by Joel McIntosh
As we discussed in a previous podcast titled Ability Grouping of Gifted Children, increasingly teachers grapple with the task of differentiating instruction in a way that challenges every student in a mixed-ability classroom. While there are many approaches to accomplishing this goal, Prufrock Press' Differentiating Instruction With Menus series is one of the best ready-to-use resources available on the topic.
In this podcast, I speak with Laurie Westphal, the author of the series. After teaching science for more than 15 years, both overseas and in the U.S., Laurie now works as an independent gifted education and science consultant and as a very popular Prufrock Press author of 30 books.
Laurie's Differentiating Instruction With Menus series offers teachers exciting tools to challenge and reach both gifted and advanced students in the classroom. Whether these students need enrichment, choice in independent practice, or even additional academic options resulting from curriculum compacting, these books provide teachers a complete ready-to-use resource that includes a rubrics that can assess different types of products, free choice proposal forms to encourage independent study.
This interview was originally recorded in 2010. Since then, Laurie has expanded her Differentiation Instruction with Menus series to address gifted and advanced learners in all of the core subject areas for grades K-8. She has also written a new series designed to support typical and struggling learners in those same subjects. She has also developed two high school editions of the Differentiating with Menus series which address Algebra I/II and Biology.
In the podcast, Laurie discusses differentiating instruction, the use of menus to modify student learning and progress, and the exciting student work that can result.
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