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April 4, 2015
This Week: Differentiation Strategies and the Harlem Renaissance
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We asked a few members of our community to share their top differentiation strategies. Check out these six tips for meeting the needs of diverse learners.
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Let’s take a virtual field trip to Memphis, TN, where Sherwanda Chism and Debora Gatens’ students are learning about the Harlem Renaissance. Get inspired as you watch their students take risks and learn from one another.
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Watch students compare and contrast two poems by Langston Hughes, and then collaborate to create collages in the style of an artist who grew up during the Harlem Renaissance.
Sarah's Notes

For over four years, I’ve been driving home nearly the same way each day. When I’m on this route, automatic pilot takes over. In fact, I know it so well I hardly see my surroundings anymore. Until recently, when the city added a stoplight where a four-way stop had always been. For weeks, each time I came to what had been a four-way stop, I would stop, quickly check for other cars (which were seldom there) and put my foot on the gas. Once, I found myself halfway through the intersection before I realized what I’d done.

I had to reprogram my habits, relearn my routine. I had to get conscious and deliberate. I had to take note of the surroundings that would cue the stop-and-wait instead of the stop-and-go. It didn’t take too long, but I had to shelve the automatic pilot and get present. And it reminded me of all the ways this is like learning something new, or reliving one of those teaching reflexes we always say we’ll get better at: we have to stop, wait, pay attention, and get deliberate about the change. Over and over again. This week we’re highlighting a new Observation Challenge, which does just that: reminds us how to pay attention in order to move forward. These challenges certainly help remind me that even though I may make a lot of my mistakes at empty intersections, I’m no less determined to untangle those habits and get better. Enjoy!

P.S. Scroll down the page to check out our new jobs board with opportunities from around the country.

Sarah Sarah Sig
Teacher Laureate at Teaching Channel
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