One of the teacher/artist’s greatest skills is to be able to differentiate for their students.In each class, we have a group of individuals with different interests, personalities, and needs. The most skilled educator can identify these differences and plan learning experiences that capture the wonder within these amazing young minds.
An Experienced Educator
△ Director of Innovative Global Education
△ Primary Program Manager with the IBO
△ Her work focuses on conducting workshops for teachers and leaders, developing and modelling best practice and mentoring and coaching.
To help our teachers develop the critical skill of differentiation, XLIS invited Tania Lattanzio to the school for the third time to take us deeper into this craft. Tania is the director of Innovative Global Education, a top professional development provider dedicated to working with schools to support ongoing development through building relationships. Before this, Tania was the Primary Program Manager with the International Baccalaureate Organisation and the PYP coordinator at the United Nations International School in Ha Noi, Viet Nam.
Tania has made a lasting impact on XLIS over the years. During her initial visit, she introduced our staff to multiple resources and tools to differentiate in the classroom. She helped XLIS teachers shift from seeing differentiation as primarily being about students working at different levels, providing choice in what students learn and how they demonstrate their learning. During Tania’s second visit to XLIS she supported us in our approach to conceptual teaching and learning. One remarkable impact that you will notice from Tania’s work is how the third line of inquiry in our units always leads to action.
During the first day of the current learning, Tania taught XLIS teachers the value of ongoing provocations. Provocations are learning experiences intentionally planned by teachers to do the following:
Generate student interest in a concept
Provide a form of per-assessment
Help teachers to identify misconceptions
Determine prior knowledge
Get students excited about what they are going to learn
Throughout the two days of the workshop, teachers co-constructed an understanding of differentiation. Teachers experimented with loose parts, art materials, poetry, and writing, reminding them of pure learning joy.
Tania’s work supports teachers across the IB continuum, from the Early years through the PYP, MYP to the DP. One of Tania’s famous quotes: “If you walk into a classroom and see all students doing the same tasks at the same time, is differentiation going on?”
Tania reminds us that every student is different and their learning plan should be differentiated.
All 103 teachers in our school attended the PD training, among whom 93 participated in the on-site training, and the other 10 foreign teachers attended online due to being abroad. Here is what some of our teachers had to say:
EAL and MYP English Language Acquisition and Language & Literature Teacher,
DP English B Teacher
I enjoyed the opportunity to express my feelings on differentiation by writing a poem about the learner, in a differentiated world.
MYP Chinese Assistant Coordinator, MYP/DP Language Acquisition Teacher, Language Acquisition Subject Leader
Differentiation empowers students through focusing on students agency. As an educator, we value and appreciate students voice and choice.
P2B Homeroom Teacher
I found it valuable to create a visual representation of differentiation using loose parts with my colleagues, thus modeling differentiated assessment.
Maria Theresa Zialcita
PYP Coordinator & P5A Homeroom Teacher
A provocation does not only happen at the beginning of the unit and it can be applied in all grade levels.
Instructional Coach&Middle School Lead Teacher
Taking the time to consider the importance of each learner, their understanding and how they can show their learning in class and life has been incredibly worthwhile.
If you are interested in finding out more about Tania’s work, please visit her website: www.innovativeglobaled.org.