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Differentiation in the Elementary Classroom

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Maurion Reddick

on 22 June 2014

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Transcript of Differentiation in the Elementary Classroom

Differentiation in the Elementary Classroom
"Differentiation means tailoring instruction to meet individual needs...[the] content, process, product, or the learning environment, the use of ongoing assessment, and flexible grouping makes this a successful approach to instruction."
-Carol Ann Tomlinson (2014)
Differentiation is an approach to teaching that attempts to ensure that all students learn well, despite their many differences.
Is differentiated instruction compatible with the standards that we teach?
Yes!
Our standards are curricular based. They are
what
we teach.

Differentiation is an instructional model. It is
how
we teach.
by: Adriane Sutherland
As teachers, we will no longer simply teach classes...we will teach the individual student.
Equal education is not all students getting the same, but all students getting what they need. Approaching all learners the same academically doesn't work. We have to start where each child is in their learning process in order to authentically meet their academic needs and help them grow.
In a differentiated classroom, a teacher creates different ways to learn and make sense of the content. The teacher also designs multiple ways students can create products
(quizzes, worksheets, diagrams, mini-skits, experiments, etc.)
to prove they have learned the content.
Teachers can differentiate four (4) classroom elements based on student readiness, interest, or learning profiles.
Content
: What students need to learn or how they will get access to the information.
Process
: Activities in which students engage in order to make sense of or master the content.
Products
: Culminating projects that ask the student to rehearse, apple, and extend what they have learned in the unit
Learning Environment
: The way the classroom works and feels.
(Tomlinson, "What Is Differentiated Instruction?", 2014)
A teacher who differentiates will most likely:
1. Set clear learning goals/objectives.
2. Pre-assess students prior to the beginning of a unit of study.
3. Proactively monitor student progress, throughout the unit, to understand what student needs are.
Differentiation of instruction is the teacher's response to learner's needs guided by principles of differentiation such as flexible grouping, respectful tasks, and ongoing assessment and adjustment.
A range of instructional and management strategies can be used to differentiate in the classroom!
(Tomlinson & Allan, "Understanding Differentiated Instruction: Building a Foundation for Leadership", 2010)
Differentiation is a way of teaching; it’s not a program or package of worksheets. It asks teachers to know their students well so they can provide each one with experiences and tasks that will improve learning
(Scholastic, "What Is Differentiated Instruction? | Scholastic.com")
Traditional Instruction was generally historically fixed and inflexible
Traditional instruction is generally historically fixed and inflexible.
The teacher delivers instruction, typically through lecture; models the skill; the student is given practice work, usually in workbooks or on handouts;the teacher reviews the student's work and/or tests the group using a pencil and paper test; and the teacher provides feedback on the student's performance, usually in the form of a grade for the work and marks on items missed.
Differentiation doesn't just
happen
. It takes commitment and planning!
How does Differentiating Instruction Work?
Differentiated instruction is based upon the understanding that students learn best when they make connections between the curriculum and their own unique interests and experiences, and that the greatest learning occurs when students are pushed slightly beyond the point where they can work without assistance.

Instead of simply "teaching to the middle" by providing a single avenue for learning, teachers who are using differentiated instruction will match tasks, activities, and assessments with their students' interests, abilities, and learning preferences.
How do I differentiate in my classroom?
1. Get to know your students.

2. Identify areas of your curriculum that could be adapted to differentiated instruction.

3. Examine your role as teacher in the differentiated classroom.


Educators are changing the learning environment so they can see students' readiness levels, learning profiles, needs, and interests more clearly. Through differentiated instruction, teachers are rethinking what they personally experienced in their schooling and working to customize the complexity of instruction so all students experience learning success.
(Kingore, Ph.D., "Differentiating Instruction")
Differentiation in the Movies
("Differentiating Instruction: Meeting Students Where They Are, Teaching Today, Glencoe Online")
"Better awareness, smarter planning, and simple changes can be made in every environment to improve learning.
(Jensen, 2005, p. 82)
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