Forms and Directions for the “Parents’ Guide for Selecting Differentiated Activities”
This version of the Guide is provided to enable parents to offer students the opportunity to participate in, contribute to, and understand the process of differentiating curriculum for their daughter or son.
Parents often want to understand and participate in the development of plans for their children’s learning. Their participation becomes a necessity rather than a courtesy when:
- it is too early in the year for the teacher to feel comfortable interpreting the student’s behavior;
- the teacher is unfamiliar with the appearance of the Brilliant Behaviors in the child’s area of strength.
- the teacher is unfamiliar with the cultural manifestations of a child’s Brilliant Behaviors;
- the child is unwilling to self-assess;
- the child is unable to self-assess due to linguistic or cultural differences; or
- the teacher and parent(s) differ in their opinions of the child’s needs.
In these cases the parents’ contributions are invaluable. Their input can be blended with student’s self-assessments or teacher’s observations, or they can be substituted for the teachers input in the five ways suggested for the teacher’s form. The mysteries of their child’s potential and the school’s efforts to challenge the child will be reduced if the process is transparent and open.
Parents can use the Guide at home to find ways to select and design powerful home- schooling or out-of-school activities. They need to be aware of all aspects of the observation process.
- Print a copy of the Brilliant Behaviors to record the behaviors your child demonstrates. Use either an individual checklist or a copy of the Guide.
- Record the information required information about your child and activity or activities you’ll be observing at the top of the form.
- Observe while she or he is engaged in a challenging activity in an area of strength or interest. Click here to see a description of suitable activities.
- Put a check to the left of each Behavior she or he demonstrates frequently, intensely and consistently.
- If the Guide is completed online, it will complete steps 6 to 9 automatically. Complete steps 6 to 9 only if the print version is being used.
- Highlight the row of “X’s” beside any behavior you checked.
- Count the number of highlighted X’s in each column. Write the “Total X’s highlighted in each column” in the empty box at the bottom, in the row with that label.
- Compare the “Number of X’s highlighted” to the “Number of X’s in the column”.
- Put an “X” beneath the 3, 4 or 5 columns with the greatest proportion of the X’s highlighted. These are the differentiation strategies (types of differentiation to emphasize for this student when she or he is working in this area of strength or interest.
- Read the definitions for each of the strategies recommended by the Guide. Do they seem appropriate for your son or daughter?
- If a print version of the Guide is used, the definitions are provided on the back of the form.
- If the Guide is completed online, the definition of each strategy will appear when the cursor rests on it.
Share the result with your daughter or son, and teachers who will be able to integrate the recommended differentiation strategies in their plans for her or him. Those teachers may also be interested in seeing the Guide if they are not aware of it.
Printing, Saving and Loading An Online Version of the Guide:
The online Guide can be printed, saved or loaded by clicking on the buttons near the top of the page, on the right side. Directions for saving and loading appear below and will also appear online when those buttons are selected.
Press the “Print” button at the top of the page and complete the normal procedure to print a document.
On a PC:
- Right click on the word “Download” below.
- Select “Save link as”.
- Save the file in a safe place you’ll remember on your computer.
- As mentioned above, the information you will not be able to retrieve the information you’ve entered after you leave this window. Even if you leave this window open, the information will be deleted by [a date & time].
On a Mac:
- Press the control button and click on the word “Download” on the screen.
- From the options that appear, select:
- “Download linked file as” if you are using Firefox or Safari as your browser.
- “Save link as” if you are using Chrome as your browser.
3. Save the file in a safe place you’ll remember on your computer.
4. You will not be able to retrieve the information you’ve entered after you leave this window. Even if you leave this window open, the information will be deleted by [a date & time].
To Load your Guide on either a PC or a Mac:
- Click on the “Choose File” button to search for the file you want to open.
- Find the file on your computer. The name of the file should end in .pfl
- Select the file you want to open by clicking on it. After it appears highlighted, click on the “Open” button in the lower right corner of the window.
- Now click the “Upload File” button
- The Guide should open with the information you had saved in it.
- Remember to save the changed file if you want to use it in the future.