So All Can Learn: A Practical Guide to Differentiation

So All Can Learn: A Practical Guide to Differentiation

by John McCarthy

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How do we educate so all can learn? What does differentiation look like when done successfully? This practical guide to differentiation answers these questions and more. Based on national and international work, McCarthy shares how educators finally understand how differentiation can work. Bridging pedagogy and practice, each chapter addresses a key understanding for how good teaching practices can include differentiation with examples and concrete methods and strategies.

The book is constructed to differentiate for diverse educators: veteran of many years to the pre-service teacher, classroom teacher leader to administrator as instructional leader, and coaches for staff professional development:

  • Presents common language for staff discussing learner needs.
  • Provides structures for designing powerful learning experiences so all can learn.
  • Includes chapter reflection questions and job-embedded tasks to help readers process and practice what they learn.
  • Explore a supporting website with companion resources.

All learners deserve growth. All teachers and administrators deserve methods and practices that helps them to meet learner needs in an ever challenging education environment. Take this journey so all can learn.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781475825725
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 02/15/2017
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 202
File size: 4 MB

About the Author

John McCarthy consults and coaches educators internationally on innovative practices that support student voice, with Differentiation a core principle. Starting out as a high school teacher, and later an adjunct professor, McCarthy has taught and witnessed learning in many settings—urban to rural communities, areas of high affluence to entrenched poverty, and cultures with a fixed mindset to havens of innovation in some of the most surprising locations.

Table of Contents

Foreword: Syndee Malek


Chapter 1: What is Differentiation, Really?
The Challenge and Promise of Differentiation
Lens on Learning
The Differentiation Relationship
The “Real” Differentiation Relationship
Final Thoughts
Invitations to Reflections

Chapter 2: Differentiation Can Be Done Well
The Dorothy Principle
Making Differentiation Visible
Assistance When Lesson Plans Run into Students
Crossroad Lessons
Final Thoughts
Invitations to Reflection

Chapter 3: Assessments Matter: making learning specific and realistic
Assessment for Learning
Formative Assessment Cycle (FAC)
Finding Time
Multiple Ways to Demonstrate Learning
Eliminating Assessment Fog
Final Thoughts
Invitations to Reflection

Chapter 4: Informative Assessments for The Whole Learner
Learning In and Out of Airplane Mode
Choice-Based Strategies
The Whole Student: Four Data Paths that influence Learning
Fair is not always Equal: 4 Pathways Merge into One
Final Thoughts
Invitations to Reflection

Chapter 5: The Truth about Differentiated Instruction
1. Differentiation is Too Difficult
2. There is not enough time to differentiate
3. The curriculum is over packed
4. Need to prepare for the high-stakes tests by covering all the material
5. Crowded classrooms makes differentiation too difficult
Final Thoughts
Invitations to Reflection

Chapter 6: Learner Voice Matters
The Realms of Differentiation
Learner Voice over Student Choice
Letting Go of Control
Eliminating Airplane Mode in Education – Part Two
Teacher Growth-Mindset Leads to Learner Voice
Creating a Culture for Student Voice
Pedagogical Needs for Student Voice
Practical Support of Student Voice
Final Thoughts
Invitations to Reflection

Chapter 7: Differentiation in Practice: Readiness for ALL
Readiness Guidelines
Teaching Readiness through Content
Teaching Readiness through Process
Teaching Readiness through Products
Final Thoughts
Invitations to Reflection

Chapter 8: Differentiation in Practice: Interests for ALL
Interests Guidelines
Teaching Interests through Content
Teaching Interests through Processes
Teaching Interests through Products
Final Thoughts
Invitations to Reflection

Chapter 9: Differentiation in Practice: Learning Preferences for ALL
Learning Preferences Guidelines
Learning Profile Cards
Teaching Learning Preferences through Content
Teaching Learning Preferences through Processes
Teaching Learning Preferences through Products
Final Thoughts
Invitations to Reflection

Appendix: Differentiation and Research
The Differentiation Lens
Final Thoughts
Invitations to Reflection


About the Author

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So All Can Learn: A Practical Guide to Differentiation 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
RobertWard More than 1 year ago
There is lots to like about John McCarthy's excellent new book on differentiating instruction, but there are two parts I especially love. As an advocate of teaching to the whole child, I am especially impressed that John has included the engagement aspect of instruction. Student achievement may be the goal, but an important avenue in meeting that objective is inspiring and honoring students' personal passions. I also love how John makes the book itself a tool of differentiation for teachers. The chapters are meant to be read again again as needed throughout one's career. The end of each chapter also includes "Invitations to Reflection" that allow teachers of any level of experience to use this book in the ways that best suit their needs. These sets of questions put the teacher in the driver's seat-- precisely so they are better able to then put their students in charge of their own learning. Highly recommended!
Tara Banton More than 1 year ago
I am an educator of seventeen years and currently serve as an instructional coach. My job is to be a change agent – getting teachers to shift their attitudes about their classrooms and about how their kids learn. As a part of my professional development, I have trained with John McCarthy in creating Authentic Learning Experiences. Training with him has been an amazing benefit to my teachers and me. In working with teachers on ALEs, one of the constant points of tension and frustration has boiled down to differentiation. My important conversations have led revealing a list of issues, some real and some assumed. McCarthy’s book happens to be very timely for a particular project that I have been working on with a team. One of the telling questions that I can ask when working with this particular set of teachers is, “What does that student know? What is that student struggling with?” When a teacher cannot answer this question, it can be assumed that the needs students are not being met. McCarthy’s book has that issue as its heart. He says, “Teaching is being a constant learner who gets how some students think and operate.” Indeed, we have a responsibility to our students. Beyond this message, So All Can Learn is a book that teachers will come back to again and again. Its handling of particular issues associated with differentiation offers an in-depth look at those issues, complete with anecdotes, real-life examples, and immediately applicable tools to put into practice. One final point: McCarthy’s emphasis on practice and patience in that practice not only underscores that becoming skilled at differentiating takes time, but it is also reassuring. McCarthy, in his gentle, encouraging, and honest way, has gifted the teaching community with a valuable resource that supports understanding of how differentiation works and the integration of differentiation into classroom practice.
BethRayl More than 1 year ago
The keyword in the tile of this book is “practical.” Too often books about differentiating instruction talk about the importance of differentiating for student needs but give little direction to teachers and parents in what differentiation really looks like or how to actually implement differentiated instructional strategies. John’s book helps to bridge this gap. Throughout So All Can Learn: A Practical Guide for Differentiation there are real classroom examples of how teachers are doing the heavy lifting of making content accessible and relevant for students. John helps teachers to understand that differentiation is a ongoing process and provides tools and strategies to implement on the journey toward meeting each and every student’s needs. Taking the theory set forth by differentiating instruction pioneers such as Carol Ann Tomlinson and Susan Allan, John has created a valuable resource for teachers that is accessible whether they are in their first year of teaching or their fiftieth year. If you are a teacher looking for ways to better meet your students’ needs, are a parent looking for ways to support teachers in working with your child more effectively, or are a community member wondering how teachers can possibly reach and teach 20-30+ individuals in a classroom setting, this book is for you. Bethany Rayl, M.A., M.Ed. President and Founder Global Success Skills, LLC