson, there were several ways I differentiated the lesson specifically for my students who have begun learning English in this last year. For Biology I sometimes begin with a Bell Activity, reviewing the content from the previous class. Below are the questions for the Bell Activity reviewing gas exchange in the lungs.
For my students who struggle more with speaking English, I encouraged them to use the sentence frames below the Bell Question. These sentence frames act as scaffolding to help students in answering the question by giving them some of the words needed to answer the question.
Next, we moved on in the lesson to new material, which was tracing the path of blood as it flows through the heart. First, I had my students take turns reading the path blood takes as it flows through the heart. As they did this, they looked at a diagram of a heart in their books with arrows indicating blood flow. Next, I had them watch a video of a heart pumping blood, while listening to narration of the path of blood flow through the heart. The last activity of this lesson was kinesthetic, specifically targeting my English language learners. I made a big heart on the floor of my classroom out of masking tape. I asked my students to walk through it and while walking, they needed to say where they were, and if they were oxygenated blood or deoxygenated blood. I asked my stronger students to go first so the others could hear someone else walking through it, before they walked through it. Below is the heart I made on the classroom floor.
I learned that there are many ways to differentiate a lesson. I need to keep in mind my students as I make lesson plans in order to best meet their needs. In the future, I hope to gain more ideas for how to make learning kinesthetic and active.