Differentiating the High School Classroom: Solution Strategies for 18 Common Obstacles

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If this is how you feel about differential instruction (DI), you are not alone. Although research shows that DI maximizes learning and neural development, teachers still struggle with its challenges, especially in the high school classroom. Applying her unique expertise as a researcher, teacher, trainer, and parent, Kathie F. Nunley provides practical and supportive solutions to the real obstacles teachers face in mixed ability classrooms.

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Editorial Reviews

Toby Karten
"Gives a clear road map to follow and provides vital information without preaching. The author acknowledges and places allof ateacher's concerns on the table, and whittles them away with classroom strategies. The casual yet clear format parallels high school teachers' needs."
Jacqueline Thousand
“Differentiation at the high school level is one of the hottest topics and a greatly needed area for professional development. I really like the historical context; it tells us that we are in a ‘new’ and different age in U.S. education history.”
J. David Smith
“Provides the readers with action strategies for differentiating instruction at the secondary level. It will be received with interest by many secondary school educators.”
William Fitzhugh
"I like the conversational tone of this book. The author is speaking to me, not at me. All of us veteran teachers have been through so many 'new' things that have been discarded after a year or two that we have become jaded. The ideas in this book will be useful for years to come."
Class Notes
"This book offers 'assignments' that teachers can use to implement differentiation in their own classrooms, including devising a layered curriculum and offering students choices in displaying their skills."
June 2006 Choice Magazine
"The use of analogies, examples, and classroom stories makes it both engaging and user-friendly. Solutions range far beyond the author's own Layered Curriculum method to include many practical solutions to challenges common to many high school teachers. "
June 2006 CHOICE
"The use of analogies, examples, and classroom stories makes it both engaging and user-friendly. Solutions range far beyond the author's own Layered Curriculum method to include many practical solutions to challenges common to many high school teachers."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781412917155
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications
  • Publication date: 11/28/2005
  • Pages: 168
  • Product dimensions: 10.10 (w) x 7.10 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Kathie F. Nunley delights teachers from around the world with her practical solutions to the challenges of today’s diverse classrooms. With more than 15 years of high school classroom teaching experience in both urban and suburban schools, she is the developer of the Layered Curriculum method of instruction. Nunley is a noted speaker at state, national, and international conferences and has authored several books and articles on brain biology and teaching in the mixed-ability classroom.
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Table of Contents

Introduction : I just can't do that in my school/classroom/situation
Solution to obstacle 1 : I long to return to the good old days 1
Solution to obstacle 2 : I thought I was differentiating 11
Solution to obstacle 3 : I teach the way I was taught 17
Solution to obstacle 4 : I don't know how 23
Solution to obstacle 5 : I have too much content to cover 35
Solution to obstacle 6 : I'm good at lecturing 41
Solution to obstacle 7 : I can't see how I would grade all those different assignments 51
Solution to obstacle 8 : I thought differentiated instruction was for elementary schools 59
Solution to obstacle 9 : I subscribe to ability grouping 65
Solution to obstacle 10 : I have real logistic issues 73
Solution to obstacle 11 : I want my classroom under control 81
Solution to obstacle 12 : I don't know how to measure my students' learning styles 89
Solution to obstacle 13 : I have neither the time nor the funding for all that 97
Solution to obstacle 14 : I've been teaching this way for years and it works 103
Solution to obstacle 15 : there's no support for it at my school 109
Solution to obstacle 16 : my district requires me to follow a prescribed text 115
Solution to obstacle 17 : parents expect lecture format in high school for college prep 121
Solution to obstacle 18 : the bottom line - if they are learning, you are teaching 129
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