Sunday Cummins's Reviews > Leading and Managing a Differentiated Classroom

Leading and Managing a Differentiated Classroom by Carol Ann Tomlinson
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
Aug 08, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: professional
Read in August, 2011

Well written, reader friendly, neatly organized. Tomlinson & Imbeau make clear that differentiation is a "philosophy of instruction" - not an activity or strategy. So it's not about planning for teaching and then planning for differentiating. You plan with differentiation in mind.

I think many of us know what differentiation is in mind, but this is a nice book to have on your shelf to help you articulate for yourself and others what is involved in a classroom where differentiated instruction is in action and children are moving forward in their learning. In this text, there is the discourse of differentiation commonly associated with Tomlinson's work - differentiation entails modification of four curriculum related elements - content, process, product and affect - and these are based on 3 categories of student need and variance - readiness, interest, and learning profile. If you are new to Tomlinson's work - there's enough detail to help you understand what she means; if you are familiar with her work, there's just enough to re-familiarize yourself or review.

Favorite quote about essentials of differentiated instruction - "Teachers should continually ask..."What does THIS student need at THIS moment in order to be able to progress with THIS key content, and what do I need to do to make that happen?" And this is what I like most about this book - if a child is not learning in our classroom, we need to look back at ourselves (are you the blind spot?) and ask - what do I need to do differently to help this child succeed?

After discussing the essentials of and other related big ideas, the core of the text includes a chapter on creating a learning environment for differentiated instruction, classroom routines/procedures when students/teachers are preparing for learning, classroom routines/procedures during learning. Lots of practical ideas.

Audiences -
Great for new teachers - the basics in detail, enough to start to work at embedding this philosophy in your practice, but not so much that you are overwhelmed

Good reminder for seasoned teachers - I found myself jotting down notes and thinking about grouping of students differently and how I might evaluate the tasks I design for students as far as rigor and meaning; I also found myself taking notes on language to articulate what I mean by differentiation in clearer terms

Excellent resource for coaches/professional learning providers - will help you articulate for others what you mean by differentiation as previously noted

Missing? Tomlinson and Imbeau - give you the basics in detail. The nitty gritty of making it happen, the day to day, the long-term - well, that's the next five books you should read or the one you write for yourself, huh?

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Leading and Managing a Differentiated Classroom.
Sign In »

No comments have been added yet.