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Developing independence

Chris describes the idea of being the 'knowledgeable other' and using your understanding of the subject to plan for specific stumbling blocks.
One of the ways of making differentiation explicit and workable is to use a quadrant. This provides four different opportunities for students to take to move their learning forward. It might be that each quadrant requires students to do activities with increasing conceptual complexity or cognitive demand. So as seen in one video, Sara McNally with a year-one math class used a quadrant with practise, apply correct, and extend, or PACE approach. In the other video, Kate Fiddian with the year-10 science class organised her quadrant around Sankey diagrams and energy efficiency calculations that first covered qualitative and then progressively more quantitative understanding, culminating in the students drawing their own Sankey diagram.
Initially, deciding which task students will work on depends on the teacher’s assessment of how the student’s learning has worked so far. But gradually, as these types of activities are used more often in the classroom, students start to take on this responsibility guided by their teacher.

Chris discusses how teachers can use assessment to identify students’ starting points and plan to increase the cognitive complexity or cognitive demand of the learning using a quadrant structure.

Chris also discusses how teachers can guide students over time to take on this responsibility.

We will see in the next step how Sara with her Year 1 (5-6 year olds) class and Kate F with her Year 10 (14-15 year olds) class managed this approach.

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Differentiation for Learning

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