Using Assessment and Feedback

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Using Assessment and Feedback
The purpose of this study is to determine if differentiated instruction has an effect on student achievement and multiple intelligences in a classroom. One of the best ways to address multiple intelligences in a classroom is for teachers to develop their understanding of the natural convergence of certain concepts. Dedicated teachers who are well practiced in a variety of strategies can more effectively address multiple intelligences in their classrooms. Direct instruction and differentiated instruction are two different teaching strategies. In direct instruction students work in whole group. The teacher explains the task to the students based on targeted learning outcomes. Students work in a large group on the required task in a timely manner. On the other hand, students who work in a flexible and/or cooperative group are guided with the strategy of differentiated instruction. The students in the group work together to master a set of skills depicted and explained in detail by the teacher. The teacher provides instruction based on the uniqueness of each student and his or her specific learning style. In differentiated instruction, students and teachers collaborate with one another to meet the targeted goals (Tomlinson, 2001). Teachers use differentiated instruction in the classroom by prescribing technology supported cooperation, which enhanced student achievement. Most important, significant increases occurred in student achievement for students in the treatment group who used Internet-based software that differentiated instruction based on student needs and targeted learning outcomes. In the same way, teachers who are trained to use CAI and cooperative learning in quality professional development programs notably and effectively can change their teaching practices. Technology-based instruction in the classroom requires training. High-quality professional development is ongoing staff development at the school site for administrators, teachers, and other instructional staff to understand student needs and improve results (National Staff Development Council, 2004). Teachers at the targeted school come to the table with varying levels of ability, technology skills, and knowledge of computers. Professional development is a key factor in providing teachers with the mechanics that assist in understanding and applying the technology in differentiated instruction. The staff at the targeted school receives monthly technology-based professional development. The goals of the professional development sessions are well defined. According to Joyce and Showers (2002), effective professional development includes ongoing modeling, practice, feedback, and reflection over time. In a typical coaching model, literacy coaches and teachers engage in a cycle of demonstration, observation, and reflection (Mraz et al., 2009). Together, both participants demonstrate, observe, reflect, and consider how such teaching decisions influence students. Another level of reflection occurs when the coach and teacher consider the learning outcomes of the students. As this happens, teachers develop a vested interest in coaching and start to see the benefits of reflection within their practice. Oftentimes, such awareness inspires teachers to continue their engagement in professional development and reflection. They become stakeholders in their own learning and seek ongoing support from their literacy coach. Differentiated support, based on teachers' individual needs and learning styles, is crucial for the work of a literacy coach. Learning happens within teachers, not to them (Tomlinson & McTighe, 2006). One-size-fits-all professional development focuses on the dissemination of the same information to teachers and does not consider application or individual learning styles. Yet teachers are unique in terms of their pedagogy, experience, and content knowledge. Therefore, learning should be differentiated to provide multiple options...
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