How true is this quote by Dr. Taub?
When we believe any student can make progress towards a goal, we find a way to support that goal. We give them a sky’s the limit for their success.
When we believe students cannot make progress or we believe they will be unsuccessful, we place limitations on that child. We give them a ceiling for their success. Not all goals are realistic for all children, but when we provide different access points and different supports, we allow all children to move closer to the goal.
As educators, we do not have the ability to tell the future- shocking😱
Let’s not pretend we can.
I know this sounds simple and common sense. BUT, it is easy to get caught up in the curricula and the hustle and bustle of schools days- it is this busyness that often leads us to miss opportunities to provide barrier free learning for all our kiddos.
Keep reading for examples!!!
Below I provide an easy to follow template you can start using TODAY to help you plan differentiated lessons.
Follow for Lesson Planning For All to claim your free lesson plan template!
This lesson plan is exhaustive- you will not want to use it all the time! BUT it is awesome as a new teacher, a teacher looking to develop their inclusive approach, and a teacher who is trying to target diversity in their classroom.
This template will give you a framework from which you can start thinking about the different access points to different outcomes. Access points are just different spots students can work towards if the curriculum outcome is just not right (maybe they require too much support or they may have already mastered this skill). BUT access points are on the same spectrum (emergent level to expert level) of content as the outcome- we are not teaching 27 different lessons at once. 1 lesson, different supports for different kiddos! Rather than thinking of outcomes as black or white, meet or not meet- think of them as grey or a spectrum!
This template provides you with spots to record the outcome, materials, ways to express content, engage students, and for students to express their knowledge & understanding. As well (my favourite), it gives you a framework from which you can add different access points to adjust the outcome based on different student's learning needs.
Page 1- Record your learning outcome or objective in the top box. This typically comes directly from your curriculum guide. Use the second box to record any materials that you may need to gather (beyond the obvious). The next three boxes (smaller ones) use page two as a reference. In these three boxes you will record the different ways or choices you will provide your students. You will provide your students with choices for representing content, engagement in the lesson, and demonstration of their knowledge. This section requires you to REALLY know your students and understand them as learners. You should provide options that are meaningful to your students. There should be at least one appropriate choice per student.
Page 2- This is your framework for choice. On this page you have three columns:
Page 3- This page is a review of the outcome. You will rewrite the focus of the lesson in box one. In the second box you will outline what you expect ALL your kiddos to be able to do in this lesson. Do not worry if this section is less academic and more about following simple routines. That is okay! The point is you want to have a focus in your lesson that is consistent for all your students. The next two areas are broken down into two groups: those who require additional support with earlier skills (before reaching the outcome) & those who require additional support with later skills (after reaching the outcome).
a. ALL students focus: the overall outcome (all students are working from this outcome with different levels of support) & whole class focus.
b. Some students access points: this section is for students requiring support with early concepts on the outcome spectrum.
c. Some students access points: this section is for students who have already met the outcome and are working on the subsequent concepts or skills.
Page 4- This page includes your access points- think of the overall lesson outcome as a spectrum. In the middle you have your curriculum focus. Above and below you have different access points that allow you to work from the outcome concept, but at different levels or access points.
Page 5- This page is your lesson plan! Record what you are doing, how you are doing it, and any potential barriers that might arise. KEEP IT BRIEF!!!
This template provides a VERY small lesson plan for you. The focus of this template is in the inclusion of access points for your lesson. Use this page, page 5, to briefly (like one point) outline how you will introduce, teach, reinforce, and wrap up the lesson for all your students. Keep it simple- work on thinking about how to represent knowledge, engage students, and demonstrate knowledge with such diverse supports in your class.
EXAMPLE- an example of how to fill out page 3 & 4 based on the idea that the lesson objective is a spectrum of skills & content. This is only an example- your access points should be reflective of your students and their learning journey.