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07 December 2004: That's What It's All About (3 of 5)

Now, when I think about those love letters, I am shocked. How did my students possibly have so much time to create these little masterpieces? It is to me a clear reflection of my lack of differentiated instruction. It is no accident that the students who tended to finish their work early, or not at all, were also the most prolific. For the ones who finished early, of course they loved me--I was constantly giving them work that was easy to do! What better way to spend all of their free time than encouraging me to give them more? I am so disappointed in my inability to recognize this at the time. Now that differentiation is essential to my teaching methods, it's hard for me to even imagine what it was like to give the entire class one assignment in one work period. Not only do I give multiple assignments for students to work on at their own pace, but I adapt even the assignments to be serving each student's demonstrated need. Ironic, I guess, but I am very pleased with how few love letters I have received in recent years.

teaching quote of the day

Tell me and I forget. Show me and I remember. Involve me and I understand.

- Chinese proverb

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