This week’s readings explore the conversation on differentiation in inclusive classrooms, and how the modern teacher may go about creating a classroom that allows for differentiation. Within the Tomlinson and Moon text, I chose to read chapter 6 that began with the author’s experience of teaching a student who was reading drastically below grade level. This chapter touches on the very important aspect of differentiation that must be considered, grading and assessment. Most poignant to me within the text was the author’s emphasis that Golden, the student in question, must be kept in the conversation on his learning so that he may have adequate expectations and remain motivated despite not seeing his progress on paper. Although Golden may not be reaching the curricular outcomes for the Grade 7 ELA requirements, his growth should be documented so many parties, including parents, schooling, and LRTs may see his achievements throughout the school year.
Within the chapter from Differentiated Schools by Tomlinson, Brimijoin and Narvaez the subject matter switches from theoretical to practical in order for teachers and schools to implement differentiated classrooms practically and effectively. Quite useful was Figure 1.1 on what differentiation is and is not. Most poignant are the points, “(differentiation is) at the core of effective planning,” and “[s]ystemic attention to readiness, interest, and learning profile” Tomlinson et al (2008). This chart is aspirational and would require a whole school approach to differentiation. These changes in thinking would require a model shift of differentiation, as well as additional resources in order to keep adult to student ratios low enough to monitor each student. However, if schools and classrooms could move to implement these aspects over time and keeping these goals in mind, differentiation could become much more student-centered and focused on authentic learning for each student.