At the beginning of the week, I was feeling pretty proud of my accomplishments considering the hectic week I had. So with that being said, I spent most of the week trying to catch up with my duties as a teacher, then nursing my kids’ back to health, keeping house, and when I had time I would spend a few minutes on this class. As I was reading through other students’ blogs, I realized Dr. MaryLee Graham had already graded our units. I wasn’t too eager to look, because I had felt securely that I was on the right track. However, it turns out I had a few minor edits to make and had to upload missing documents because the hyperlinks didn’t work. Yikes!
In a panic, I spazzed and sent a million emails trying to figure out how make these minor corrections. Well, after collecting myself I figured it out. However, it really made me feel uncomfortable about the upcoming days, as I have so few days to waste due to State Testing planned in the schedule 3 days this week. Prior to planning the unit I had known state testing was going to be during this time so I cut the unit short a few days. I already cut out activities I had wanted to do. I might add these in as extension activities and continue pass this course’s deadline. I know I have said in previous blogs, that flexibility is important but it was very hard for me to budge on the flexibility of the amount of time spent on this unit because I already shaved out activities I was wanting to try–so I struggled and created a state of panic for myself. Nonetheless, I realized I would have to began teaching the unit regardless of much feedback, because I was on a strict timeline. Luckily, Dr. Graham responded in such a timely manner to inform me I was approved to go forward with my unit. Phew!
I should have known I would get a quick response but I panicked because with the past week’s mishaps you never know if you have the time. In my initial panic, I quickly scanned through other students’ blogs for ideas on how to improve my unit. I was fortunate enough within my initial browsing to run across Kendra’s blog who provided an example of her approved unit. I was happy to spend a few minutes looking over hers. One thing I realized, it it is a lot harder to be a critique of units, because we are not the ones creating it (so I am glad that this isn’t my job). Kuddos to Kendra for providing such detailed work! I appreciate her and found it inspiring that so many of you fellow educators care about all your children. You all rock!
While reading through the blogs, I love that it appears we all care about our students and will help them reach their fullest capacity though DI. Mariah and Chelsea were also both inspirations. I found that when reading through Chelsea’s blog I realized I forgot to add flexibility into my 5 components of differentiation. I had a hard time with describing 5 components at first, but after spending some time researching and organizing all my ideas into 5 broad categories I was able to include all my passionate ideas about teaching into them. It also tremendously helped me to read others’ blogs that stated their 5 components. In general, I think we were all saying the same thing, just wording things differently.
Another important idea that resonated with me this week was the fact that both Kendra and Jules referred to The Zone of Proximal Development. It is something I agree with and in the future I would like to make sure that I am more aware of this term. In general, I find the brain fascinating and if anything I would like to spend more time checking out The Zone of Proximal Development so that I can apply it to DI. I have some awareness of this, but I know I need to spend more time on just this concept.
I’d like to end this week with, saying that the fact we use technology to differentiate really resonated with me. I love how we used technology to differentiate instruction. I have always been a fan of technology, but have come to love it even more recently. I truly believe that without it, I am not sure I would be so apt and able to differentiate. Technology is a tool that really helps me to reach all students. Lastly, I look forward to using technology this week and reading what others’ have discovered this week in their blogs.