Differentiated instruction IS proactive. Third, teachers give students options for showing what they’ve learned: How about a book report, a group-written play, or an art collage on Ben Franklin’s inventions? You know, that phrase that gets whipped around the faculty meeting like a shuttlecock during a badminton match? After a brief warm-up exercise, and a read aloud for enjoyment, I introduce an essential component of my approach to differentiated reading instruction — the teaching read aloud. an art collage on Ben Franklin’s inventions? Add a diet of tough textbooks and less time for reading instruction to this diminished interest in personal reading, and the result is far too many students reading below grade level, struggling to learn. In it, you’ll find the planning techniques, strategies, and organization and management suggestions I have developed and that my students have helped me refine. WeAreTeachers is here to help. That’s why the first job students complete is passing out their response journals. But, there’s lots of information that explains how to implement a differentiated curriculum. Differentiated instruction is an approach that helps educators tailor their teaching so that all students, regardless of their ability, can learn the classroom material. Whether teachers differentiate content, process, products, or the learning environment, the use of ongoing assessment and flexible grouping makes this a successful approach to instruction. Differentiated instruction is qualitative. Assessment and reassessment of students are key. Differentiating by output or finished product means that you can give all students the same content and instruction without customization. Learn more. It later came to greater prominence with No Child Left Behind. So now we’re going to talk a little bit about what that means. As we continue to learn more about the learner, we respond by differentiating . Assessment and reassessment of students are key. To deepen your understanding, let me share information with you that explains this strong commitment to differentiated learning. Our memories of undifferentiated classrooms probably include the blue- bird, cardinal, and buzzard reading groups. They might even like school because they can be part of a discussion.”. This is the heart of differentiation, and this is the primary reason I have written this book. 3–5, Start here for simple, helpful ways to differentiate your classroom. My read aloud shows that struggling readers can think at high levels. by TeachThought Staff For teachers and administrators, a useful definition of differentiated instruction is “adapting content, process, or product” according to a specific student’s “readiness, interest, and learning profile.” It can be first that of as a matter of contrast–‘differences.’ In fact, the read aloud has become the common mentor or teaching text for my students, and a primary teaching tool. My experiences with teaching students who are reading below grade level continue to show me that although these students may have difficulty reading, they are capable of inferring, drawing conclusions, and making connections to characters, events, people, and information. In addition, it’s important for students to practice reading at school and at home, using books at their comfort levels. You know your principal can’t stop saying it. Right now, too many middle schools place students in a curriculum in which everyone reads the same text and completes the same assignments. During my read aloud, conferences, and small-group meetings, students write to explore hunches, concepts, meaning, and connections. Here is a list of some key principles that form the foundation of differentiating instruction. Just the same jeans on every rack. Differentiated Instruction (DI) is a teaching strategy teachers adopt to attend to student diversity in inclusive classrooms. Set aside time to reflect on the ideas in these texts, and then discuss what you’ve learned with colleagues. Research on the effectiveness of differentiation shows this method benefits a wide range of students, from those with learning disabilities to those who are considered high ability. Typically, a buzzard remained a buzzard, and a cardinal was forever a cardinal. Stay longer in my classroom, and you would observe that writing has taken center stage. Smaller groups make it easier to see who has mastered the lesson goals and has acquired the skills to move on. Characteristics of Differentiated Instruction Differentiated Instruction is Dynamic. Continually ask, How can this information support change in my teaching practices? for simple, helpful ways to differentiate your classroom. Other times, students work in small groups. I invite you to step inside my eighth-grade classroom at the beginning of my reading workshop. For example, a lesson on fractions might include traditional instruction on the whiteboard, pictures with visual representations of fractions, and, perhaps, pool noodles for students who need a hands-on experience. These are the important strategies that all students — not just proficient readers — need. She cautions, however, that differentiated instruction is not individualized instruction. Differentiated instruction for Diana, and for other struggling students, may mean providing a handout with sentence starters or a graphic organizer to help them with constructing meaning. Unfortunately, this leaves too many students behind instead of moving them forward (Tomlinson, 2002). High school students in the lowest 25 percent of their class are 20 times more likely to drop out of school than excellent and proficient learners (Carnevale, 2001). By providing each student with reasonable levels of challenge and instructional scaffolding as needed, students learn that hard work results in successful growth. Knowing the Learner . True, many shoppers with a certain body type looking for a particular style would be more than happy to buy those jeans. Download the PDF from here. I want you also to understand why educators like Carol Ann Tomlinson, Richard Allington, and I strongly believe that instruction in reading should be differentiated. For example, you might include leveled readers, which allow students of different reading abilities to learn about the same subjects and genres; opportunities to explore ideas in small and large groups with students of the same or different learning style and ability; and scheduled breaks for students who learn best when they have time to refocus. This is a powerful statistic that we teachers need to remember and act upon as we teach reading. Differentiating instruction may mean teaching the same material to all students using a variety of instructional strategies, or it may require the teacher to deliver lessons at varying levels of difficulty based on the ability of each student. Differentiated instruction is a way of teaching that matches a variety of learning styles. At The Tenney School, we take differentiated instruction to its foundation by creating an environment that places one student with one teacher. Mr. Shelton learns that differentiated instruction is an approach whereby teachers adjust their curriculum and instruction to maximize the learning of all students: average learners, English language learners, struggling students, students with learning disabilities, and gifted and talented students. There are many questions that are just too embarrassing to ask: Do fish pass gas? Knowing the research will enable you to select materials to read for building your own background knowledge and expanding your understanding of differentiation. Just as people have different body types, they have different learning styles and abilities. Unfortunately, many times a similar strategy is used in the classroom. Underlying Principles of Differentiated Instruction . Gina Biancarosa and Catherine Snow (2004), authors of Reading Next, point to a statistic that should cause all middle grade, middle school, and high school educators to rethink their instructional practices. Laura Robb. In a differentiated classroom, the teacher assumes that different learners have differing needs and proactively plans lessons that … There are many opportunities for students to discuss the books we are reading. In addition, I use it as a catalyst to raise students’ awareness of issues and to build background knowledge. Differentiating instruction means that you observe and understand the differences and similarities among students and use this information to plan instruction. Differentiated instruction is a cyclical process of finding out about the learner and responding by differentiating. You and I need to explore and try ways to teach our students at their instructional levels. Unfortunately, many times a similar strategy is used in the classroom. Kind of? Build lessons, develop teaching materials, and vary your approach so that all students, regardless of where they are starting from, can learn content effectively, according to their needs. Studies show that these students’ personal reading lives and their delight in reading start to wane, and by middle school, they read less on their own than they did in the early grades (Ruddell & Unrau, 1997). Differentiated instruction is student owned. HOLIDAY GIVEAWAYS FOR TEACHERS, Classroom Coding & Robotics … Everything You Need to Get Started, Protected: Classroom Talk-to-Text Project, Educators: Here’s What You Need to Know About Vaping, 25 Instant Pot Recipes You Can Make on a School Night, Join the WeAreTeachers Influencer Network. Of course, with a classroom full of kids, the idea of differentiated instruction may seem daunting. Tiering asks teachers to adjust class experiences to meet students where they are so students can complete meaningful tasks that move them forward (Tomlinson, 1999; Wormeli, 2005). Here’s an analogy: Imagine going into a department store to buy jeans and finding the same pair on every rack. Continually build awareness So it doesn’t make much sense to present information in one way and expect every student to learn effectively. Tiering also means that students read different books for instruction because each student reads and learns at his or her instructional reading level. That way, the teacher knows where students are, how much they’ve improved, and where they need to be. As Hannah, an eighth grader, noted in her evaluation of instructional and independent reading: â€œGive kids books they can read so they can learn. Students may have two or three learning options some days, but never 21 or 35 different options. Second, teachers provide flexible learning options. As you begin to embrace some of these differentiation practices, it’s important for you to know the research that supports this kind of instruction. Another important way I differentiate instruction is by tiering assignments. 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