AES Chapter Secretary
If you have anything to do with a classroom or education, you have probably heard the term “differentiation” over and over and over again. We have a good idea of what it is, but with the diversity of learners in our classrooms, the challenges to implementing differentiation seems insurmountable. Every resource has a different idea of how best to utilize differentiation in a classroom. One method that I use in my high school science class (covering special education through advanced placement) are choiceboards.
In this blog post, I am going to cover some types that I have found work well in my classrooms that can be easily adapted for use in any classroom. These are simply things I use to help me differentiate, but they’re not the only way. They’re a great way to incorporate graphic organizers while allowing student choice and teacher structure.
We’re all familiar with the game Tic-Tac-Toe. How on Earth does it apply to differentiation? It’s easy! You create 9 assignments in a tic-tac-toe board and students choose 3 to complete. However, they must complete 3 in a row for tic-tac-toe so you can make sure that a variety of assignments are completed.
There are so many different activities you can use. Some ideas for student choice activities can be:
Now, some of these activities seem very basic. This is where the teacher in you comes into play! You don’t want the student to simply to regurgitate information – you want them to demonstrate some level of understanding. I try to arrange them in such a way that each tic-tac-toe has a variety of mastery levels and a variety of different activities.
Here is a model that I ask my chemistry students to create:
As you can see, they are creating a model but in order to create that model, they have to be able to create and explain different chemical reactions. An art teacher could use this method to show mixing colors to create new colors. A math teacher could use it to show addition.
Here are 2 options I ask my physics/physical science students to choose from:
They have to be familiar enough with the laws to apply them to their own life and explain the relationship to the sport.
Need students to learn vocabulary?
The assignment choices do not have to require lots of photocopies or a ton of instructions. I’ve had students create memes to explain concepts and vocabulary words and act out scientific principles. Sometimes I leave the middle as a “free space” where students can bounce an idea off of me to try to use for mastery. You can re-use the same option multiple times in the tic-tac-toe board if it’s one thing you really need to force the students to complete. You can have all 9 boxes be different. It’s also easy to have the board on one side and a rubric on the other side so that everything fits and students know what will be expected.
Here is a sample chemistry choice board:
Another method of differentiation is using menu boards. It’s not as popular of an option as the tic-tac-toe, but is still useful. I use menu boards frequently in my high school science class but again, this can be adapted for any level or course.
My version of the menu boards is a restaurant menu. There can be appetizers, side dishes, entrees, and desserts. It’s also a lot of fun (for me, at least) when I have the time to format them to look like an actual menu.
I will often list the “easier” or low DOK (depth of knowledge) assignments under the appetizer option and ask them to choose one to complete. The more involved or “meatier” options are listed under the entrée section and they are to choose one (and the entrée is worth the most points). There can be side dishes listed if you choose (when I use side dishes, I have them choose two to complete). Finally, there is a list of desserts to choose from (or just one dessert that everybody does).
Here is a sample I use for my environmental science class:
So those are two ways to incorporate student voice and choice and differentiation into your classroom. There are SO many other ways, so don’t limit yourself to just these. Good luck and be sure to enter the giveaway below! You must be a current KDP AES chapter member to enter and you will be asked to provide an email address where you can be reached to claim your prize. Prizes not claimed in 3 days will go to the next person on the list.
Please click here to enter the drawing: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/0bebab240/?
by Rachel Tyler, Chapter President
Being a member of Kappa Delta Pi is an amazing accomplishment and it is even better that you are a part of the Alpha Epsilon Sigma chapter here at Western Governors University.
As fully-fledged members of KDP, we have access to many member benefits as undergraduate and graduate students, as well as on the professional level.
Kappa Delta Pi provides us with career and leadership development resources. Recently KDP partnered with Educator Learning Network. ELN provides us with learning opportunities that will help grow your professional competencies. The courses are discounted for members and sometimes even free! The current courses include Classroom Management Basics, Data Literacy for Teaching, and Educator Wellness. New courses are added often. To access your courses log in to your Kappa Delta Pi profile, look under my Engagement and click “Enroll in Educator Learning Network Courses.” You also have access to a free e-portfolio to track and share your professional development with employers. Your e-portfolio can be found under My Account and click “My ePortfolio”.
As a member you have the opportunity to attend webinars, podcasts, and plenty of face-to-face professional development held across the country. Don’t forget to attend Convocation. It is held yearly. You may also submit a proposal to present at one of the workshops or Convo.
As an undergraduate student you will have a free subscription to New Teacher Advocate, and Kappa Delta Pi Record as a graduate student. Members receive monthly e-newsletter, access to archived KDP publications you can use for your research, and downloadable teacher resources. Kappa Delta Pi offers classroom teacher grants and scholarships. Classroom grants are $150 and scholarships range from $250 to $3,500.
As members you will have lifetime access to great member discounts including professional liability insurance, life and auto insurance, health and disability insurance, and international travel/medical coverage.
Kappa Delta Pi wants to recognize all the hard work their members put into their education and professional careers. As a student don’t forget to wear your KDP stole and honor cords at commencement. KDP also honors teachers with the Teacher of Honor recognition.
Being a part of KDP is a great achievement and has awesome benefits. Don’t forget to be an active member of our Alpha Epsilon Sigma family. Attend bi-monthly professional development meetings, and be a part of our committees, including the new service initiation Celebration of Teaching.
Don’t forget to stay an active member by paying your dues so you can continue to receive all the benefits of Kappa Delta Pi.
We are so excited to have all of you a part of Kappa Delta Pi – Alpha Epsilon Sigma Chapter.
To see all benefits, click here http://www.kdp.org/membership/pdf/MemberBenefits.pdf
We are excited to announce that our chapter's project, Digital Literacy, was named a Gold Winner for 2017-2018! This is the highest award given to Literacy Alive! projects. If you haven't taken the time to view the project, there are two versions linked below.
As a Gold winner, our chapter will receive a plaque at Convo 2018 in Indianapolis, IN, and every chapter member is eligible for a $20 Convo registration discount. If you are attending Convo, use the code LA20 when registering.
Special thanks to our LiteracyAlive! Committee, including our committee chair, Jess Martz!
by Kacie Ryan, Faculty Co-counselor
Literacy Alive! is a service project that Kappa Delta Pi chapters across the world participate in each year. The focus of the initiative is to empower literacy skills within participants. Participating chapters create their own programming that focuses on literacy skills related to cross curriculum programming, community partnerships, international impact, needs of diverse populations, and sustainable development. In these topics, the programming design is left open ended for participating chapters. Projects typically range from one day literacy events to on-going literacy programs. For more information visit the KDP’s Literacy Alive! page.
Our AES chapter has participated in Literacy Alive! for several years. Each year we create a Literacy Alive! committee who designs and implements our project. Our focus over the last few years has been on compiling teacher resources. We’ve also chosen to leverage our position as the first online chapter of KDP by providing our resources through different online platforms. Last year we created a Live Binder classroom resource. Our committee decided to focus on diverse populations and narrow that to students with behavioral disabilities. Committee members identified books about people with behavioral disabilities and created elementary level lesson plans and read aloud companions to accompany the books. The committee also complied some online resources that could help teachers working with and teaching students with behavioral disabilities. We assembled all of these resources into an online Live Binder to allow access to our project by any teacher, anywhere. You can check out last year’s project here.
As an officer board, we decided that our chapter’s project for this year will focus on digital literacy in K-12 education. The American Library Association defines digital literacy as “the ability to use information and communication technologies to find, evaluate, create, and communicate information, requiring both cognitive and technical skills." Our committee will work with this topic to create our 2017/2018 Literacy Alive! project. The committee is forming now! If you’re interested in joining the committee, or have questions, please let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Marta Barlow, Chapter Treasurer
Hello fellow teachers and teacher candidates!
Welcome to a new school year! I wish you much success in the year to come, in all you do! Being a teacher myself, and having come up through the Teachers College, I understand how tired and discouraged you may feel at times. It's normal! Just keep plugging! If you get to feeling overworked, over-stressed, and burned out...take some time off just for yourself. Go visit friends, see a movie, take a much-needed vacation. Then, hit the courses with renewed determination and vigor! Never give up!
I'm so excited to be going to the Convocation in Pittsburgh, October 26-28! This will be my second time attending; I went to Orlando in 2015 and it was an incredible experience! The workshops, classes, and rubbing elbows with like-minded educators like myself was amazing! I learned so many things and ways of doing things I had never thought of. There were books, memorabilia, DVDs, CDs, classroom materials and aids, etc., to purchase. Wonderful displays and guest speakers rounded out the event! It's not too late to register for Pittsburgh! Go to the KDP website and do it today! You'll be glad you attended! (And hint: If you attend, our chapter officers will give you a $50 gift card when we see you at Convo to help with expenses!)
by Leah Stubb, Membership Chair
Are you aware of the incredible wealth of resources that are available to us as KDP members? If you have not had the chance to explore KDP.org, I would recommend you high tail it on over and take a look. There are loads of scholarships available for all levels of education and you can find the information on them at KDP.org.
KDP puts out several different publications that are a wealth of information for educators, all of which can also be found on the website. One of my favorite places to haunt on this website is the Resources tab! If you’re in need of professional development hours, there are webinar trainings available at your fingertips! If you’re looking to expand your knowledge in a particular area or brush up on some new classroom management ideas, there are webinar recordings available. You have access to both live and recorded webinars.
In the resources catalog you can find resources that can help with job hunting or resume building. Maybe you have already secured an interview, there are resources that can help you to do your very best in an upcoming interview. Perhaps you have secured the job you wanted, there are webcasts and podcasts to help you settle in as a 1st year teacher. Maybe you secured the job but the subject area is not what you had planned for, or the student base has high needs students that you’re unsure about how their condition may affect their learning, you need look no further than KDP.org.
by Leah Stubb, Membership Chair
Who’s coming to convocation? Be sure to save the dates on your calendar! You’re not going to want to miss out on this one! Get out your red pen and mark down Convocation in Pittsburgh, October 26th-28th. You won’t regret it!
Convo is an incredible opportunity to meet, collaborate with and learn from other educators and experts in the field. You will get a chance to listen to and learn from Dave Burgess author of Teach Like a PIRATE: Increase Student Engagement, Boost Your Creativity, and Transform Your Life as an Educator. This is an exciting array of opportunities to increase your knowledge base, and improve yourself as an educator as well as a chance to network with incredibly talented and passionate educators.
I know I’m beyond excited to see what Dave Burgess has to bring to the table as well as all the other amazing speakers and guests we will see at Convocation, I will see you there! If you want to learn more about what is planned, learn more about Literacy Alive, How to support you councilors, there will be a job fair where you can explore the different opportunities in education. This is going to be a packed few days that will alter lives as well as build and change career paths.
AES Chapter is offering a $50 reimbursement on registration fees if you attend. Email us at email@example.com to arrange to meet in person in Pittsburgh so we can get to know you and get your gift card to you! Check out the Convocation website at: http://www.kdp.org/convo2017/index.php.
Four members of the chapter attended the Kappa Delta Pi 50th Biennial Convocation in Orlando. Marta Barlow, Treasurer, Chelsea Barnett, Counselor, Sydney Rombola, Counselor, and Roxanna Lagos, Secretary, can be seen below celebrating 50 years of KDP!