How can I differentiate through student product in my classroom?
This week, my learning network was centered on our twitter discussions. Asking lots of questions and listening to the answers of my questions and those of my peers helped out tremendously in understanding what to do for this project. After two nights of tweeting and two nights of reading the Alaska Common Core standards, I was ready to roll up my sleeves and get to work.
The first step in differentiating a student product is to figure out which standard to teach under the umbrella of Alaska’s new Common Core Standards. This is the first step if you follow the premise of backwards design (most recently revived by Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe).
The project will be a challenge mainly because we have seven weeks of school left. One of those weeks is devoted to Alaska’s SBA testing. Students tend to have a mentality that school is over after the testing. I already have a plan in place to combat that mentality. But the plan did not involve another new project. So, I needed to pick a standard with the most levity potential in order to have students maintain interest.
Having taught figurative language before, I’m familiar with many sources that are entertaining and helpful to students at all ability levels. Many of these sources are student created YouTube videos that are pretty funny and illustrative.
This standard lends itself to differentiation during the teaching portion as well as a differentiated culminating project. The elements of figurative language vary in complexity from simile and alliteration at the more simpler end to hyperbole and extended metaphors as more complex examples.
The next step is to create a rubric for the final product. Once I had the standard selected and the final project in mind, it was easy to create a rubric using Rubistar:
Figurative Language Page
You will create a digital page for our class figurative language book. On your page, you will list one element of figurative language. You will write the definition of the element. You will illustrate how to use the element and you will use it in your own original sentence. Also, find an example of this element in one of our stories and list that at the bottom of your page.
When you are done with your page, turn it in to Edmodo to go into our class book.
|Wow! Excellent!||Really Good! OK||Do Over|
|Organization||Content is well organized using headings||Uses headings to organize, but the overall organization of topics appears flawed.||Content is logically organized for the most part.||There was no clear or logical organizational structure, just lots of words.|
|Attractiveness||Makes excellent use of font, color, graphics, effects, etc. to enhance the presentation.||Makes good use of font, color, graphics, effects, etc. to enhance to presentation.||Font, color, graphics, effects, etc. occasionally detract from the presentation content.||Use of font, color, graphics, effects which often distract from the presentation content.|
|Requirements||All requirements are met and exceeded.||All requirements are met.||One requirement was not completely met.||More than one requirement was not completely met.|
|Originality||Product shows a large amount of original thought. Ideas are creative and inventive.||Product shows some original thought. Work shows new ideas and insights.||Uses other people’s ideas (giving them credit), but there is little evidence of original thinking.||Uses other people’s ideas, but does not give them credit.|
|Mechanics||No misspellings or grammatical errors.||Three or fewer misspellings and/or mechanical errors.||Four misspellings and/or grammatical errors.||More than 4 errors in spelling or grammar.|
|Rough Draft||Rough draft brought on due date. Student shares with peer and extensively edits based on peer feedback.||Rough draft brought on due date. Student shares with peer and peer makes edits.||Provides feedback and/or edits for peer, but own rough draft was not ready for editing.||Rough draft not readyfor editing and did not participate inreviewing draft of
The next step will be to flesh out the mini unit on figurative language using the Understanding by Design template.