While such approaches play a role in addressing learner variance, they are examples of “micro-differentiation” or “tailoring,” and are often just not enough to adequately address significant learning issues. By Lisa Westman. A benchmark of teacher development is the point at which the teacher becomes secure and comfortable with managing classroom routines. On the contrary, “orderly flexibility” is a defining feature of differentiated classrooms—and of any classroom that prioritizes student thinking. Teachers do it all the time, whether they realize it or not. Typically, a buzzard remained a buzzard, and a cardinal was forever a cardinal. Differentiated instruction is not going away. Differentiated instruction allows all students to access the same classroom curriculum by providing entry points, learning tasks, and outcomes that are tailored to students’ needs (Hall, Strangman, & Meyer, 2003). But while differentiated instruction is the perfect solution for some, it may not be for others. Teachers need to build community as well as attend to individual needs. A teacher, who I otherwise loved, seated his class based on the students’ marking-period grades. Here's what they said. Designing good curriculum starts with identifying the essential Understandings — the concepts, principles, or big ideas of the unit topic. Differentiation means tailoring instruction to meet individual needs. It is therefore crucial that the faculty and administration discuss and agree on what differentiation is going to look like in their building, with their staff, and their resources. For more useful teaching tips and tricks, click here. Differentiated instruction allows us to zero in more closely on individual needs. Differentiated Instruction. We’re thrilled to announce the launch of the all new EdWeek.org. Differentiated instruction is when a lesson is tailored to meet more than one academic level. Differentiated instruction is a very popular, not to mention broad, topic in today’s educational arena. No matter what you call it, differentiated instruction is at the heart of everything that highly effective teachers do. Tiers. 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. 1  In a differentiated classroom, teachers recognize that all students are different and require varied teaching methods to be successful. We can’t expect our students to all be on the same level, so why would we design our lessons that way? We will modify our personal approach, the materials, and the digital environment to spur progress in learners based on the framework of the curriculum and standards. At times, whole-class instruction is important and effective. The idea was to create a different, customized lesson each day for each of the 30-plus students in a single classroom.   In a differentiated classroom, teachers recognize that all students are different and require varied teaching methods to be successful. The Bottom Line Differentiated Instruction — Easier Than Most Teachers Realize Keri D. Ingraham November 25, 2020 Learning “Differentiated instruction,” or tailoring instruction to meet individual needs (commonly referred to as DI), is growing in popularity in education circles. However, differentiated instruction is not 30 students doing 30 different lessons – that would be impossible, unmanageable, completely ineffective and chaotic. 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Through differentiated instruction subject matter can also be more comprehensible for English Language Learners and as well as those students with special needs through the use of different activities. Differentiated instruction is not really a new concept; it has been with us for a very long time in the guise of ‘mixed-ability teaching'. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Student-Centered. You have entered an incorrect email address! Differentiated instruction allows students to show what they know in different ways. There is not an intervention available that I will not implement for one of my 8th grade students, if needed. However, differentiated instruction does not only fit elementary students but every student from different levels as well. At times, whole-class instruction is important and effective. 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. Small adjustments in a lesson may be all that’s needed to make the lesson “work” for a student in some instances, but in many others, the mismatch between learner and lesson is too great to be effectively addressed in any way other than re-crafting the lesson itself. For example, when students struggle, questions are scaffolded, chunked and explained in different ways. Differentiated instruction is difficult and time-consuming work, however, and class sizes are increasing all the time, making individualized learning harder to achieve. Differentiated instruction refers to tailoring your instruction to meet the individual needs of your students. It asks teachers to know their students well so they can provide each one with experiences and tasks that will improve learning. Differentiating Instruction: It’s Not as Hard as You Think provides an introduction to differentiation in instruction. Attend this online summit to ask questions about how COVID-19 has affected achievement, instruction, assessment, and engagement in math. approach that helps educators tailor their teaching so that all students What differentiated instruction means. Source: Adapted from How to Differentiate Instruction in Academically Diverse Classrooms, 3rd Edition, by Carol Ann Tomlinson, Alexandria, VA: ASCD. Students work in a variety of group configurations, as well as independently. Decades ago, educators experimented with what was called “individualized instruction.” The idea was to create a different, customized lesson each day for each of the 30-plus students in a single classroom. We should be asking why the adults always control the learning. Differentiation is not a magic wand that will make a single teacher in a classroom generate better test scores out of a greater quantity of students with less support and fewer colleagues. An international nonprofit education association, ASCD is dedicated to providing the resources that empower educators to support the success of each learner. We will, somehow, sand away at the mountains of grading and prep. ©2017 by ASCD. What does differentiated instruction look like in the classroom? Differentiated instruction, the tailoring of educational experiences to meet individual learner needs, is nothing new. Differentiated Instruction. It should be noted that this presentation is only intended to be a brief overview of this encompassing topic. Designing good curriculum starts with identifying the essential Understandings — the concepts, principles, or big ideas of the unit topic. Differentiated instruction is not a single strategy but rather a framework that teachers can use to implement a variety of strategies, many of which are evidence-based. Advantages of differentiated instruction include: 1. Although Mr. Shelton has learned about strategies to differentiate instruction and how to prepare his students and his classroom for this type of instruction, he still feels somewhat overwhelmed by it all and does not know how to begin. It can work well in general education classes that include students with learning and thinking differences. Submitted by Joan Risner (not verified) on April 5, 2015 - 6:18am ©2020 Editorial Projects in Education, Inc. Fear of returning to uncertainty about “control of student behavior” is a major obstacle for many teachers in establishing a flexible classroom. In the era of one-room schoolhouses, a single teacher needed to engage students of a wide age range. Not to mention that it is very hard to juggle homeschooling my own children and designing professional learning for those I serve. Differentiated instruction allows the teacher to change instruction based on a child's strengths and weaknesses. Differentiated instruction is when a lesson is tailored to meet more than one academic level. In my 8th grade, English/language arts inclusion class, to further the parallel, abilities often range from grades 6 through 10. But as class sizes inflate and staff decrease, it becomes more difficult to perfectly identify all of students’ needs. ET. I believe my colleagues and I are better teachers for having gone through differentiation training. Differentiated instruction is not a single strategy,  but rather an approach to instruction that incorporates a variety of strategies. Although teachers can now collaborate with colleagues on the challenge of lifting such a heterogeneous group over state benchmarks, today’s differentiation can no more overcome all the problems of American public schools than the one-room schoolhouse could. Playing to Students’ Strengths. ET. It is not English-language-learner support. One would think this practice of publicly ranking the intellectual haves and have-nots died out a while ago. 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. Differentiation should be responsive instruction, not mechanical instruction. Why is differentiated instruction important? It begins with clearly defining where we want students to go before thinking about how we want them to get there. No matter what you call it, differentiated instruction is at the heart of everything that highly effective teachers do. For more useful teaching tips and tricks, click here. In this 2014 photo, 6th graders Willyum Oliver and Michael James (from left) discuss a math performance task during class at Whittemore Park Middle School in Conway, S.C.. Differentiation is the educational practice of modifying or adapting instruction, school materials, subject content, class projects, and assessment methods to better meet the needs of diverse learners. Of all learners the necessary support for students who know a good bit about a portion of a or. Intellectual haves and have-nots died out a while ago readers—and its staffers—to summarize this frightening depressing! Diverse range of learners learner needs, is nothing new when students struggle questions... Intellectual haves and have-nots died out a while ago also, important to maximizing the potential of differentiated as! Seats very clearly would we design our lessons that way for connecting at a Distance haves and have-nots died a. 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