Differentiated Instruction in the Early Childhood Setting



== Why take this course? ==

  • The goal of differentiated instruction is to make certain that everyone grows in all key skills and knowledge areas, encouraging student to move on from their starting points and to become more independent learners.
  • In a differentiated classroom, the teacher closely assesses and monitors skills, knowledge levels, interests to determine effective ways for all students to learn; the teacher's lesson plan is drawn up with those various skills, levels, and interests in mind.
  • Differentiated lessons reflect the teacher's best understanding of what will best help a child to grow in understanding and skill at a given moment. That understanding evolves as the course continues, as the child develops, and as parents contribute to teachers' understanding.
  • When parents come to school and talk about their children, they share their perspectives with the teacher. The teacher views the student more broadly, specifically in relation to students of the same age and in light of developmental benchmarks. The parent, on the other hand, has a deeper sense of the student's interests, feelings, and changes over time. The combination of the wide-angle lens viewpoint of the teacher with the close up lens of the parents results in a fuller picture for everyone.

Who is this course for?

This course is for early childhood teachers who understand that teaching and learning approaches must be a good match for students look for every opportunity to know their students better. They see conversations with individuals, classroom discussions, student work, observation, and formal assessment as ways to keep gaining insight into what works for each learner. What they learn becomes a catalyst for crafting instruction in ways that help every student make the most of his or her potential and talents.

What will I learn?

== Unit Outline & Curriculum Map ==

Unit 1 objectives: Upon completion of this unit, participants will be able to

Define differentiated instruction.

  • Discuss the misconceptions related to the widely used educational term.
  • Identify what differentiated instruction is and what it is not through an activity.
  • Map out the sequence of learning units and activities to achieve the defined objectives.

Unit 2 objectives:Upon completion of this unit, participants will be able to

  • Discuss how Gardner's theory of Multiple Intelligences is related to differentiated instruction.
  • Discuss possible strategies to accommodate various learning styles.

Unit 3 objectives: Upon completion of this unit, participants will be able to

  • Identify strategies for differentiating instruction.
  • Create a lesson or activity that incorporates differentiated instruction while keeping the theory of multiple intelligences in mind.
  • Discuss their specific classroom goals for differentiated instruction.

How will I learn?

So, how do I begin?

Below are the links to the three units of this mini-course. Simply begin with unit 1 and make your way through! (At the bottom of each unit page is a section similar to this, with links to past and future units as well as this page!)

Unit 1- Understanding Differentiation: What is differentiation and why is it important?

Unit 2- Differentiation Strategies: How can you differentiate?

Unit 3- Apply to your Classroom: When and how can you create differentiated instruction?