Episode 018: Student-Driven Differentiation with Lisa Westman





Meet Lisa Westman, author of Student-Driven Differentiation. In this episode, she shares her perspectives on differentiation, including educators' misconceptions about differentiation and practical tools for discussing differentiation with students. She gives us advice on how to avoid feeling overwhelmed by differentiation and talks more about standards-based grading.

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 Show Highlights (with time stamps)

  • 03:55 - 05:15    What is differentiation and student-driven differentiation?
  • 06:40 - 08:50    Advice for teachers feeling overwhelmed by differentiation
  • 13:15 - 14:00    Differentiating the process rather than the content
  • 14:30 - 20:40    Discussing differentiation with a student and differentiating feedback
  • 22:30 - 24:30    Your differentiation toolkit
  • 28:00 - 30:00    Addressing students' negative preconceptions about learning science
  • 34:45 - 36:00   "The best resource is your colleagues."

  Show Quotes 

"Student-driven differentiation really shifts the focus from what students do to what students learn. Student-driven differentiation helps teachers strike a balance in their relationships with all students." [4:18-4:38] Lisa Westman

"Differentiation is doing right by kids, at its simplest" [9:40-9:45] Lisa Westman

"My recommendations when I'm coaching with teachers and we look at all the information is to always look at how do we differentiate the process for the students before we differentiate the content by making it a less rigorous or less engaging text." [12:42-12:48] Lisa Westman

"If students are afraid to self-identify that's also a formative piece of evidence for us  that I need to pause and look at my classroom environment. What can I do? Because if I want them academically to be like this, we need to create safety. " [27:25-47:23]  Lisa Westman

"Standards-based grading is a phenomenal opportunity to insure that differentiation happens because to do true standards-based grading you have to differentiate." [33:00-33:10]  Lisa Westman



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