ELA.RH.6-8.2

Common core State Standards

  • ELA:  English Language Arts
  • RH:  Reading Standards for Literacy in History/Social Studies 6-12
  • 6-8:  6th through 8th Grades
  • 2: 
    Determine the central ideas or information of a
    primary or secondary source; provide an accurate
    summary of the source distinct from prior
    knowledge or opinions.

Download Common Core State Standards (PDF 1.2 MB)

Differentiating with Learning Menus
Lesson Objective: Learning menus help Ms. Vagenas differentiate for students
Grade 7 / Social Studies / Differentiation
ELA.RH.6-8.2

Thought starters

  1. Why is student choice an important part of differentiation?
  2. How does the structure of an assignment (graphic organizer, website, brochure) help students summarize content?
  3. How does Ms. Vagenas assess student learning after each phase of the project?
156 Comments
I think this is great, give students choices, they will buy into their learning and be engaged more. Nice work, I am going to try this too!
Recommended (1)
Choices for students are always good. I know that there will be some pre-teaching of what a graphic organizer looks like, what goes into a travel brochure...but the students can and will rise to the expectations. Great work!
Recommended (1)
I liked this idea very much and am going to recommend it to all my fellow special ed teachers. This menu idea will be especially helpful with differentiating special ed students who are reluctant to do work/ write.
Recommended (3)
Awesome idea, I think it would be great because having different students take on different tasks would encourage them to actually TALK about what they're doing as a positive, instead of going with the routine of having no choice in the matter. It can give them a sense of ownership over their work, inspiring them to think deeper about what to do as they make it unique to themselves, fulfilling the need for self-expression. Maybe roleplay as a waitress prior in order to introduce the assignments and technique.
Recommended (2)
Love this concept but get boggled down by the time structure needed to complete the work vs district time lines and pacing schedule. Any suggestions?
Recommended (0)

Transcripts

  • 01:00:00 TITLE OPEN
    01:00:04 VAGENAS: My name is Mary Vagenas, I teach seventh grade US History at the Queens School

    01:00:00 TITLE OPEN
    01:00:04 VAGENAS: My name is Mary Vagenas, I teach seventh grade US History at the Queens School of Inquiry in Flushing, New York.
    01:00:09 VAGENAS: All right ladies and gentlemen, I need your undivided attention for a few minutes and then we’re going to continue working on our learning menus.
    01:00:21 VAGENAS: The learning menu is a compilation of different activities specifically differentiating instruction for various different learners while building upon various different literacy skills.
    01:00:31 GIRL 1: I like it because there’s um lots of options and you get to work at your own pace, because a lot of times um, during projects, people often rush you so that you have to finish during a certain time and this is due this time and this is due that time, but right now you get to work at whatever pace you want.
    01:00:50 VAGENAS: Just like on a regular restaurant menu you have different sections, where you get to choose an appetizer, an entrée, and a dessert, and so the menu has been designed in exactly the same way.
    01:01:03 VAGENAS: The way that you go about completing a learning menu is that you choose an appetizer, you work on that. There are different literacy skills that are being addressed for these specific activities.
    01:01:12 BOY 1: I did the timeline first.
    VAGENAS: Let me see? Well what else are you doing for section three?
    01:01:17 VAGENAS: Once you’re done with your appetizer you walk over to your teacher, they check it, you receive a grade for your appetizer, you move on to your entrée.
    01:03:30 BOY 1: Um, I’m on, um, section three, uh tr- it’s the outline. I’m making everything like short and in bullet form to make it easier for me.
    01:01:39 VAGENAS: The entrée is pretty much, it provides a deeper understanding of the content. Once they’ve demonstrated that they can do the work and they’ve understand and mastered the content, they then have to quiz out of it.
    01:01:53 VAGENAS: How’s it going?
    01:00:54 VAGENAS: They can’t move on to the next section of the chapter unless they fully complete the quiz.
    01:02:01 VAGENAS: If I want to trade with somebody and there’s desert all around me, is that difficult? So what would make it easy for me to transport goods? Look here. What’s that blue line that’s cutting through?
    GIRL 2: Oh Niger River. They use the Niger River.
    01:02:14 VAGENAS: Once they’re done with all the sections, they then have to work on their desert, which is an overview of the entire chapter.
    01:02:22 GIRL 2: Um the learning menu is very helpful cause I usually skim read and I don’t really pay attention to most of the important parts, so then when I um, when I use the learning menu I get most of the important parts and what I really need to know.
    01:02:35 VAGENAS: As far as the entrées go they have the choice of graphic organizers, brochures, timelines, eulogies.
    01:02:45 GIRL 1: I did a graphic organizer which is this one right here.
    01:02:52 VAGENAS: The graphic organizer distinguishes between relevant and irrelevant information, but at the same time it allows for students to paraphrase the information to demonstrate understanding of the content.
    01:03:03 GIRL 1: And you take the main ideas that you read from the text and you put them all right here in bullet points. This one is about early mezzo-Americans and South American people.
    01:03:13 VAGENAS: Graphic organizers are really there just to structure their writing.
    01:03:21 BOY 2: I was doing African Kingdom website for section three, so I looked on the board to see what I was supposed to do. Over here is going to be the three different, um, the three different West African kingdoms and historical information on all three. Then over here it’s going to be like a whole map of the whole thing.
    01:03:41 VAGENAS: They have to follow the basic structure of a real website. They layout is used to guide their writing.
    01:03:47 GIRL 2; I’m doing the website. When I, um, when I was reading, I like basically summarized the most important parts like their trading and their religion. But I figured out that, um, how um trading was easier cause it was mostly dry so they used the Niger River.
    01:04:04 VAGENAS: The travel brochure required that students persuade people to visit the West African kingdoms. By them using their own words to explain the content, that’s a sign of mastery.
    01:04:17 GIRL 3: I’m making um travel brochures and it’s about ancient African kingdoms. This is the title, um it has all the kingdoms here, and these are the accomplishments and what they did. The most important thing that all the African kingdoms used was trade because they had all the goods and they were able to thrive, the kingdoms.
    01:04:38 VAGENAS: Ultimately, the target goal for this year is that they’re able to read and write and think and speak critically about global topics. And that’s how you complete a learning menu.
    01:04:51 CREDITS

School Details

Queens School Of Inquiry
158-40 76th Road
Queens NY 11366
Population: 561

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greatschools

Teachers

Mary Vagenas

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