Sunday, 17 August 2014

To differentiate or not to differentiate - that is the question!

As educators we constantly hear about differentiating the curriculum or differentiating your lessons to cater for all learners. This post is completely driven by the actions of my students. I had my year 11 extension mathematics class period 5, these you would describe as an academic group. Then period 6 I had my life skills class, so these are strugglers when it comes to Mathematics. 
So I had my magnetic fraction sectors on my desk ready to use them to demonstrate equivalent fractions with my life skills group. But, while I was helping a student, some of my year 11s discovered them and then proceeded to create.
It's funny and I guess that's why I reflect on it now, we happened to be doing differentiation using the product rule.
For me, and I am sure for all good educators, differentiation isn't a conscious thing, it is something that you always do without even thinking about it. It is about making your students comfortable in their learning environment.
I had never really thought about it until today, at how much we adapt our lessons depending on our students, it has become so second nature that we don't even realise that we are doing it.
Differentiation - the rate of change of one variable compared to another or determining differences, whatever the definition, remember you are an expert without even knowing.

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