8 Steps to Harmonize Learning in the Classroom
- Lisa Westman - Author and Educational Consultant, Lisa Westman Consulting
Foreword by Carol Ann Tomlinson
Corwin Teaching Essentials
Conduct Orchestras, Not Trains
“What if we understood that we can teach the important ideas and skills of the disciplines in a hundred different ways? And that students can learn them in a hundred different ways?”
– Carol Ann Tomlinson
How can teachers create harmony in the classroom when the educational field is lacking tangible action plans for how to differentiate learning for every student? Full of just-in-time, step-by-step guidance, Student-Driven Differentiation: 8 Steps to Harmonize Learning in the Classroom will show you how to incorporate student voice and choice in the process of planning for differentiation. This unique approach is based on building collaborative student-teacher relationships as a precursor to student growth. The result? Every student learns according to their own needs.
Organized into three parts for quick reference, this book will lay the foundation for student-driven differentiation and
- Identify the criteria for positive teacher-student relationships
- Examine four areas
fordifferentiated learning – content, process, product, environment
- Describe the process of planning and implementing student-driven differentiation
- Motivate and support you in your student-driven differentiation journey
- Provide unique examples and engaging vignettes throughout, including a fun project inspired by Shark Tank!
Lisa Westman does an excellent job of explaining the what of differentiation as well as the how. Examples from practitioners show it can be done effectively. The variety of voices - students, administrators, teachers, community - lends credibility by approaching differentiation from multiple perspectives. An excellent book to help teachers truly understand how to differentiate. Westman focuses on real world examples that are driven by research and student needs.
A Step-by-Step Guide to Differentiation – all educators need to read this book. It presents a clear and careful blueprint for an insightful and practical foundation in differentiation. When it comes to differentiation, educators have been looking for a practical book: now we have it.
"This fascinating book presents differentiation in a way that demystifies the strategy so that teachers can unlock thinking and promote rigorous instruction."
"To say I have been waiting for this book by Lisa Westman with great anticipation would be an understatement. She was a frequent and very popular guest blogger for my Finding Common Ground blog. Westman has hit it out of the park with her new book, much like she did with each and every guest blog. She has a deeply engaging writing style that offers practical steps on how to differentiate using her deep knowledge on the topic. She literally differentiated this book in a variety of ways to help us deepen our understanding. Not only is this a must-read, it is a book that will be relevant for a very long time."
"Lisa Westman hits a homerun with this practical, powerful, purposeful, and plentiful book about learning, teaching, and excellence for ALL students. With vignettes and examples from the field, blended with Lisa's courageous and proven success as a teacher leader, all who read this book will be able to implement student focused strategies. This is a book all teachers and educational leaders need to read and share."
"This book by Lisa Westman in a must-read for educators everywhere. She delivers a new look at how differentiation must work in our classrooms, with an emphasis on the concept of “student-driven differentiation,” in which the focus is always on student learning, student growth, and investing students in their own learning and their own learning needs. This book is extremely well written and provides practical tips for teachers hoping to transform learning in their classrooms to ensure that all students learn at high levels. The tools and resources in this book--combined with Westman’s expert insights--provide a roadmap for readers to better meet the needs of all students in our schools. Student-Driven Differentiation: 8 Steps to Harmonize Learning in the Classroom is a game changer for educators--and the students they serve!"
"Westman shows the importance of focusing on the learner and moving backward from there. She does this eloquently through supporting the educator with practical ideas that goes beyond engaging students, but empowers them in their learning. Empowering learners should be the norm in education, and Westman helps educators move toward that standard."
"Lisa Westman presents a seamless alignment of differentiation strategies with approaches designed to empower students. She expertly weaves research, anecdotes, and personal stories with pragmatic and helpful how to's. Her specific examples and valuable charts and tables provide concrete visual tools to support the powerful professional growth opportunities she offers. I recommend this insightful, well-written book for teachers, teacher-leaders, instructional coaches, curriculum supervisors, and administrators."
“I think this book would be a great supplemental resource for teacher candidates tackling the edTPA. Teacher candidates struggle in completing the edTPA and the stress, anxiety, and worry each semester is burdensome. I think this book practically explains differentiation and using assessments to guide future instruction (a key part of the edTPA).”
Sample Materials & Chapters
Chapter 2 - Differentiation Is What Happens When Teachers Focus on Student Growt