I finally have more time to focus on this ning as the school year is over.
One of my concerns is differentiated instruction. We all know the psychological and pedagogical foundations for such an approach, so I won't insist on that.
What I would like to hear about is how exactly you use it in your classrooms, what are your best experiences in this regard, how you could do it without enough resources, how often do you feel you really make use of it etc as differentiation occurs on three levels:
Flexible timing, for instance, is hard for me to address. Students DO work at different paces as adults do and some need extra time to finish tasks. What do you do with the rest?
Flexible grouping - another apparently easy tool. I posed this question on PYP Threads as well. Some students are more skillful/knowledgeable than others and their peers sometimes depend too much on the former (as in carrying out tasks they had previously agreed upon to share equally within the group, for instance). Certainly, you have essential agreements, task-related "jobs" that each goup assigns for its members, and a constant feedback. Yet...not all students are engaged at all times and some rely on others to finish, say, a common project.
Assessment - how do you differentiate that? All students need a core set of skills, regardless of the fact they individually make use of own talents/interest and contribute to a project. One would express learning by making a video, another would write an essay, the third would maek a 3D -model and so forth. What if the skill relates to something more specific- e.g. writing a report? Do you assess more based on rubrics or checklist? Do anecdotal records work better for you?
I am looking forward to hearing your experiences