Other ways to group students (that aid in differentiating) include grouping based on interest and grouping based on strength. In the education world, differentiated instruction is talked a lot about as a policy or as a solution, but rarely do educators get opportunities to roll up their sleeves and talk about what it looks like in practice.

Rubrics, sample student work and think alouds are all good tools to aid us in this endeavor. Introduce and demonstrate the FOIL (first, outer, inner, last) method using explicit instruction. The definition begins with this: Equal education is not all students getting the same, but all students getting what they need. Pre-assessments tell us what they already know, understand or misunderstand about a topic. More specifically, I worked with my guided-reading groups. Differentiated instruction is having flexibility to adjust to lesson plans to engage … We use cookies to ensure that your visit to our Website is the best it can be. As Carol Ann Tomlinson has said, differentiation means giving students multiple options for taking in information (1999). I don't think it looks the same in any two classrooms. Here is an attempt to distill the essential elements down to four buckets or key areas: Expectations and attitudes about students, getting to know students Although Mr. Shelton ha Differentiated instruction in the classroom can be done several ways. To keep the workload manageable, when they begin to differentiate instruction, teachers might want to start with a few low-prep activities that can be used throughout the first year and add only one high-prep activity for each unit of study or per semester. In differentiated classrooms, we should see teachers who are warm yet firm in their expectations, circulating among students who are all deeply invested in a clear and purposeful task that they know will help advance them in the learning journey. Assign class problems and allow students to work with a partner or alone to complete. Again, often they only need it taught one time and they Here is an attempt to distill … By using the IRIS Website, you consent to our use of cookies. Some learn best by reading and writing. The following year, the teacher can refine those activities and add one or two additional low-prep and high-prep activities. “We cram everything into grading, and so it means nothing. Differentiated Classroom • Student differences are studied as a basis for planning • Assessment is ongoing and diagnostic to understand how to make instruction more responsive to learner need • Focus on multiple forms of intelligences is evident And, at the literacy centers, I would find different tiered activities for the children to work on. If students need to tune out noise, they can choose to wear earbuds or headphones during independent work. 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. Incorporating Differentiated Instruction in your classroom does not mean you have to lower the level of rigor for your struggling students. All are intended to help form images of what a differentiated classroom looks like and feels like. Discuss how Mr. Shelton’s instruction has changed over the four-year period. All rights reserved. How to Build a Schoolwide Culture of Disciplinary Literacy, “No Secrets” Teaching That Supports Student Agency, 3 Ways to Re-imagine Small-Group Reading Experiences, How to Overcome Common Anxieties About Differentiation, Simultaneous Learning: Blending Physical and Remote Learning. To illustrate the difference, the table below provides a few activities that fall into each category. For the Year 4 lesson plan, list the ways in which he differentiates instruction. Michelle Giddens discusses how she began differentiating instruction and offers advice to other teachers who want to begin this process (time: 2:13). Differentiated instruction and individualized learning are things that are done to or for the student: they are actions taken by the teacher on the student’s behalf. That can look like certain groups reading from the text book while others do practice exercises, make a visual map of their understanding or watch online videos — all based on what they need at that moment. Here is an attempt to distill the essential elements down to four buckets or key areas: Expectations and attitudes about students, getting… Differentiated instruction is a way of teaching that matches a variety of learning styles. Important clarification: We are huge fans of complex, messy, authentic intellectual work. When beginning to differentiate instruction, it is beneficial for teachers to collaborate with others in the school or district who are doing the same. The first thing that came to mind was reading. Individualized instruction starts with the needs of one child. I then prepared some literacy centers for the students to work in while I was pulling those small groups. The teacher also needs to create a structured environment so that students feel secure while working in groups, pairs, or independently without direct supervision by the teacher. 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. Page 13: References & Additional Resources; Page 14: Credits; Wrap Up. She has received training from Phi Beta Kappa International on Curriculum and Assessment and is the Social Studies Specialist for Dr. Erickson’s Concept-Based Curriculum and Instruction Certification Institutes. differentiated instruction in the classroom Differentiated instruction: Planning for all Differentiated instruction is an organizing structure or framework in teaching and learning which calls for a major restructuring in the classroom and curriculum, if done well, its benefits far out way the costs. What does Differentiated Instruction look like in the classroom? Part III, author: Paola Sztajn, Daniel Heck, and Kristen Malzahn, Three Warning Signs of Teacher Fatigue and What You Can Do About It, 7 Components of Inclusive & Equitable Learning Communities, author: Dr. Jennifer Spencer-liams and Josh Flosi. That’s where collecting data becomes key. The question is, what does it look like, how do you organize it and how does it work. This is also a huge area of confusion for students. Differentiation is a word that is used often in education — but I worry there is a lack of consensus on what it means, it’s purpose and what it looks like in the classroom. 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. Michelle Giddens, MEd While you cannot always change the content of what you are to teach, you do have control over the process you use to teach the content. 1  In a differentiated classroom, teachers recognize that all students are different and require varied teaching methods to be successful. Because we have students who are at so many different readiness levels, I thought that that would be a great place to focus my journey on differentiating instruction. It refers to the organization and atmosphere of the classroom. Because he thinks it is the group that will most benefit, Mr. Shelton begins to differentiate instruction in his Algebra I class. Grouping students by similar ability levels helps both teachers and students. The learning tasks always consider the students' strengths/weaknesses. We can layer on skills, knowledge, understanding, habits of mind, etc. Education expert Dr. Carol Ann Tomlinson provides the following definition:\"Differentiation What does Differentiated Instruction look like in the classroom? Association for the Supervision of Training and Development, Dr. Erickson’s Concept-Based Curriculum and Instruction Certification Institutes, What Is Identity Safe Formative Assessment? The opportunity to dig dipper into wat of making learning interesting. . Is it clear to the students? Other ways to group students (that aid in differentiating) include grouping based on interest and grouping based on strength. So my advice would be just to start small, and I would also say collaborate with others and try and get support that way, because it is a challenge when you’re trying to get materials ready and map out what it might look like in your classroom. Teachers can differentiate within the same lesson or assignment, or create multiple lessons for the same course content. Assessment. A differentiated classroom should support, and is supported by, an evolving community of learners. Teachers can work together to create ideas for differentiating instruction and less-experienced teachers can seek advice. It describes the characteristics of a differentiated classroom, how differentiation might look for advanced learners, why differentiated instruction is needed for advanced learners, and how parents can support differentiation. This means the teacher: ... We had the note sent home that our teachers are going to start with differentiated instruction strategies to cater to the children. So my advice would be just to start small, and I would also say collaborate with others and try and get support that way, because it is a challenge when you’re trying to get materials ready and map out what it might look like in your classroom. In the classroom, differentiated instruction occurs when teachers use varied learning modalities to achieve the same learning objective. The contents of this Website do not necessarily represent the policy of the U.S. Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government. Select one element (i.e., content, process, product, learning environment) to differentiate. The first is from the year that Mr. Shelton began differentiating instruction. Differentiated Instruction Lesson Planner TKES DI Teacher Self-Assessment Checklist (p. 32) Gilda Lyons’ DI Sessions (December 10th/15th) Other Resources Differentiated Instruction in Science Teaching by Tiering in Science Differentiated Science Inquiry ($) Leveled Texts for Science ($) But what does a differentiated grade book look like? After all of that, each differentiated classroom will look different based upon the students in it. Assign homework for different groups of students based on their readiness, interest, or preferred way of demonstrating their knowledge. Differentiate professional development for teachers too. A differentiated approach supports an inclusive education system in which all students have the best possible learning opportunities. An old-school classroom might provide the children with worksheets and multiple choice answers after a whole group lesson on the overhead with the teacher presenting the information. Looking at my classroom assessments, I was able to determine the different groups. The learning environment is sometimes included as one of the classroom elements associated with differentiated instruction. Differentiation may seem like hard work. If several students tend to learn rhythms the same way, group them together. Use a simple means of gathering information about students (e.g., end-of-chapter test as a pretest, exit cards, commercially available interest surveys). Julie Harris Stern is a Verified Master Trainer and has a Coaching Certificate and Change Management Certificate from the Association for the Supervision of Training and Development. It shouldn’t be a mystery they are trying to solve. A constructivist classroom would start with a mini-lesson where the teachers asks the kids about going to a birthday party at a familiar place such as Build-a-Bear. After talking to several teachers who have been successfully differentiating instruction, Mr. Shelton learns that there is no one correct method of differentiating instruction. What that means is that the teacher leads his students in developing the sorts of attitudes, beliefs, and practices that would characterize a really good neighborhood." Education expert Dr. Carol Ann Tomlinson provides the following definition:\"Differentiation

Rubrics, sample student work and think alouds are all good tools to aid us in this endeavor. Finally, once the first three pre-requisites are in place, we can begin to differentiate instruction based on what students need at that moment. A differentiated classroom should support, and is supported by, an evolving community of learners. For more practical strategies see: Tools for Teaching Conceptual Understanding, Elementary and Tools for Teaching Conceptual Understanding, Secondary. Then I moved my kid’s names to popsicle sticks, and that allowed me to move my kids wherever I needed them so they could get what they needed. Copyright 2020 Vanderbilt University. What does differentiated instruction look like in the classroom? Differentiation means personalizing content, process, and product so students can learn the material that's appropriate for their academic readiness level, in a way that works best for them. Mr. Shelton also learns that making the shift from a traditional classroom to a differentiated classroom is a long-term process, usually four to five years. That was a few years before I felt confident in one subject area to move onto the next subject area. But then they go to the phonics center, and they have gaps for phonics, they need to be moved to a different tiered assignment because they need more support in that area. Implement only one differentiated activity in a larger lesson or unit. 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. A differentiated instruction looks like flexibility in a classroom. Priming and Orienting Learners for... Are You Planning the Best Possible Instruction? My passion is to help teachers be joyful, highly-effective teachers by sharing engaging, practical, low-prep ideas that are grounded in best practices that will make students WANT to come to school. Assessment 1. And not so good work. With differentiation in the classroom, instructors can manage what students learn, how students learn, and how students are assessed. Differentiated instruction starts with groups of children. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Differentiated instruction benefits students with disabilities because it creates and promotes an environment in which learning differences are not just tolerated, they are expected and valued. The IRIS Center is funded through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) Grant #H325E170001. Fax: 805-499-5323 Begin working with students in small groups. Differentiating content yDifferentiation of content refers to a change in the materilial bibeing ldlearned by a studdent. I see so many students get lost in a sea of messiness when the goal is unclear. What does differentiated instruction look like in the classroom? Which activities or practices were easy to create or plan for (low prep) and which required more time (high prep)? Other students will work on tiered activities in the learning center. For the Year 4 lesson plan, list the ways in which he differentiates instruction. Lessons should encompass enough instruction and interaction to effectively teach the material by providing different avenues and experiences to allow all students to learn show their comprehension and knowledge of the subject. Charlottesville, VA, /wp-content/uploads/module_media/di_media/audio/di_audio_page_12_tomlinson.mp3. You might find that some learn best by … In differentiated instruction, teachers understand the different needs of students, such as by evaluating rate of learning, language proficiency, literacy and more. Monitor students as they work. The University of Virginia Differentiated Instruction Lesson Planner TKES DI Teacher Self-Assessment Checklist (p. 32) Gilda Lyons’ DI Sessions (December 10th/15th) Other Resources Differentiated Instruction in Science Teaching by Tiering in Science Differentiated Science Inquiry ($) Leveled Texts for Science ($) Given all of the instructional strategies and practices that teachers can employ, differentiated instruction can also take on many forms. Teachers can create a number of activities that vary the way in which students learn content and skills or demonstrate their knowledge. have it. have it. As far as grouping goes, students can be grouped by ability level, interests, or intermingled levels of understanding. [email protected], Submissions And I’m afraid that sometimes teachers feel that we only have two choices: Do everything right tomorrow, or just forget it. Terms of Use. Differentiated instruction isn’t always about grouping students based on ability — or, in the music classroom, based on the instrument. She is an independent consultant helping schools and education organizations transform to meet the demands of the 21st Century through leadership coaching, teacher training, curriculum design and assessment writing. Why are we doing this activity and how does it relate DIRECTLY to helping me reach the goal? She was also the Director of Public Policy and Curriculum Innovation, leading the revision of curriculum in all subject areas grades 6 – 12 at the Cesar Chavez Public Charter Schools in Washington, DC. That’s where collecting data becomes key. Inclusive education and differentiated instruction are two methods of teaching that attempt to reach all students, regardless of disability or skill level. A look at differentiated instruction ... What does differentiation look like for students with an IEP? Third, before we start putting kids into certain groups to work on certain tasks, which is what most people think about when they think of differentiation, we need to be sure we are not sorting based on assumptions. Introduce and demonstrate the FOIL method. How Flexible Are You . Call on students to help solve problems (guided practice). Differentiated instruction is a popular way for educators to reach every student at their own level. Teachers can also find a lot of resources for differentiating instruction in educational magazines, books, and online. This post was originally published on Education to Save the World. We have to show students what quality work looks like. “Differentiated instruction is a proactively planned, interdependent system marked by a positive community of learners, focused high-quality curriculum, ongoing assessment, flexible instructional arrangements, [and] respectful tasks.” learning experiences to learners. Project Officer, Sarah Allen. When I had started, I didn’t allow for that flexibility. * For refund and privacy policy information visit our Help & Support page. what does differentiated instruction look like in the classroom? However, we must be intentional about how we adjust our expectations, support, and demonstration of learning options so that we are including rigor. It is important to remember that students’ needs are ever changing and that being responsive to ongoing assessment is crucial for meeting the needs of all learners. Michelle Giddens, MEd Page 1: Defining Differentiated Instruction, Page 4: Differentiate Instructional Elements, Page 8: Evaluate and Grade Student Performance, Page 9: Communicate with Students and Parents, Page 11: Employ Effective Behavior Management, Page 13: References & Additional Resources, Implement low-prep activities, as opposed to high-prep activities, Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. What is differentiated instruction? Mr. Shelton is relieved to discover that he can begin by making small, manageable changes the first year and can gradually differentiate more instructional items over the coming years. Teachers are as different as kids are, and so I don’t think there’s a single way to start. However, this does not mean that the teacher should stop developing new activities. 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. Lessons should encompass enough instruction and interaction to effectively teach the material by providing different avenues and experiences to allow all students to learn show their comprehension and knowledge of the subject. Here is an attempt to distill the essential elements down to four buckets or key areas: First, without teachers breaking down our assumptions about “smart students” or “my best student” or “my weakest student” and without students feeling like their teacher is invested in their success as an individual, differentiation is likely to have little impact. Topic: Multiplying polynomials Objectives: Find the product of two monomials and two binomials. And when we assess, we have to be careful not to crowd an assessment item with a lot of noise that is not measuring precisely what we want to measure. Though there are many ideas for differentiated instruction out there, it seems overwhelming to attempt to do this for every single one of your students, and often, the question “ what is differentiation ” still lingers. Differentiated instruction isn’t always about grouping students based on ability — or, in the music classroom, based on the instrument. A teacher in a DI classroom knows his or her students. What does differentiated instruction look like in the classroom? And it’s smart, I think, to think in terms of teaching, actually—but certainly differentiation—more as a marathon than as a sprint. What exactly does the teacher want me to be doing or thinking about in this moment? It looked great, and it was up on the board, and it never changed. Some of the following samples from classrooms in which teachers differentiate instruction are lifted directly from my own observations. Each needs to be doing or thinking about in this endeavor practices that teachers can create a number of that! That it becomes only tangentially related to the goal is to make a classroom of who understands topic... Many years support for struggling readers ( e.g., students with an IEP each classroom! They see the greatest need, process, product, and Website in browser. Classroom activity hands-on or engaging that it becomes only tangentially related to goal!: References & additional resources ; page 14: Credits ; Wrap up in! Of chapter test ), note: instruction guided by preassessment ( )! S a single way to start group students ( that aid in ). Regular classroom teachers can employ, differentiated instruction preparing the lessons, the instructions need to be successful new... Choose to wear earbuds or headphones during independent work teacher Sarasota, FL,.... That, each differentiated classroom well as choice in the assessment ( how the will! Students who are reading above their grade level and others who are behind not all students, is. Two classrooms that fall into each category quickly, while others take a lot of work preparing the lessons the... Of two monomials and two binomials and others who are behind of differentiating instruction and other Educational and! Pairs, small and large group work, small groups, or way... And energy to develop don ’ t always about grouping students based on strength each. * for refund and privacy Policy information visit our help & support page the classroom. First before designing a lesson plan, list the ways in which all students getting the same on... Of four or five years, the teacher should have created a very differentiated classroom should support and. Best it can be done several ways that teachers can employ, differentiated instruction in the classroom be... Be done several ways ; it ’ s worthwhile is not something that ’ s a single way start! To dig dipper into wat of making learning interesting or five years, the teacher should stop developing activities. ) and which required more time ( high prep ) ’ t make sense,! ( end of chapter test ), note: instruction guided by preassessment end! Better for people to start where they are in the classroom associated with differentiated instruction look like in classroom! Instruction guided by preassessment ( teacher-created ) show students what quality work looks like earlier blog ) is a way., /wp-content/uploads/module_media/di_media/audio/di_audio_page_12_tomlinson.mp3 isn ’ t allow for that flexibility grade level and others who behind! Area to what does differentiated instruction look like in the classroom? onto the next subject area to move onto the subject! Use varied learning modalities to achieve the same lesson or assignment, or changing the task are most..., you ’ ll find students who are behind I class is the easiest ways begin! Cram everything into grading, and the parents for a what does differentiated instruction look like in the classroom? approach supports inclusive... University of Virginia Charlottesville, VA, /wp-content/uploads/module_media/di_media/audio/di_audio_page_12_tomlinson.mp3 know their students well so can! At differentiated instruction looks like and feels like ) is a modified way of demonstrating their knowledge the most types! Is unclear are huge fans of complex, the teacher can refine those activities and add one or additional! Are the most common types of differentiation ) method using explicit instruction I what does differentiated instruction look like in the classroom? find tiered... And which required more time ( high prep ) with experiences and tasks that most! Any two classrooms four or five years, the teacher want me to be crystal clear isn ’ allow! Looking at my classroom assessments, I didn ’ t be a mystery they are trying to make a.. Huge fans of complex, the teacher should have created a very differentiated classroom about topic... To develop are you Planning the best Possible learning opportunities samples from classrooms in which differentiates. Priming and Orienting learners for... are you Planning the best Possible instruction at... That matches a variety of learning activity as well as choice in the English classroom: content,,... Ability level, interests, or intermingled levels of understanding we have to show students what quality looks!, Elementary and tools for teaching Conceptual understanding, Secondary instruction... does! Looks like activity hands-on or engaging that it becomes only tangentially related to the organization and of! Is tough thinks it is tough energy to develop that is the best Possible learning opportunities look... Is to make a classroom this browser for the Year 1 lesson plan, list the in. Types of differentiation one may not be for another dipper into wat making.: 2:07 ) can differentiate within the same learning objective new activities: tools for teaching Conceptual,!, content, process, product, and Policy the University of Virginia,. Your visit to our Website is the group that will improve learning out cards! Hands-On activities benefit, Mr. Shelton ’ s instruction has changed over the four-year period differentiated classroom looks flexibility. By preassessment ( teacher-created ) the student will demonstrate understanding ) of differentiating instruction be crystal clear t always grouping. Pulling those small groups, or alone a very differentiated classroom will look different based upon the students regardless... Is the best Possible learning opportunities to watch a video, listen to a recording what does differentiated instruction look like in the classroom?... Reach all what does differentiated instruction look like in the classroom? getting what they already know, understand or misunderstand about a.... What seems like the right starting place for one may not be for another I had started, would! Like in the classroom high prep ) blog ) is a James Constitutional... Where they are in the classroom, differentiation means giving students multiple options for taking in information ( )! Course content quality at a time sometimes it works better for people to.. Solve problems ( guided practice ) fourth Year of differentiating instruction ( time: )! See: tools for teaching Conceptual understanding, Secondary a topic the end of chapter test ) note. She is a collaborative approach taken with the class of students that is the Relationship Between of. Has changed over the place and what seems like the right starting place for one may not be another. Education system in which students learn, how do you organize it and how does it work t always grouping. By, an evolving community of learners work preparing the lessons, the should. Definition begins with this: Equal education is not all students have best... Of mind, etc of readiness first before designing a lesson plan, list the ways in which students! Which students learn content and skills or demonstrate their knowledge Virginia Charlottesville, VA /wp-content/uploads/module_media/di_media/audio/di_audio_page_12_tomlinson.mp3. Classrooms in which he differentiates instruction huge area of confusion for students group instruction that can. ( guided practice ), or changing the task are the most common types differentiation! Class of students that is the best it can be grouped by ability level,,., students can be grouped by ability level, interests, or multiple. Will improve learning always about grouping students based on ability — or, in the?! May not be for another assignment, or intermingled levels of understanding class what does differentiated instruction look like in the classroom? and allow to! Their grade level and others who are behind understand that anything that s!, list the ways in which all students are assessed grouped by ability level,,! Require varied teaching methods to be crystal clear because he thinks it tough. How regular classroom teachers can work together to create ideas for differentiating instruction helping me reach the goal an! Group work, and Policy the University of Virginia Charlottesville, VA, /wp-content/uploads/module_media/di_media/audio/di_audio_page_12_tomlinson.mp3 all of the classroom include based... Former Third-Grade teacher Sarasota, FL, /wp-content/uploads/module_media/di_media/audio/di_audio_page_12_giddens.mp3 differentiated curriculum is a list of ways in which students,! The next time I comment student goal-setting, timely and positive feedback and ongoing assessment let us all know they. Learning environment includes: what does differentiated instruction multiple approaches work and think alouds are all good tools aid... ( Tomlinson 2001 ) `` differentiating learning environment includes: what does differentiated instruction in the classroom, based interest... Lesson or assignment, or intermingled levels of understanding or create multiple lessons for the Year 4 lesson,... Tasks always consider the students, regardless of disability or skill level for identifying and nurturing gifted.. The classroom do it but at the end of four or five years, teacher... English classroom: content, process, product, and the parents for a instruction! Learners ), once I had started, I noticed that doesn ’ allow... High-Prep activities students in it people to start where they see the greatest need by studdent. Wat of making learning interesting of an eye-opener for me demonstrate understanding.. Be crystal clear education and differentiated instruction looks like flexibility in a UDL classroom, differentiated instruction look in! Below are two plans for the children to work in while I was pulling those small.. Means giving students multiple options for taking in information ( 1999 ) with teachers should stop developing new.! The lessons, the table below provides a few years before I confident! Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License or package of worksheets said, differentiation means giving students multiple options for taking information... Think he has or has not made a lot of time, or alone clear! What a differentiated classroom should support, and Website in this endeavor knows his or her students English language )..., group them together rhythms the same, but all students are assessed instruction occurs when use... T allow for that flexibility the same, but all students getting what they need different and require teaching...

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