Week 1 Discussion 1 A Positive Classroom Environment


Now that you have been introduced to the broad framework of becoming a culturally competent teacher, it is your challenge to make the connection between differentiating and the prospective impact this concept has in making learning experiences more of a success for students in diverse classrooms.

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Watch the following video:

  • JCPSEmployee.      (2012, September 13). Seven      Principles for Culturally Responsive Teaching and Learning (Links to      an external site.)Links to an external site. [Video file].      Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IptefRjN4DY

The video refers to the ideologies of becoming a culturally responsive teacher and explores the Seven Principles of Culturally Responsive Teaching.

View the short and informative video, then respond to these questions in relation to the video and your personal experiences in your Discussion Post:

  1. What      would you identify as an important outcome of building relationships with      your students while focusing on a culturally inviting environment that is      physically safe, while also providing an engaging and positive learning      experience?
  2. Considering      your personal experience as a student, any professional experiences, and      your current and past higher-education based learning, are the Seven      Principles of Culturally Responsive Teaching theory realistic or      idealistic? Be sure to support your opinion with scholarly citations in      APA format both in the body of your post and at its conclusion.

Required Resources 

Required Text

Puckett, K (2013). Differentiating Instruction: A Practical Guide [Electronic version]. Retrieved from https://content.ashford.edu/

  • Chapter      1: A Conceptual Framework of Differentiation
  • Chapter      2: Theoretical Foundations of Differentiation


JCPSEmployee. (2012, September 13). Seven Principles for Culturally Responsive Teaching and Learning  (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.[Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IptefRjN4DY


For the teachers (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. (http://www.fortheteachers.org/differentiation_framework/)

Screencast-O-Matic. (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. (http://screencast-o-matic.com/home)

VoiceThread (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. (http://voicethread.com)

Voki (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. (http://www.voki.com)

YouTube (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. (http://www.youtube.com

Recommended Resources 


Garden City Public Schools. (n.d.). Differentiated instruction brochure (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.. Retrieved from http://www.gardencity.k12.ny.us/cms/lib8/NY01913305/Centricity/Domain/29/Differentiated%20Instruction%20Brochure.pdf

Microsoft Office. (n.d.). Office templates. (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. Retrieved from http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/templates/?CTT=97

Swanson, J. (n.d.). How to make a business pamphlet. (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. Retrieved from http://www.ehow.com/how_8536865_make-business-pamphlet.html

Tomlinson, C. (n.d.). Strategies for managing a differentiated classroomPreview the document. Retrieved from http://www.ascd.org/ASCD/pdf/books/tomlinson2001_chapter6_errata.pdf

Uzayr, S. (2012, March 13). Top 10 free online blogging platforms.  (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.Retrieved from http://sixrevisions.com/tools/top-free-online-blogging


GoogleDocs: Template Gallery (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. (https://drive.google.com/templates?q=newsletter&sort=hottest&view=default#)

SchoolRack (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. (http://www.schoolrack.com)

Weebly (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. (http://education.weebly.com)

WordPress (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. (http://wordpress.org)

Instructor Guidance

Week 1


This week you will:

  1. Evaluate      evidence-based research underlying the theory, principles, and practice of      differentiated instruction.
  2. Explain      the core principles and applicable modes of differentiated instruction
  3. Design      a work environment that reflects best differentiated practices.

Welcome to the FIRST week of class- Instructional Strategies for Differentiating Teaching and Learning. To start the week, think about a time when you felt ‘different’ or left out. Where were you? What were you doing? Was anyone else involved? Why did you feel this way? If something or someone changed the environment, would your feelings have changed?

Now think about your future classroom (or current classroom) full of students from various backgrounds, with unique life experiences, multiple religious affiliations, and with a wide range of learning abilities, skills, talents, strengths, and areas of need. With all this diversity, providing classroom instruction using only one teaching technique such as lectures or visual presentations has the potential to cause students to feel left out or different from their peers.


Discussion Board

The first week of class we will look at constructivism which is a foundation for differentiated instruction. Piaget, as described by Von Glaserfeld (1982), defines constructivism as a process by which students learn by constructing knowledge for themselves. In this theory, students don’t really learn just from hearing or reading something. They must make that new information fit into their own set of experiences and prior learning and thereby construct new knowledge. This theory makes sense when we think about the idea of context, or how things become more important when they are placed in a context that helps us to learn and remember things.

There is a webpage of examples to help you create a constructivist classroom that you are strongly encouraged to explore Characteristics of Constructivist Learning & Teaching (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. (Murphy, 2009) on your own; however, here is a brief summary of suggestions provided:

  • Make      sure you can answer the question “Why are we doing this?” for each lesson      objective because your students are going to ask you for real-world relevance;      without it, they will be less engaged and involved in the activity.
  • Formative      and summative assessments should be relevant and applicable outside of the      classroom. In addition, students should be able to self-assess their work      in order to reflect on personal and academic improvement
  • Students      need to be taught the intrinsic value of education, which is reinforced      through a student-centered problem-solving approach.
  • Most      instruction should be student-led with teachers serving more as a ‘guide      on the side’ than a ‘sage on the stage’


Kohn, A. (1996). Beyond discipline: From compliance to community. Alexandria, Va.: ASCD.

Murphy, E. (1997, June 1). Characteristics of constructivist learning & teaching. Characteristics of Constructivist Learning & Teaching.

Cockroft, B. (2014, June 10). Differentiation strategy- classroom management (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?reload=9&v=nQKu3lDOsyo8cE

Southwest Educational Development Laboratory (1995). Classroom compass: Constructing knowledge in the classroom (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.. Retrieved from http://www.sedl.org/scimath/compass/v01n03/1.html

Von Glaserfeld, E. (1982). An interpretation of Piaget’s constructivism (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.. Revue internationale de philosophie 36(4), 612-635. Retrieved from http://www.univie.ac.at/constructivism/EvG/papers/077.pdf 

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