Data · Elementary Counseling · I Can Statements · Lesson Plans · School Counselor

Differentiation in Guidance!?!?!

“What matters is that we start, not where we start.” – Carol Tomlinson

This scares me … not in the way that I don’t want to do it but because I don’t know how or what it means. I get that differentiation is presenting the same material in different ways to make sure that all students are able to understand the concepts and I love that. However I have twenty eight thirty minute classes per grade for the WHOLE year! I feel like every moment is precious and not enough to get out all of the important information I would like them to have. So how do I differentiate within that time? I have spent some serious time trying to figure out what differentiation might look like for me and here are some of my ideas.

Creating Units– Guidance ( or Lifeskills- much better name)  is a class like any other class so it should have lessons that can be grouped into unit. It should also have lessons that flow together and build off each other. So I spent a lot of time this year putting together a scope and sequences that accomplishes that.

Pre and Post Assessments – TIME …. where do I find the time to fit these in!!! Assessments seem to take a while to get done. I am trying to come up with creative quality and quick ones for each unit. (If creative started with a q that would have been great alliteration)

Posted Learning Target – Over the summer I created learning targets for each lesson and some even have language targets! I found language targets much easier to write than learning targets. I will be posting these in my classroom each week for our kiddos to reference.

Posted Anchor Charts – I am still trying to figure out what these might look like and where I might post them. However I like the idea and will keep working on it.

Groups – I’m branching out! I think this will be the really answer to how do you differentiate within the guidance curriculum. Create small 3-4 session 15-20 min groups that focus on the skill or concept that student is struggling with. The best thing about this is if you are a PBIS school (and lets face it… who’s not at this point!?!) these could also be your SAIG groups.

Lunch Bunches with topics – I love eating lunch with kids. In fact I print class lists at the beginning of each year and try to get each student in for lunch at least once a semester. ( I have about 300 kids not including 4k) Last year we had question games that we played and they were great but this year I need something different…. still working on what exactly they will look like but I am already excited.


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