Differentiation – Pilates & Writing Series: Part 2 of 5

If you do a Google image search for a “Teaser Pilates,” hundreds of photos will come back to you.  Many of the photos are of a person sitting on a Pilates mat with their arms and legs reaching diagonally into the air.  Some of the photos are of a person sitting on a piece of Pilates equipment, such as a barrel, chair, or reformer, with their arms and legs pointed towards the sky.  Look closer and you’ll find that some of the photos have people holding on to a Pilates ring or another item to help them settle into the “teaser.”  All of images show someone doing a “teaser,” but many of the images look so different.  Can they all of the people be doing a “teaser?”  The answer is yes.

Doing a "teaser" on the Cadillac.

When I take Reformer class, I do “teaser” on the long box.  I never seem to be able to get my arms and legs to exactly the right angle.  Therefore, I prefer to do “teaser” on a piece of equipment called the Cadillac, which allows me to get some assistance using an overhead bar (pictured).  Using a push-through bar allows me to keep my arms at at comfortable position while giving me enough support to help me balance in order to keep my legs in the air.   While this could be viewed as a modification, it’s really just another way to do “teaser.”  Since  a “teaser” is very difficult, the way it looks can vary from person to person.  However, the thing that all “teasers” have in common is the angle of the arms and legs and the requirement of balance on a small part of your body.

A few weeks ago, when I was doing a “teaser,” the idea for this “Pilates & Writing” Series came to mind.  I started thinking about a well-formed “teaser” like a piece of published writing.  We want students to publish their writing during a given unit of study.  However, all of them have to take different routes to get to the point at which they’re ready to publish their final piece.  While they will all have received the same instruction (minilessons), they will have all sat through different strategy lessons; all of them will have conferred with you, one-on-one, several times.  Hence, the entire unit of study is about differentiating instruction so all students will be able to achieve the goal of publishing a piece of writing of which they’re proud, but that reflects the unique experience and journey they’ve taken to get to that point.

Writing workshop is ALL about differentiation.  My example of a published piece of writing being like a completed “teaser” is one of many examples of differentiation.  There are so more.  I chose this one as a way to highlight the importance of differentiation.

How do you differentiate your instruction during writing workshop?  Why is differentiation important to your students’ success?  Please share by leaving a comment.