Week 6 Reflection

EDET 637 Week 6 How are games providing new opportunities for differentiation in the classroom?

I think games in the classroom are not only fun for everyone, but essential for differentiating instruction, student engagement, and behavior. In the readings, and a lot of people’s responses, Minecraft came up. For some odd reason, I’m not into it. I read about it many times and the educational benefits of using it in the classroom, but it feels like I don’t have the motivation to implement it. I think it’s because we only have iPads in our classroom. Anyways, I enjoyed using screen-cast-o-matic, it’s a great tool, especially for scaffolding. I look forward to using it in the future.

EDET 637 Week 6

Link to my video! 

All games are not created equally. Some games engage players in 3-D environments that motivate them to think strategically and logically, some help players recall basic facts, while others role-play in multiplayer games (Hirumi, 2010). There are so many different ways games give teachers the opportunities to differentiate in the classroom.

First of all, games have levels: easy, medium, and hard. The teacher can choose where to place their student based on their level. Another way games provide opportunities for differentiation in the classroom, is students are able to work at their own pace. I use Reflex Math and Raz Kids with my students. They don’t move onto the next level, until they have mastered the previous one. These games, Raz Kids in particular, provide additional supplements, like modeled fluency, comprehension questions, lesson worksheets, and voice recording, to name a few (Raz-Kids).

According to Hirumi, games can be applied at various levels to aide in curriculum. Teachers can choose how to integrate gameplay into their content. The first level is the event level, which are games played to address one or more instructional events within a lesson(s). In Level II, the lesson level, students play to complete the instructional lesson. In Level III, which is the unit/module level, students play to complete a unit, across lessons. In Level IV, which is the course level, students play an entire course that is all the lessons and units. And lastly, level V, which is the program level, where students complete the game requirements and are eligible for certificates. Students have to complete each level before moving onto the next.

Teachers are given different opportunities on how they implement game play, based on their students’ needs supported by Gagne’s Nine Events of Instruction (Hirumi, 2010). “Each of Gagné’s nine events is associated with and designed to facilitate a specific step in the cognitive information processing theory of learning and should be addressed to facilitate achievement of the objectives…” The nine events according to Hirumi are:

  1. Gaining learners’ attention
  2. Informing learners of objectives
  3. Recalling prior knowledge
  4. Presenting stimulus (Content information)
  5. Providing learning guidance
  6. Eliciting performance
  7. Providing feedback
  8. Assessing performance
  9. Enhancing retention and transfer

Gagne’s events are teacher-directed, which offers opportunities for differentiation, by the teacher being responsible for specifying objectives, selecting, organizing and delivering the content, defining student assessment and making sure students apply that knowledge.

Lastly, games provide opportunities for differentiating in the classroom through cognition. “Gameplay has cognitive benefit because games have shown to improve attention, focus and reaction time… games have motivational benefit and induce positive mood states,” (Shapiro, 2014). Not only do games help with differentiation, but also it improves behavior.

Games provide many opportunities for differentiation in the classroom. It helps students recall basic information, it allow students to go at their own pace, they offer additional supplements like assistive technology and they go by levels. Games are beneficial and help with differentiating instruction in the classroom.


Hirumi, A., & N. (2010). Playing Games in School Video Games and Simulations for Primary and Secondary Education. Retrieved from http://www.iste.org/docs/excerpts/gaming-excerpt.pdf

Ossola, A. (2015, February 26). Teaching in the Age of Minecraft. Retrieved February 25, 2016, from http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2015/02/teaching-in-the-age-of-minecraft/385231/

Raz-Kids. (n.d.). Retrieved February 16, 2016, from https://www.raz-kids.com/

Shapiro, J. (2014, June 13). Benefits of Gaming: What Research Shows. Retrieved February 25, 2016, from http://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2014/06/13/benefits-of-gaming-what-research-shows/

Week 5 Reflection

This week’s essential question gave me insight to what software is beneficial for my classroom/school. I learned about many different assistive technologies that I would like to try in my classroom. One in particular was the text to read. I do have the iTalk app on my ipad, however I’ve never tried it. Time is always a factor, and will always continue to be. I learned that if I incorporate some kind of AT once a week in reading, it’ll benefit my students fluency and comprehension. Another thing that holds me back from using AT is training. If we had proper training on using these apps, I believe the outcome would be greater. I do use Raz Kids and Reflex Math, both are great apps purchased by our school district.

EDET 637 Week 4 Reflection

I learned a lot about assistive technology. What I really enjoyed doing this week was collaborating with other teachers about AT. I thought we divided our roles equally, and did a great job presenting our parts. For instance, I made a pictograph on What is AT, one of my team members made a graphic organizer, and another made a list. These tools really helped me understand the purpose, benefits, factors, etc. of AT. I like wikispace, I think it’s a great online resource for extending projects beyond the classroom. I’ll definitely keep this in mind for future reference.

EDET 637 Week 3 Reflection

This week I got to reflect a lot on how I include parents with differentiation in the classroom. One of the things that really stuck with me was letting parents know about our daily/weekly goals. I’ve only been posting things about our classroom/school events, finished projects, etc., but it never crossed my mind to let parents know what our objectives are for the day/week. This is something I’m definitely going to start. I know that it’ll make a difference because parents can use their knowledge on the subject and further their child’s understanding.

EDET 637 Week 3

EDET 637 Week 3

How do we prepare parents for differentiation in the classroom? First parents should understand what differentiation is. “It’s a teacher’s proactive response to students’ needs as defined by their abilities, learning styles and interests,” (Eidson, 2008). “The goal is to make certain that everyone grows in all key skills and knowledge areas, moving on from their starting point,” (Henderson, 2012). I think these are great definitions, not only for the parents but for the students as well.

It’s just as important for students to understand a differentiated classroom, as it is for the parents. There are several ways teachers can introduce DI to their class. Chiu uses Mrs. Middleton’s line graph method where in the end students realize how everyone has strengths and weaknesses in certain subjects. Students work together to establish rules and keep track of their own progress.

According to Tomlinson, there are three types of parents: parents of advanced learners, the parents who push too hard, and the parents who stay way from school. There are several things to consider when collaborating with parents of advanced learners: “listen to them and learn from them, rebuild their trust that school is a good fit for their child, and understand the paradox of parenting a bright child,” (Tomlinson, 2001). Those types of parents should understand that we only want to help their child rise to the challenge, not set them up for failure. The advanced learners should understand that “their work is no harder than the work of any other child relative to their skills and understanding.” This is important for both the student and parents to understand.

When preparing parents who push their child too hard for differentiation in the classroom, it’s best to make sure the parents understand that “differentiation is not more problems, questions, or assignments,” (Foucault, 2008). Parents should understand that “learning is impaired when students feel overtaxed, afraid, and out of control,” (Tomlinson, 2001). As teachers, we should encourage our students to express their feelings and have a sense of power in what they do.

When explaining a differentiated classroom to parents who stay away from school, it’s best to first invite them into their child’s school life. Those types of parents have reasons they stay away from school: their experience was not a good one, they feel isolated because of language barriers or they cannot handle another “load,” (Henderson, 2012). To explain a differentiated classroom to these types of parents, teachers can send home weekly newsletters, notes, e-mails, etc. (Tomlinson, 2001) to make sure the parent feels invited. Another thing teacher’s can incorporate is “Wonderful Wednesdays” an open house that invites all parents in anytime of the day to participate in their child’s educational life (Crowe 2014). It’s important they see and hear about their child’s success stories.Both students and parents should understand what a differentiated classroom is, and understand that their education is based on their skills and abilities.


Chiu, F. (2013, June 7). Preparing Student and Parents for a Differentiated Classroom. Lecture. Retrieved from Preparing students and parents for a differentiated classroom by Forest.pdf

Crowe, C. (2004, November 01). Wonderful Wednesdays – Responsive Classroom. Retrieved February 02, 2016, from https://www.responsiveclassroom.org/wonderful-wednesdays/

E. (2008, October 3). Duke TIP. Retrieved February 02, 2016, from https://tip.duke.edu/node/910

Foucault, A. (2008). Differentiation Tips for Parents. Retrieved from the St. Michael–Albertville Schools, Minnesota website http://communityed.stma.k12.mn.us/curriculum/Differentiation_Tips_for_Parents.php.

Henderson, M. (2012, October 5). Preparing Students and Parents for a Differentiated Classroom. Retrieved February 02, 2016, from https://prezi.com/hexs7uuwe748/preparing-students-and-parents-for-a-differentiated-classroom/

Tomlinson, C. A. (2001). How to Differentiate Instruction in Mixed-Ability Classrooms. Alexandria, VA, USA: Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development (ASCD). Retrieved from http://www.ebrary.com




You will choose one of the three scenarios depicting one of the three types of parents where I’m the parent and you’re the teacher.

You, the teacher, will then solve the issue by describing a differentiated classroom to me, the parent.

Parent of an advanced learner:

Parent (me): “Why is my child not getting the same assignments or projects as other students in her grade?”

Parent’s too controlling:

Parent (me): “My child comes home everyday with no homework, why is he not getting any? If he finishes his work in school, can you please assign him more.”

Parents who never come to school:

Parent (me): “ I don’t have time to go to Wonderful Wednesday’s. I cannot miss any work, plus traffic is always too much.”