Action Research Plan

Improving Differentiated Instruction

Donald Chrzan


Action Research Plan - Level III

1. Statement of action research question. (Focus on student learning.)

How can I improve differentiated instruction to better accommodate all learning levels in my classroom?
This research is an independent study to increase my knowledge and best practices for differentiating instruction in the adult education ESL classroom. I will do online research using teacher and research generated discussion groups, user groups, bulletin boards, and other resources relevant to the subject matter. I will also, if approved, post my best resources and best practices to implement differentiated learning on the adult literacy webpage to be accessible for interested colleagues.

2. Specific goals and objectives of action research.

1. Identify, gather, describe, and organize relevant information on Differentiating Instruction.
2. Locate online teacher and research generated high interest articles, discussions, and best practices related to DI, specifically in the field of ESL teaching.
3. Report and post my findings and best practices that I identify to improve DI in the ESL classroom.

3. Initial action plan for achieving goals and objectives.

Research and collect possible online sources to use to fulfill the stated objectives.
Document these sources.
Organize, summarize, and relate the material I research to increase my own knowledge and that of my colleagues to promote best practices related to this subject.

4. Identification of data collection and analysis process.

Online resources:
Differentiation Central Webpage, Educational Insights (Steve Decker interviews, Differentiation with Dr. Carol Ann Tomlinson, Parts 1-3),

Professional development workshops/seminars/lectures:
Attended online professional development workshop which referred me to many valuable resources, posed questions concerning DI, and allowed sharing of question responses and online discussions of DI practices and implementations.

Attended a professional development two day meeting that provided valuable sources to allow for and implement DI. This meeting was specifically for workplace instruction but many of the resources provided are highly relevant for DI in the traditional classroom environment.

After several years of teaching ESL and still in my initial stages of development, I have been able to provide differentiated readings and exercises to the students thereby differentiating somewhat the instruction, but not the final objectives, of my lessons. I will use the research I have done for this plan to implement and refine the differentiated instruction I do on the process and product.

With this research I find that I am often confirming that I need to develop my lessons more following the guidelines, among several others, of Howard Gardner's Theory of Multiple Intelligences to implement the principles of Differentiated Instruction.

Began wiki webpage collecting DI information and resources, organizing this information, and utilizing what I research to better implement and improve differentiated instruction in my classes.

Thoroughly researched Differentiated Instruction site hosted by Carol Tomlinson.
Watched Educational Insights DI videos:
Differentiation with Dr. Carol Ann Tomlinson part 1
In this episode we discuss issues related to differentiated instruction with Dr. Carol Ann Tomlinson
Differentiation with Dr. Carol Ann Tomlinson part 2
In this episode we discuss issues of implementation as related to differentiated instruction with Dr. Carol Ann Tomlinson
Differentiation with Dr. Carol Ann Tomlinson part 3
In this last episode with Dr. Carol Ann Tomlinson we continue to discuss issues related to differentiated instruction.

Obtained CEUs for online class taken this past June that emphasized Differentiated Instruction.

Printed out, analyzed, and selected lesson plan templates to be used to promote differentiated instruction.

I have become more forward looking and ready to adapt my instruction to the readiness of the student in order to take advantage of the level at which they begin any specific unit. Having taught the subject matter for several years it has become easier, although still in need of development, for me to adapt the unit lesson to the individual learner styles of my students.

Have started to analyze student learning style with more rigor to use this knowledge to apply to the principles of differentiated learning, that is, to provide my students with aspects of lessons that will better fit their learning styles and readiness abilities to reach the stated educational outcomes.

5. Current research supporting this plan.

Thoroughly researched Differentiated Instruction Central website and several other sites Google and Yahoo searches presented.

Aggregated collected data on this website.

Found, reviewed, and decided on a lesson plan format that I feel comfortable with that emphasizes differentiated instruction practices and theories.

Confirmed the importance of homogenous and heterogenous flexible grouping as a component of the differentiated classroom.

Ongoing professional development to improve teaching and learning on a continual basis.

With this research I have confirmed that I already carry out several of the key practices of differentiated instruction including encouraging fluid peer tutoring and grouping at will for the students, adapting the lesson as necessary.

To further search out, utilize, and improve upon templates that will aid me to implement DI environments in class (i.e. A choice board for Multiple Intelligences that allows the student to select how they present what they have learned, a Learning Strengths checklist for the students to fill out.)

6. Name and role of collaborator(s).

Date: ___
(Head of Responsibility Center)