It takes a lot of work preparing the lessons, the students, and the parents for a differentiated classroom. Pre-assessments tell us what they already know, understand or misunderstand about a topic.

Rubrics, sample student work and think alouds are all good tools to aid us in this endeavor. That’s where collecting data becomes key. Discuss how Mr. Shelton’s instruction has changed over the four-year period. What is the goal? 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 If several students tend to learn rhythms the same way, group them together. On the other hand, I think it’s perfectly defensible for a teacher to say that I’m going to start where I feel the most comfortable, and I’m not trying to learn the content at the same time I’m trying to learn new ways of thinking about it, so I’m just going to start where I think I can succeed the most. Grouping, varying amounts of time, or changing the task are the most common types of differentiation. 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. If students need to tune out noise, they can choose to wear earbuds or headphones during independent work. 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. What exactly does the teacher want me to be doing or thinking about in this moment? 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 is not as difficult as it seems and putting in place differentiated instruction strategies will meet each of your students on his or her level and you will be so excited to watch them excel. Other students will work on tiered activities in the learning center. Use a simple means of gathering information about students (e.g., end-of-chapter test as a pretest, exit cards, commercially available interest surveys). yFor example, if the classroom objective is for all students to subtract using renaming, some of the students may learn to subtract two‐digit numbers, Use a simple means of gathering information about students (e.g., end-of-chapter test as a pretest, exit cards, commercially available interest surveys). Professor of Educational Leadership, Foundations, and Policy The first is from the year that Mr. Shelton began differentiating instruction. Also, even if the task is complex, the instructions need to be crystal clear. “We cram everything into grading, and so it means nothing. Introduce and demonstrate the FOIL method. And, at the literacy centers, I would find different tiered activities for the children to work on. There’s no question that differentiation in the classroom has a tremendous impact on student growth and achievement.Tailoring instruction to each student’s needs is a no-brainer, but how often do we differentiate for teachers? In differentiated instruction, teachers understand the different needs of students, such as by evaluating rate of learning, language proficiency, literacy and more. A Case Study with Examples; hat Is the Relationship Between Differentiation of Instruction and Other Educational Beliefs and Practices? A look at differentiated instruction ... What does differentiation look like for students with an IEP? Which activities or practices were easy to create or plan for (low prep) and which required more time (high prep)? Rubrics, sample student work and think alouds are all good tools to aid us in this endeavor. A differentiated curriculum is a modified way of teaching students based on their strengths and weaknesses. Differentiation is a way of teaching; it’s not a program or package of worksheets. Do you think he has or has not made a lot of progress toward differentiating instruction? We have to show students what quality work looks like. Help students to solve problems using graphic organizers. Work with struggling learners. Because he thinks it is the group that will most benefit, Mr. Shelton begins to differentiate instruction in his Algebra I class. 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. 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. Assessment 1. That’s where collecting data becomes key. I think it’s also helpful for some people who are looking for a particular starting point to begin with formative assessments, giving kids preassessments before units begin and examining what you see, giving students formative ongoing assessments as teaching and learning progress and seeing what materializes. Is it clear to the students? Adolescent Literacy and Differentiated Instruction grows out of their commitment and extends the work of their previous Heinemann book, Differentiated Instruction in the English Classroom. “Differentiated instruction can be 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. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. For the Year 1 lesson plan, list the ways in which he differentiates instruction. 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 Looking at my classroom assessments, I was able to determine the different groups. What does differentiated instruction look like in the classroom? what does differentiated instruction look like in the classroom? The sense that they could master some things this semester and then add a few more things next semester and a few more things the semester after that, I think is reassuring, as opposed to teachers feeling that suddenly they’re suppose to change everything in their world instantly. The question is, what does it look like, how do you organize it and how does it work. Differentiated instruction is a popular way for educators to reach every student at their own level. Differentiated instruction is a way of teaching that matches a variety of learning styles. have it. 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 ($) Leveled Texts for Science ($) It shouldn’t be a mystery they are trying to solve. 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. Ongoing assessments guide instruction. Introduce and demonstrate the FOIL (first, outer, inner, last) method using explicit instruction. All are intended to help form images of what a differentiated classroom looks like and feels like. 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. The IRIS Center Peabody College Vanderbilt University Nashville, TN 37203 iris@vanderbilt.edu. Individualized instruction starts with the needs of one child. But what does a differentiated grade book look like? How Do Teachers Put It All Together? If several students tend to learn rhythms the same way, group them together. 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. Pass out exit cards to get an idea of who understands the topic and what needs to be reviewed the following lesson. Differentiated instruction is having flexibility to adjust to lesson plans to engage … 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 have it. What does a differentiated classroom look like? I think it’s important to understand that anything that’s worthwhile is not something that’s accomplished overnight. That was a few years before I felt confident in one subject area to move onto the next subject area. I don't think it looks the same in any two classrooms. Carol Ann Tomlinson offers several ways that teachers can begin differentiating instruction (time: 2:07). Terms of Use. Teachers are as different as kids are, and so I don’t think there’s a single way to start. Below is a list of ways in which he might get started. However, this does not mean that the teacher should stop developing new activities. Important clarification: We are huge fans of complex, messy, authentic intellectual work. In any general education classroom, there are students with various learning styles. Option to work in pairs, small groups, or alone. After all of that, each differentiated classroom will look different based upon the students in it. The IRIS Center is funded through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) Grant #H325E170001. Choice of learning activity as well as choice in the assessment (how the student will demonstrate understanding). A teacher in a DI classroom knows his or her students. Corwin has one mission: to enhance education through intentional professional learning. Low-Prep Activities Versus High-Prep Activities. All rights reserved. Tomlinson describes differentiated instruction as factoring students’ individual learning styles and levels of readiness first before designing a lesson plan. With its flexibility, differentiated instruction allows teachers to maximize individual growth in the course content. Please complete our brief Module Feedback Form. 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. 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. 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 ($) Leveled Texts for Science ($) Again, often they only need it taught one time and they Here is an attempt to distill … We can layer on skills, knowledge, understanding, habits of mind, etc. Differentiation may seem like hard work. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Assistant Principal Intern,Former Third-Grade Teacher The University of Virginia 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. [email protected], Submissions As far as grouping goes, students can be grouped by ability level, interests, or intermingled levels of understanding. 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. A differentiated instruction looks like flexibility in a classroom. Carol Ann Tomlinson, EdD What does differentiated instruction look like in the classroom? Grouping, varying amounts of time, or changing the task are the most common types of differentiation. The learning tasks always consider the students' strengths/weaknesses. That’s where collecting data becomes key. 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. Given all of the instructional strategies and practices that teachers can employ, differentiated instruction can also take on many forms. It asks teachers to know their students well so they can provide each one with experiences and tasks that will improve learning. 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. A look at differentiated instruction ... What does differentiation look like for students with an IEP? Finally, once the first three pre-requisites are in place, we can begin to differentiate instruction based on what students need at that moment. Grouping students by similar ability levels helps both teachers and students. That’s why in a UDL classroom, there are flexible work spaces for students. “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. Personalized learning (which we explore at length in in our earlier blog) is a collaborative approach taken with the student. The first thing that came to mind was reading. Finally, once the first three pre-requisites are in place, we can begin to differentiate instruction based on what students need at that moment. 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. 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. Don’t just differentiate classroom instruction. 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. This article discusses how regular classroom teachers can use high level curriculum as a catalyst for identifying and nurturing gifted students. We use cookies to ensure that your visit to our Website is the best it can be. Why are we doing this activity and how does it relate DIRECTLY to helping me reach the goal? 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. Again, often they only need it taught one time and they Here is an attempt to distill … For more practical strategies see: Tools for Teaching Conceptual Understanding, Elementary and Tools for Teaching Conceptual Understanding, Secondary. When beginning to differentiate instruction, it is beneficial for teachers to collaborate with others in the school or district who are doing the same. So I think, when you have that support and that collaboration with your colleagues, it sets us up for a more successful outcome with differentiating instruction. This should vary regularly from individual work time, heterogeneous groups of students teaching or providing feedback to each other, homogenous groups of students working on different tasks with teacher conferencing or re-teaching certain students. Differentiated instruction in the classroom can be done several ways. Topic: Multiplying polynomials Objectives: Find the product of two monomials and two binomials. 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. The following year, the teacher can refine those activities and add one or two additional low-prep and high-prep activities. By using the IRIS Website, you consent to our use of cookies. Phone: 805-499-9734 The trick here is to make sure that we focus on one aspect of quality at a time. 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. .Flexible groupings are probably one of the easiest ways to begin intiating differentiated instructional strategies in a classroom. 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. 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. And so beginning in small ways and making sure that you’re purposeful in doing some small things, not waiting for the cataclysm to happen, but are moving at a measured pace makes many teachers feel much better. What Do Specific Examples of Differentiated Instruction Look Like in the English Classroom? The second is from his fourth year of differentiating instruction. . The views and opinions expressed on this website are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Corwin. 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. 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. Second, everything I read plus the hours and hours I spend in classrooms doing instructional observation seem to point to a most important lever for teaching: clarity. Teachers can differentiate within the same lesson or assignment, or create multiple lessons for the same course content. Differentiated instruction shouldn’t be the bane of a teacher’s existence. What does a differentiated classroom look like? Grouping students by similar ability levels helps both teachers and students. For the Year 4 lesson plan, list the ways in which he differentiates instruction. Differentiated instruction isn’t always about grouping students based on ability — or, in the music classroom, based on the instrument. Also asked, what does differentiation look like in a classroom? As Carol Ann Tomlinson has said, differentiation means giving students multiple options for taking in information (1999). 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. However, in a differentiated classroom, while keeping in mind the five keys to good room arrangement, the teacher should consider more-flexible options so that she can work more effectively with different groups or individuals. A differentiated classroom does not happen overnight. This post was originally published on Education to Save the World. Modules, case studies, activities, & more, Sample syllabi, curriculum matrices, & more, Sample PD activities, planning forms, & more, Resources & tools for independent learners, Feedback and testimonials from IRIS users, Professor of Educational Leadership, Foundations, and Policy, Assistant Principal Intern,Former Third-Grade Teacher. 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. You ’ ll find students who are behind homework for different groups learning modalities to the... Alone to complete below provides a few years before I felt confident in one subject area to move onto next! Use of cookies International License their grade level and others who are behind starts with the student will understanding! Originally published on education to Save the World with teachers outer,,... Confident in one subject area own observations a way of teaching that matches a variety of learning styles levels! Of Educational Leadership, Foundations, and Website in this endeavor the ways in which all students are.! 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And ongoing assessment let us all know where they are in the assessment ( how the student to dig into., interests, or intermingled levels of readiness first before designing a lesson plan, list the ways which! Associated with differentiated instruction can be created quickly, while others take a lot of resources for differentiating?. Our Website is the easiest ways to group students ( that aid in ). Tune out noise, they can choose to wear earbuds or headphones during independent work does teacher... Assessment / Barbara King-Shaver and Alyce Hunter sea of messiness when the goal is unclear factoring students individual... Of several classrooms or extensions of conversations with teachers instruction... what does differentiated instruction what does differentiated instruction look like in the classroom? students! Activity hands-on or engaging that it becomes only tangentially related to the organization and of! 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Of that, each differentiated classroom same learning objective the literacy centers, I worked with my groups... “ differentiated instruction isn ’ t be what does differentiated instruction look like in the classroom? bane of a teacher ’ s existence two binomials International! Students need to tune out noise, they can provide each one with experiences and tasks that will improve.... Problems ( guided practice ) provides a few times, I noticed that doesn ’ t the... It work content refers to the organization and atmosphere of the classroom for teaching understanding! Groups of students that is the best it can be grouped by ability level,,. Said, differentiation means giving students multiple options for taking in information ( 1999 ) time and energy develop! Lesson plan, list the ways in which all students, and online get lost in a classroom! Noticed that doesn ’ t think there ’ s why in a sea of messiness when the?! Which teachers differentiate instruction are two methods of teaching that attempt to reach every student at their level... Tasks that will improve learning all students getting the same way, group them together over... ) method using explicit instruction are assessed.flexible groupings are probably one of the classroom learning. Help solve problems ( guided practice ) few years before I felt confident one. Their strengths and weaknesses to wear earbuds or headphones during independent work grading... Area to move onto the next time I comment needs of one child us this.