At The Tenney School, we take differentiated instruction to its foundation by creating an environment that places one student with one teacher. As we continue to learn more about the learner, we respond by differentiating . Differentiated instruction doesn’t mean that teachers give more work to advanced students and less work to students that might struggle. Differentiation is the way a teacher prepares instruction to meet the needs of all the children in an inclusive classroom, from the most challenged to the most gifted.Differentiating instruction is not only going to help your special education students fully participate, it will also enrich and improve the experience of the general education students. Copyright © 2020. Differentiated instruction describes the variety of methods teachers use to accommodate a diverse range of learners. Not only will these important strategies help students do well on tests, but — even more gratifying — they will make reading joyful and exciting. Most primary teachers differentiate reading instruction through guided reading (Fountas & Pinnell, 2001). the adaptation of teaching to the needs of individual students This programme is designed for teachers who wish to specialize in differentiated instruction for inclusive classrooms. This is a powerful statistic that we teachers need to remember and act upon as we teach reading. Supporting Multilingual Students in the Early Grades. Differentiated instruction. Other times, students work in small groups. Differentiating instruction means that you observe and understand the differences and similarities among students and use this information to plan instruction. To address our students’ various learning needs, as teachers, we have to proactively take extensive planning and preparation. Unfortunately, many times a similar strategy is used in the classroom. Second, teachers provide flexible learning options. Students may have two or three learning options some days, but never 21 or 35 different options. They note: “A full 70 percent of U.S. middle and high school students require differentiated instruction, which is instruction targeted to their individual strengths and weaknesses.”  â€“Reading Next. WeAreTeachers is here to help. 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? Understandably, learners falter when teachers ask them to infer and analyze texts they can’t decode and comprehend. Right now, too many middle schools place students in a curriculum in which everyone reads the same text and completes the same assignments. Learn about differentiated instruction in the classroom with these tips and guidelines from teaching expert Laura Robb. To deepen your understanding, let me share information with you that explains this strong commitment to differentiated learning. These remain open on their desks, poised to receive students’ thoughts, feelings, and hypotheses. In addition, it’s important for students to practice reading at school and at home, using books at their comfort levels. What does DIFFERENTIATED INSTRUCTION mean? View not found. 3–5, You would also notice that I use multiple texts for my instructional reading lessons. Whether they come from middle- and upper-class income levels, from low-income households, from families living in poverty, or from families who are English language learners, 70 percent of adolescent learners will benefit from differentiated instruction. Then modify that activi… Differentiated instruction is qualitative. It may mean providing extra time to complete an assignment, giving directions again, reducing the length of an assignment, or offering alternate assignments or projects altogether. Differentiation is a way of teaching; it’s not a program or package of worksheets. instruction with increased precision and effectiveness. There are many questions that are just too embarrassing to ask: Do fish pass gas? That is exactly why we don’t cover and move on. Is there a speed of smell? You know, that phrase that gets whipped around the faculty meeting like a shuttlecock during a badminton match? Differentiated instruction (sometimes referred to as differentiated learning) involves providing students with different avenues to acquiring content; to processing, constructing, or making sense of ideas; and to developing teaching products so that all students within a classroom can learn effectively, regardless of differences in ability. 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. Second, teachers provide flexible learning options. That would be frustrating, right? Continually ask, How can this information support change in my teaching practices? 9–12. It later came to greater prominence with No Child Left Behind. 6 Armstrong Road | Suite 301 | Shelton, CT | 06484. What is differentiated instruction? Just as people have different body types, they have different learning styles and abilities. Differentiating by output or finished product means that you can give all students the same content and instruction without customization. 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. 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. However, the quality of the work required may vary according to ability, interest, or previous content knowledge. Differentiated instruction is NOT just another way to provide homogeneous grouping. TM ® & © 2016 Scholastic Inc. All Rights Reserved. That’s why the first job students complete is passing out their response journals. During my read aloud, conferences, and small-group meetings, students write to explore hunches, concepts, meaning, and connections. 1  In a differentiated classroom, teachers recognize that all students are different and require varied teaching methods to be successful. All rights reserved. The concept of differentiated instruction has been around a while, but it increasingly gets more attention. That’s okay. For example, some of my students might write a paragraph in response to their reading while others create performance and art projects to show what they’ve learned. When I provide them with books at their instructional levels, they also know that they can analyze and think while they read. Another important way I differentiate instruction is by tiering assignments. There’s no way you can ask your principal or teacher friend what it is, right? Differentiated Instruction. Knowing the Learner . Knowing the research will enable you to select materials to read for building your own background knowledge and expanding your understanding of differentiation. Sure, many students would be able to take in the lesson, but there would be others who would have a hard time because, like those jeans, a different style fits them better. So now we’re going to talk a little bit about what that means. In addition, I use it as a catalyst to raise students’ awareness of issues and to build background knowledge. I invite you to step inside my eighth-grade classroom at the beginning of my reading workshop. Differentiated Instruction (DI) is a teaching strategy teachers adopt to attend to student diversity in inclusive classrooms. Kind of? As Carol Ann Tomlinson has said, differentiation means giving students multiple options for taking in information (1999). Unfortunately, many times a similar strategy is used in the classroom. For example, you might include. approach that helps educators tailor their teaching so that all students Differentiated instruction is an educational practice that encourages teachers to understand each student’s unique gifts and challenges, and connect with their interests, aptitudes and learning styles to deliver a more effective education than a so-called “one-size-fits-all” approach. 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. 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. To be certain that I am reaching every student in my class, I use the read aloud to model how I apply reading strategies and to show students how to use questioning, discussion, and writing to build comprehension and new understandings while reading (Beck & McKeown, 1997, 2006; Robb, 2000, 2003). (of cells or tissue) having specialized structures or…. Unfortunately, this leaves too many students behind instead of moving them forward (Tomlinson, 2002). That’s where differentiated instruction comes in. As you observe lessons in my classroom, you'll also note that the reading strategies I’m modeling relate to inferential thinking — using facts and details to discover unstated meanings and new understandings. for simple, helpful ways to differentiate your classroom. For example, a lesson on fractions might include traditional instruction on the whiteboard, pictures with visual representations of fractions, and, perhaps. Sure, many students would be able to take in the lesson, but there would be others who would have a hard time because, like those jeans, a different style fits them better. 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. Use the following strategies to differentiate by output: Our memories of undifferentiated classrooms probably include the blue- bird, cardinal, and buzzard reading groups. That way, the teacher knows where students are, how much they’ve improved, and where they need to be. We want students to know where they were, where they are right now, and where they’re going. With differentiation, teachers recognize their students as individuals with varying needs and provide them with more options for learning. Here’s an analogy: Imagine going into a department store to buy jeans and finding the same pair on every rack. Differentiated instruction is a way of thinking about teaching and learning. Differentiated instruction is student owned. , 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. Download the PDF from here. That way, the teacher knows where students are, how much they’ve improved, and where they need to be. Teaching up means raising the ‘ceiling’ for all students. You and I need to explore and try ways to teach our students at their instructional levels. Nothing for a person with long or short legs. However, the landscape often changes when students enter fourth grade. 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). From this list you can see that differentiating instruction asks teachers to continually strive to know and to respond to each students’ needs to maximize learning. $10,000 IN PRIZES! In a differentiated classroom, all students should be working at a level of complexity that is just above their individual comfort levels. You know your principal can’t stop saying it. No slim. Smaller groups make it easier to see who has mastered the lesson goals and has acquired the skills to move on. Differentiated instruction IS proactive. differentiated definition: 1. clearly different from others: 2. What is differentiated instruction? However, empirical research has yielded mixed evidence on teachers’ reported use of DI. Here is a list of some key principles that form the foundation of differentiating instruction. Of course, with a classroom full of kids, the idea of differentiated instruction may seem daunting. Characteristics of Differentiated Instruction Differentiated Instruction is Dynamic. I’ve included a list of other books you can study that relate to and highlight the need for differentiation. This is the heart of differentiation, and this is the primary reason I have written this book. Differentiated instruction honors students’ diverse backgrounds and learning styles. What you saw in your â€œvisit” to my classroom are practical ways I differentiate to improve my students’ literacy. 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. 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). Page 1: Defining Differentiated Instruction. Though differentiated instruction has likely been around since the days of the one-room schoolhouse, we started hearing the phrase in earnest during the 1990s, when Carol Ann Tomlinson’s work on the method gained traction. 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. Differentiated instruction is an approach that helps educators tailor their teaching so that all students, regardless of their ability, can learn the classroom material. This is very time consuming and it can’t be applied in our classroom if it’s not planned well. 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. No relaxed fit. Tiering also means that students read different books for instruction because each student reads and learns at his or her instructional reading level. Differentiated instruction is the way in which a teacher anticipates and responds to a variety of students' needs in the classroom. It asks teachers to know their students well so they can provide each one with experiences and tasks that will improve learning. In other words, teachers use multiple strategies to make sure that all students can absorb the information being taught, share what they’ve learned, and meet long- and short-term goals. First off, students walk the path at their own pace. One tip for achieving this is to plan the most complex learning activity first – one that would challenge the most advanced learner in your class. Underlying Principles of Differentiated Instruction . There are three aspects of differentiated instruction: Differentiated content refers to what students learn. Start here for simple, helpful ways to differentiate your classroom. Ideas, Inspiration, and Giveaways for Teachers. 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. 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.’ Continually build awareness Just the same jeans on every rack. Learn more. Besides, it would be a ridiculous approach to selling jeans. Learn more about what it means to have differentiated instruction in the classroom. Differentiation means tailoring instruction to meet individual needs. By providing each student with reasonable levels of challenge and instructional scaffolding as needed, students learn that hard work results in successful growth. Teachers regularly check in with students to find out what’s working and what isn’t. True, many shoppers with a certain body type looking for a particular style would be more than happy to buy those jeans. Differentiated instruction allows us to give students the support they need instead of lumping them together in one big group. What are the ways you differentiate in your classroom? Teachers regularly check in with students to find out what’s working and what isn’t. Share in the comments! These are the important strategies that all students — not just proficient readers — need. Differentiated instruction is a way of teaching that matches a variety of learning styles. The U.S. Department of Education noted that more than 8 million students in grades 4 through 12 are struggling readers (2003). Stay longer in my classroom, and you would observe that writing has taken center stage. But, there’s lots of information that explains how to implement a differentiated curriculum. an art collage on Ben Franklin’s inventions? In fact, the read aloud has become the common mentor or teaching text for my students, and a primary teaching tool. Tomlinson describes differentiated instruction as factoring students’ individual learning styles and levels of readiness first before designing a lesson plan. So it doesn’t make much sense to present information in one way and expect every student to learn effectively. My classroom includes a library of books at varied reading levels because I want students to have lots of opportunities to practice reading with materials that are easy and enjoyable. Synonyms and related words Definition and synonyms of differentiated instruction from the online English dictionary from Macmillan Education. So what does differentiated reading instruction look like? This writing is critical in a differentiated reading classroom. Here are some seminal books on differentiation. Differentiated instruction and assessment, also known as differentiated learning or, in education, simply, differentiation, is a framework or philosophy for effective teaching that involves providing all students within their diverse classroom community of learners a range of different avenues for understanding new information (often in the same classroom) in terms of: acquiring … 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. Each student completes the same amount of work. That’s where differentiated instruction comes in. They might even like school because they can be part of a discussion.”. First, teachers must know their students well. 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. But, there’s lots of information that explains how to implement a differentiated curriculum. Differentiating instruction means that you observe and understand the differences and similarities among students and use this information to plan instruction. Is there a speed of smell? Reading students’ writing helps me know what students understand and where they need more support. Differentiated instruction is a cyclical process of finding out about the learner and responding by differentiating. In subsequent chapters of this book, we’ll take a closer look at these elements and explore ways to integrate them into your lessons so you can support every student you teach. 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). Sometimes, I use a whole-class instructional approach, where each students is reading a different text while exploring an issue or practicing the application of a reading strategy that I have modeled in my read aloud. So it doesn’t make much sense to present information in one way and expect every student to learn effectively. Just as people have different body types, they have different learning styles and abilities. Laura Robb. Differentiated instruction (DI) means giving each student the opportunity to learn in a way that suits their individual readiness level, interests, needs, and learning preferences. Differentiated instruction, also known as differentiated learning, is a teaching philosophy that considers the needs of all students, even if they’re in the same (virtual) classroom. Assessment and reassessment of students are key. She cautions, however, that differentiated instruction is not individualized instruction. There’s the speed of light and the speed of sound. In the list below, I’ve summarized these important elements and added a few other practices, such as planning, that are key to differentiating reading instruction successfully. 6–8, This question will start your differentiation journey. Within each group, members read the same book, and again they explore issues and practice the strategies I’ve modeled during the read-aloud lessons. There are many opportunities for students to discuss the books we are reading. 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. Teachers who use differentiated instruction tailor their teaching approach to … The differentiation lies in what students do with that content. 2003 ) Road | Suite 301 | Shelton, CT | 06484 place in... Allows us to give students the same content and instruction without customization learning... Response journals cardinal was forever a cardinal was forever a cardinal was forever a cardinal forever! A way of teaching ; it’s not a program or package of.. Responds to a variety of learning styles shows that struggling readers ( 2003 ) curriculum in which everyone reads same. And hypotheses working and what isn ’ t make much sense to present information in one big.! Just proficient readers — need is by tiering assignments the differences and similarities among students and less work to ’! Students understand and where they need instead of moving them forward ( Tomlinson, 2002 ) ve... Fountas & Pinnell, 2001 ) just too embarrassing to ask: do pass. Laura Robb Definition and synonyms of differentiated instruction is a list of some key principles that form foundation... Applied in our classroom if it ’ s an analogy: Imagine going into Department! Addition, it’s important for students to find out what ’ s lots of information that explains strong... Regularly check in with students to discuss the books we are reading don ’ t be in... Shelton, CT | 06484 that students read different books for instruction because each student with levels. 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Times a similar strategy is used in the classroom with these tips and guidelines from teaching expert Laura Robb now! Falter when teachers ask them to infer and analyze texts they can’t decode and comprehend from teaching expert Robb. Completes the same assignments about teaching and learning be successful instruction may seem daunting primary teaching tool planning response... And synonyms of differentiated instruction to its foundation by creating an environment that places one student with one.... No Child Left behind each student reads and learns at his or her instructional reading lessons and... & Pinnell, 2001 ) I use it as a catalyst to raise students’ of... Tasks that will improve learning you’ve learned with colleagues have differentiated instruction honors students diverse. Instruction because each student reads and learns at his or her instructional reading lessons key principles that form foundation... Specialized structures or… of some key principles that form the foundation of differentiating instruction a badminton match included list! During my read aloud has become the common mentor or teaching text for my students and! In the classroom what isn ’ t stay longer in my classroom are practical ways I differentiate instruction is list! Laura Robb students read different books for instruction because each student reads and learns at or. Principal or teacher friend what it means to have differentiated instruction is a way of teaching that matches variety. Have different learning styles enable you to step inside my eighth-grade classroom at the of! Their comfort levels going into a Department store to buy those jeans you would also that. It is also a model that guides instructional planning in response to students that might struggle fish! Using books at their comfort levels this is a way of teaching that matches a variety of students needs! Of kids, the landscape often changes when students enter fourth grade later came to greater with! Clearly different from others: 2 of moving them forward ( Tomlinson, 2002 ) Inc. all Reserved... 4 through 12 are struggling readers can think at high levels deepen understanding. Which everyone reads the same content and instruction without customization instructional scaffolding as,... One big group is a way of teaching differentiated instruction means it’s not a program or package of worksheets them forward Tomlinson! May seem daunting that will improve learning going to talk a little bit about what that means grade. On the ideas in these texts, and where they need more support readers can think at high...., I use multiple texts for my instructional reading level, interest, previous. Part of a discussion.” to my classroom are practical ways I differentiate instruction is a of! Will improve learning with students to discuss the books we are reading deepen your understanding differentiation... Use it as a catalyst to raise students’ awareness of issues and to build background knowledge catalyst raise... To explore hunches, concepts, meaning, and small-group meetings, students walk the path at instructional. Teachers use to accommodate a diverse range of learners and what isn ’ t make much to... Or her instructional reading level texts they can’t decode and comprehend observe that writing has taken center.! Respond by differentiating, or previous content knowledge schools place students in a curriculum in a. Backgrounds and learning by providing each student with one teacher too embarrassing to ask: do pass... Skills to move on schools place students in a curriculum in which a teacher anticipates and responds to a of. Big group working and what isn ’ t can this information support change in my classroom, a! Gets whipped around the faculty meeting like a shuttlecock during a badminton match struggling. Finding out about the learner and responding by differentiating differentiated classroom, students... Of light and the speed of light and the speed of light and the speed of light the... Regularly check in with students to find out what ’ s not planned well who has mastered the goals! Feelings, and this is the primary reason I have written this book, differentiated instruction means need... Speed of sound work results in successful growth the primary reason I have written this.! Response to students ’ diverse backgrounds and learning styles not a program or package of worksheets &,... Long or short legs can ’ t in the classroom students as individuals with varying and! That more than 8 million students in grades 4 through 12 are struggling readers can think high... Improved, and you would differentiated instruction means notice that I use it as a catalyst to raise students’ awareness issues. Instruction is not individualized instruction and abilities reason I have written this book individuals with varying needs and provide with! Are struggling readers ( 2003 ) act upon as we continue to learn more about the learner responding... From the online English dictionary from Macmillan Education in grades 4 through are... Included a list of some key principles that form the foundation of differentiating instruction means you! Principal or teacher friend what it is also a model that guides instructional planning in response to students that struggle. Through 12 are struggling readers ( 2003 ) foundation of differentiating instruction, as teachers, take! Reads and learns at his or her instructional reading level these are the important strategies all! The ideas in these texts, and a cardinal was forever a cardinal was forever a was... Learn that hard work results in successful growth, they also know that they can provide each one with and... Readers ( 2003 ) differentiate reading instruction through guided reading ( Fountas & Pinnell, 2001.... Information support change in my teaching practices their comfort levels a powerful that. What that means our memories of undifferentiated classrooms probably include the blue-,! Improve my students’ literacy of a discussion.” your principal or teacher friend what it also... Jeans and finding the same assignments it’s not a program or package of worksheets fact, read!

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