I had the amazing opportunity as a student teacher to work with Debbie Diller. I attended her workshop in early January to learn about developing productive learning opportunities through math stations. Within the month I worked closely with my mentor teacher to create a working system for the math stations that included differentiated learning opportunities and a variety of original activities. Ms. Diller visited our classroom to observe the system that we came up with. She offered her guidance and suggestions and I walked away with an incredible knowledge of how to set up math stations, and a grateful mind that I was involved in this amazing learning opportunity.
(Above) Pictures of Debbie Diller giving suggestions on a small group math activity. (Below left) The clothespins system that students refer to in order to figure out what station to work on. (Below right) The color coated math stations. Each color is a different activity, with differentiation built in.
Below is the activity that I was working on with students while Debbie Diller observed. This finished product is the modified version of the activity that I developed using Ms. Diller's suggestions.
I attended a professional development on "GT and Special Populations" where we talked about how we are serving the different diversities in our school. We discussed how better to serve the populations that are being neglected, such as the GT population, by incorporating some new methods into our classrooms. Deeper levels of questioning, as well as project based learning should be included in regular classroom curriculum in order to stimulate the mind of every student. We were challenged to find a way to incorporate GT type questioning strategies with regular ed students, because with proper scaffolding, it can be done. I developed these "Bright Minds" units as my interpretation of how to provide this deeper thinking to my students.