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The Common Sense of Differentiation:

Title 2:
Meeting Specific Learner Needs in the Regular Classroom Video Series
ASCD Productions
DVD & Facilitator's Guide
Running Time:
Three 35-45-minute DVDs
Item Code:
Price: $219.00
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With the movement towards inclusion in schools, most general education classrooms today are highly diverse. They often include students who are gifted and talented, students with learning disabilities, students with physical or emotional disabilities, English language learners, and neurotypical students with wide-ranging skills and ability levels. The challenge for teachers in these diverse classrooms is meeting the varied needs of these learners and creating an environment in which all of them can learn. The Common Sense of Differentiation: Meeting Specific Learner Needs in the Regular Classroom is a complete video-based professional development resource that demonstrates how teachers can use a differentiated approach to meet the challenge of delivering high-quality instruction and a high-quality curriculum so that the most students succeed.

This complete professional development resource includes three separate video programs (35-45 minutes each) on one DVD, along with a Facilitator's Guide for conducting staff development workshops in conjunction with the video. The videos take viewers inside elementary, middle and high school classrooms to observe firsthand the common-sense of differentiation, an approach to teaching that takes into account the wide ranging needs and learning styles of students in today’s inclusive classrooms, and is flexible and responsive in order maximize each student’s learning.

The video illustrates what it means for teachers to base how they teach on who they teach—not just on what they teach—a key characteristic of differentiation.  It shows teachers applying key principles of assessment, instructional planning, and classroom management to enhance the learning of many students.

The programs focus on:

  • Discovering Learner Needs (Program 1) – The why and how of assessing students’ learning needs, setting learning goals, and monitoring progress through ongoing assessment
  •  Techniques for Adjusting Instruction (Program 2) – A responsive approach entails modifying, adapting, and personalizing instruction based on students’ learning styles, interests, prior knowledge and progress to ensure each student is engaged and appropriately challenged
  • Classroom Routines (Program 3) - Explores a variety of classroom routines that support differentiation.

The comprehensive (216-page) Facilitator’s Guide (offered online as a PDF file) offers two workshop formats for each program: a short (60-100 minute) session, or a more thorough full-day (6-hour) session. It is divided into the following four sections:

  • Introduction: An overview of the philosophy, principles, and research pertaining to teaching in a differentiated classroom, plus descriptions of each video program.
  • Workshops: Agendas, outlines, activities, questions, discussion topics, etc. for facilitators
  • Handouts and Overheads: Materials for duplication and distribution to workshop participants. Includes camera-ready masters for overhead transparencies that are incorporated within the various workshop sessions.
  • Readings and Resources: Additional articles that can be distributed to workshop participants for independent reading or incorporated within the workshop formats, plus a listing of resources on differentiating instruction and managing the differentiated classroom.

Whether teachers participate in the short or long version of the workshop, they will come away with a deeper understanding of differentiation, a fuller appreciation of the value of this approach, and an arsenal of practical differentiation strategies they can begin using immediately in their classrooms to create an inclusive and dynamic classroom environment. 


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About National Professional Resources, Inc.

National Professional Resources (NPR, Inc.) has been a leader in the field of education publishing since 1968. Founded and operated by educators with a deep commitment to the success of all learners, our mission is to provide teachers, administrators, and other school staff with quality tools and resources that will better enable them to help every student achieve success. To this end, we publish books, quick-reference laminated guides, and produce videos by leading voices in the field of education. We also carry thousands of the most in-demand educational resources from other leading publishers and producers, including material for parents and students.

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