1.5.1 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of strategies for differentiating teaching to meet the specific leaning needs of students across the full range of abilities.
It was during my 5 week practicum that I came to realise that differentiation happens every day in every class, planned or not. If I look at the wood work classes that I was a part of, year 9 had to design and make a coffee table, year 10 had to design and make a bedside cabinet, and year 11 had to design and make a chair or stool that showcased 3 different timber joints.
The assessment task for years 9 and 10 give the students the option to make the standard project that is outlined in their booklet OR they can modify the design and make something original. The students who choose to do the standard project usually do this because they are not capable or comfortable with thinking outside the square and having the capacity to back up the new design with dimensions and plans. Yet the students who want to push themselves can, so the assessment task alone scaffolds for different leaning needs and abilities.
The year 11 students who had to design and make a chair or stool didn’t have the option of a ‘standard’ project, however the fact that they had to include 3 different timber joints in their design does leave scope for differentiation. The students who were looked at as more capable students were encouraged to try more complex joinery such as box pin joints and mortise and tenon joints where as the students who were struggling with their design were helped along with doing simple joints such as dowel or biscuit joints.
All students are still meeting the desired outcomes and engaging with the content, but the varying levels of ability is definitely clear to see in the finished products. Below are some photos of some year 11 work when they had 1 week to go before being submitted.