Lesson 1: What is Differentiated Instruction?

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Lesson 1: What is Differentiated Instruction?

Differentiated instruction is the process through which teachers enhance learning by matching student characteristics to instruction and assessment. Differentiation allows all students to access the same classroom curriculum by providing entry points, learning tasks, and outcomes that are tailored to students' needs. When students are provided different options for learning they take more responsibility for their success and failure.

When students are more engaged in the lessons that are being taught it is easier to have a fluid learning environment with a lower amount of discipline problems. Differentiation is conducive to promoting good classroom management.

There are certain elements that form the foundation for differentiated instruction. They are as follows,

  1. Ongoing formative assessment: Teachers continually assess and identify strengths and areas for improvement in order to meet students needs
  2. Recognition of diverse learners: Students have varying levels of experience reading, writing, and solving problems. It is important to understand these differences and use assessment in the plan for instructional design
  3. Group Work: Students collaborating in pairs and small groups to promote desired learning outcomes
  4. Problem Solving: Shifting the focus toward encouraging students to explore ideas and expand their knowledge beyond the understanding of key concepts
  5. Choice: Offering students options in their reading and writing experiences in order to maximize student learning

Watch the video below to gain a better understanding of how differentiation relates to the classroom then answer the corresponding question.

Differentiating Instruction in the Classroom [1]

Based on your introduction to the material in the mini-course. What would you expect to see and hear in a differentiated classroom setting?

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Lesson 2: Content, Process, and product

Lesson 3: High and Low Prep Strategies

Lesson 4: Learning Menus

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Robb, L. (2010). What Is Differentiated Instruction? | Scholastic.com. Retrieved October 23, 2016, from http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/article/what-differentiated-instruction

New Teacher Survival Guide: Differentiating Instruction. (n.d.). Retrieved December 14, 2016, from https://www.teachingchannel.org/videos/differentiating-instruction

Hall, T., Vue, G., Strangman, N., & Meyer, A. (2003). Differentiated instruction and implications for UDL implementation. Wakefield, MA: National Center on Accessing the General Curriculum. (Links updated 2014). Retrieved December 14, 2016, from http://aem.cast.org/about/publications/2003/ncac-differentiated-instruction-udl.htm