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All Students Every Day

Posted by on in Differentiated Instruction
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allKids2

“In teaching others, we teach ourselves.”   – Proverb

DeweyMeeting individual students’ needs is an often-elusive goal for American educators. For as long as I can remember, we’ve been learning about and promoting “differentiated instruction,” or providing different students with varied approaches to learning. Certainly a lofty goal, but our industrial-era school system was designed for groups, not individuals. Consider the classroom design of the typical schoolroom: rows of desks all pointed toward the front of the room. Group instruction is based on rigid and fixed schedules regulated by bells, mass movement of large groups of students, standardization of assessments and “batch” organization of students. That model served us well from the 1800’s through the 1900’s.

Times are changing. Scores of research reports inform us about more effective ways to facilitate learning, and the buzz around differentiation is growing. Educators and school systems are more interested in how to incorporate differentiation into their approach. The good news is that information on how to differentiate is all around us. Studies focusing on everything from neuroscience to instructional practices inform us of the need to change and the ability to do so.

Early in my career, I published an article that touched on the subject, sharing this story:

With U.S. History Workshop, I was able to teach traditional units of instruction more effectively than before. For example, most U.S. history teachers are familiar with the Civil War and Reconstruction period (roughly 1850-1880). For this and every unit taught with the workshop, I taught the students to view social studies and history as human experiences. This unit, like the others, separates history into five core areas or themes: Civil Rights, Women in History, Science & Technology, Politics, and War & Conflict. I identified key ideas, concepts and so on for each area and allowed student teams to explore these key concepts rather than the whole concept of the Civil War and Reconstruction. Instead of teaching this unit as one big complication, I presented it as one big puzzle–each of the concepts or ideas from each of the areas was like a piece of a puzzle. The challenge for the students was to piece together the puzzle independently, cooperatively, and with direction from the teacher. (Page 11)


I share this experience to provide a conceptual background to passion for meeting students where they are. Fast forward to 2015, and in our classrooms we have differentiation, individualization, and personalization in the mix of instructional improvements.

Another good example of differentiated instruction comes from a third grade classroom I visited recently in our district. After viewing the video Caine’s Arcade, one teacher’s classroom was inspired to spend 30 minutes a day for two weeks working on their voice projects. These students experienced a combination of differentiated instruction (different project for each child/group), individualized instruction (each child’s unique voice and interest came alive in their projects) and personalized instruction (each child had full creative license to produce learning in their own ways).

In addition to this type of engaging and creative lesson planning, our school district also supports digital tools for meeting individual student needs. We have invested time, dollars, resources, planning, training, and support for this transformation of teaching.

To support teacher use of the digital resources to differentiate instruction, our district has intentionally and deliberately acquired services like Discovery Education. We use subscriptions, tools, and programs to support teachers and students. We use combinations of free, open, educational resources as well as paid resources.

Some of the companies with whom we partner are web-based subscriptions, which allow for 24/7 school and home access! The possibilities are endless as we truly become a COMMUNITY of learners.

As a superintendent, I see learning every day and my aim is to support every classroom’s transformation into an engaging, motivating, challenging learning space for our nation’s most precious assets – our children! It’s imperative that we act with urgency to provide the most excellent educational system for ALL children.

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Michael Lubelfeld, Ed.D. Mike currently serves as the superintendent of schools in the Deerfield, IL Public Schools (District 109).  Mike is married and is the father of two young children. He lives and works in suburban Chicago. Mike attended the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in political science, with a minor in criminal justice. He holds a Master of Arts in teaching and Educational Specialist in administration and supervision from National-Louis University. Mike earned his Doctor of Education in curriculum and instruction from Loyola University of Chicago, where his published dissertation was on Effective Instruction in Middle School Social Studies. Mike has had a variety of experiences as an educational professional. He began his educational career as an elementary and middle school teacher, prior to assuming roles of associate principal and principal at the middle school level, and as an assistant superintendent for personnel services (PK-8). He is also on the adjunct faculty at National Louis University in the Department of Educational Leadership. He can be found on Twitter at @mikelubelfeld and he is the co-moderator of #suptchat - the superintendent educational chat on Twitter with Nick Polyak, and he and Polyak co-authored the book The Unlearning Leader: Leading for Tomorrow’s Schools Today (Rowman-Littlefield Publishers).


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION,


Presentations, Certifications


American Association of School Administrators (AASA) National Superintendent Certification Program (2014-2016)


Illinois School of Advanced Leadership (ISAL) through the IASA and Cardinal Stritch University (Milwaukee, WI) Earned title of Fellow (2012-2014)


2017 - Keynote presenter & breakout presenter EdTechTeam Leadership Symposia (OH, CA)


2016 - Presenter at the IASA State Superintendent Conference - Social Media for Supts.


2016 - Co-facilitator IASA Aspiring Superintendent Academy


2016- Co-Director Legislation for the Lake County Superintendents


2015, 2016, 2017 – Presenter at the AASA National Council in Ed – Social Media for Supts.


2015 – Co-Presenter at Suburban Superintendent Roundtable for Northern Illinoishttp://t.co/x8Ls5Ddg00


2015 – Presenter at IASBO A New Design Frontier for Next Generation Learning


2015 – Panelist Leading for Transformative Change at Tech & Learning Live Chicago


2015 – Presenter at Illinois CTO Summit (Center for Digital Education and the Illinois Educational Technology Leaders (IETL)) Leadership and Vision


2015 – Presentation at Discovery Education Superintendent Digital Transition Symposium in Washington, D.C.Telling Our Story: Innovation in DPS109


2015 Presentations at Joint Annual Conference - Social Media for Superintendents and Effective Building Design


2015 Presenter at Illinois Association of School Administrators Annual Conference


2014-present Co-moderate national/international monthly Twitter chat #suptchat


2011 Illinois ASCD Leadership Institute Presenter – Using Danielson Frameworks


 


Publications


Bullis B., Filippi J., Lubelfeld M. (2016). I Hear What You’re Saying...And I Respect You. Journal of Scholarship and Practice, Summer 2016/Volume 13. No.2, 44-54.


 


In Publication: Bullis B., Filippi J., Lubelfeld M. (2017). Managing Up. Principal (NAESP)


 


Bullis B., Filippi J., Lubelfeld M. (2016). Reimagined NGSS learning spaces: Principals as holistic school improvement leaders. Principal Leadership, 52-54.


 


Himebaugh G., Lubelfeld M. (2016). Inspiring a Shared Vision. Update, Spring (Leadership Issue), 24-29.


 


Lubelfeld M. Rev. of Writing Pathways: Performance Assessments and Learning Progressions, by Lucy Calkins.ILASCD Summer Newsletter, Summer 2016, Volume 62, No. 2: 25-27.


 


Lubelfeld M., Polyak N. (2017). The Unlearning Leader: Leading for Tomorrow’s Schools Today. Lathan, MD: Rowman-Littlefield. -March 2017


 


Lubelfeld M., Polyak N., Seibert A. (2016). Leaders in Learning Through AASA’s Digital Consortium. School Administrator, February, 32-33.


 


Other (Memberships, other experiences)


Member:


Suburban Schools Superintendents (SSS)


Illinois & American Association of School Administrators (IASA/AASA,


National Association of School Superintendents (NASS)


Ed Leader 21 Member


Illinois & Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD/ILASCD),


Illinois & American Association of School Business Officials (IASBO),


The Horace Mann League of the USA,


Rotary Club of Deerfield, IL (Secretary 2014-16)


Advisory board member for the Digital Consortium (AASA)


2016 Superintendent Advisory Council - Center for Digital Education


Member Education Advisory Board - Hon. Bob Dold, U.S. Congressman 10th District


Member of Community Advisory Committee on Education – Rep. Scott Drury (IL-58th)


Twitter http://twitter.com/mikelubelfeld


Bilingual (English/Spanish)


Enrolled in intensive Spanish language and Mexican culture classes at the Cuauhnahuac Institute in Cuernavaca, Mexico; lived with Mexican family, 1992


 


Awards/Recognition


INSPRA video website


NSPRA (National School Public Relations Association) Superintendents to Watch 2015-2016


2016 LifeTouch Memory Mission to the Dominican Republic represented the AASA


NASS (National Assn of School Superintendents) Superintendent of the Year 2015 Finalist


INSPRA (IL Chapter NSPRA) 2014 Distinguished Service Award of Excellence - Superintendent’s Task Force for Middle Level Education


The science labs won the Learning by Design Award for “Outstanding Project” in the Spring of 2016 as well as an Award of Merit in the Exhibition of Educational Environments Awards at the Joint Annual Conference of the Illinois Association of School Administrators, the Illinois Association of School Boards, and the Illinois Association of School Business Officials in 2015.  


 


DPS109 Science lab project was featured:


Johnsos, C., Monberg, G. (2015). Built on Value. Update, Fall (Facilties Isssue), 30-33.


 


Ullman, E. (2016). The Intelligent Use of Space. Tech & Learning Volume 36, Number 5, 34-38.


 


Received a 1997 Award of Excellence for Caring to Challenge, from the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy (IMSA)


Selected to represent Illinois on the Social Studies Teachers’ Study Seminar in Germany, sponsored by the ICSS and the Armonk Institute, 1995


 


Additional -podcasts and edu talk radio interviews


Quoted in:


Gravel. R.J. (2015). Discover, Acknowledge, Commit: Guidelines for Adopting Administrative Software. School Administrator, December, 44-45.


DPS109 Science lab project was featured:


Johnsos, C., Monberg, G. (2015). Built on Value. Update, Fall (Facilties Isssue), 30-33.


 


Ullman, E. (2016). The Intelligent Use of Space. Tech & Learning Volume 36, Number 5, 34-38.


 


Received a 1997 Award of Excellence for Caring to Challenge, from the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy (IMSA)


Selected to represent Illinois on the Social Studies Teachers’ Study Seminar in Germany, sponsored by the ICSS and the Armonk Institute, 1995

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