Monday, October 11, 2010

Differentiate

As I continue my research on the question, "How do we build our confidence as teachers?", I discover many helpful tools that aid us to become more confident in our teaching abilities. In order to be confident in ourselves, we must be able to meet the needs of each and every learner in our classroom. Having the belief in ourselves that we have the capability to help every student in our class succeed, will allow us to build up our confidence in a positive way. We can do this by developing an effective way to differentiate the content, process, product and learning environment in which students perform the best in. 
Content- what the student learns or how will the student get access to the information
Process- activities in which students are engaged in, in order to make sense of or master the content
Product- culminating projects that ask the student to rehearse, apply, and extend what he or she has learned in a unit
Learning Environment- the way the classroom works and feels
These are the four main components that must be differentiated to create success for all types of learners in your classroom. 


Importance of Differentiated Instruction

Differentiated Instruction is teaching with the child in mind rather than adopting a standardized approach to teaching and learning that seems to presume that all students of a given age are at the exact same place academically. Direct Instruction is responsive teaching. Differentiated Instruction gives students a range of ways to access curriculum, instruction and assessment. It engages students to interact and participate in the classroom in a richer way. It is based on the assumption that all students differ in their learning styles, strengths, needs and abilities and that classroom activities should be adapted to meet these differences.


So now the question is.... How do we as teachers effectively differentiate the content, process, product, and learning environment in our classroom? 
I began my research on google and found several helpful sites that can lead teachers in the right direction when they begin to differentiate. 


I came across a pdf file which talks about important strategies of differentiation and their success rates. There are numerous examples and ideas of how to change up the content, process, product and learning environment. 
Click here to view the the pdf file.


Another site that I enjoyed, listed articles on differentiated instruction. I think it is important to read about other people's success's and failures with differentiated instruction. You can build off of people's ideas and avoid making mistakes others previously have made. 
Click here to view this site.


Overall, I think there are so many helpful websites! Along with there being plenty of beneficial websites, there also are several books that address how to differentiate instruction. An example of a very resourceful book is Differentiated Instructional Strategies: One size doesn't fit all by Gayle H. Gregory and Carolyn M. Chapman. This book has over 50 planning models, matrixes, rubrics, checklists, and questionnaires in order to help teachers make the right decisions about instruction and assessment on an individual basis. 



2 comments:

  1. Even though differentiated instruction may not always be the easiest task to accomplish, it is absolutely necessary in the classroom. By differentiating your instruction, you are giving every student a change at learn new information/material.
    I agree that being successful at differentiating instructions can make one a better, more confident teacher!

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  2. I agree that it is extremely important to differentiate instruction because are students are not all the same. Clearly, differentiation can be a challenging task to accomplish when are students can be such a diverse group of learners, but it is important that we provide all our students the opportunity to access and engage with the material in a way meaningful to their learning. The pdf file you attached had a lot of really helpful ideas for different types of differentiation strategies.I liked that they grouped them my the multiple intelligences! This is a great resource for teachers!

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