Chatting to Differentiate

I love it!  I was talking with my teaching partner today about needing professional development in the area of differentiating effectively for today's kids.  When I was in school grouping and differentiating meant two groups were sent off to work on a time-consuming worksheet so the teacher had time to work face to face with another small group.  And we would rotate, rotate, rotate.  This is no longer appropriate (I'm not sure it was then either!) with our kids.  So, I struggle with how best to work with my sixth graders and effectively differentiate and work with smaller groups, especially in the area of math.

Then, voila!  As is the norm these days, I read a post tonight addressing this very issue!  Again, one of my favorite bloggers at Teach Paperless, posts how he used a chat to differentiate a Latin grammar lesson:
I see Web 2.0 chats as having great potential for handling authentic differentiated instruction and I see best practices in a chat-enhanced classroom as having great potential for addressing issues of multi-sensory learning. The projected chat has all the benefits of being both visual and textural, and because we are talking about the material the entire time, the students are also using auditory and analytical skills. Not to mention the interpersonal skills necessary to take part in such a program.

How cool!  Side note:  His kids are part of a 1:1 initiative!!  You can do this kind of effective teaching when your kids EACH have the tools with them all day!

Flickr Credit: A Puzzle of Paint
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