What is Differentiated Instruction?
Differentiated instruction is when you, the teacher, include a number of different strategies and lesson activities to accommodate the various types of learner in your classroom. Differentiated Instructions ensures that learners at all levels with various learning styles can select an activity that is suitable for them so that learning will take place.
I know that differentiated instruction can seem overwhelming to you but here are some simple ways you can include it in your lesson plans.
Ways in which Differentiated Instructions can be included in your Lesson Plans
Differentiated instruction is oftentimes present in our lesson plans; however, the lesson objectives themselves do not reflect the differentiated instruction activities. Therefore, it is important to write lesson objectives that reflect the differentiated instruction that is present in your lesson plan.
Here are a few samples of lesson objectives that reflect differentiated instruction:
At the end of the lesson, students should be able to:
- Listen an audio of story and answer tiered questions
- Draw characters based on the description presented in the audio presentation
- Create a character sketch based on the visualization of one of character from the audio.
- Distinguish between .........in peer groups
- Create a poster based on ---------
NB: The objectives should be structured in such a way that it shows that students are given various opportunities to work at their level as well as the various learning styles are catered to.
In your list of lesson methodology you can include if you are using:
- Random Grouping
- Tiered Assignment
- Engineering and Design Process
Under content include the various variations to the content that you will share with the students. This can be divided into various tiers.
In the developmental activity you will include an outline of the differentiated instruction that you will employ when teaching the lesson. Below is an example of this
"In class the teacher will present the content in a variety of ways to appeal to students from the various types of intelligence.
The teacher will meet with students who are struggling with the content or doing the class work. This will be done after the class work is given.
The teacher will include a tiered activity for home work. This will allow students with mixed ability and interests to choose the activity they are interested in doing"
Students will be given tiered assignments so that they can choose the activity that they are able to complete.
Examples of Differentiated Learning Culminating Activities
- Random Grouping
- Tiered Activity Sheets (Menu Activities or Tic Tac Toe Worksheets)
HOW TO GET STARTED DIFFERENTIATING
1. Start Small - Try one subject, one class, or one strategy.
2. Start Where You Are – Do you already use student groupings? Do you already vary work assignments?
3. Tell Students – That they will be embarking on a new and exciting way of learning and discuss the expected behaviour, so they know what’s going on.
4. Rearrange classroom – adjust the classroom to make it conducive for pairing, grouping, and direct instruction.
5. Post Routines – So students understand when and how to move around the room.
6. Keep Parents Informed – Of the new instructional methodology, explain how they can participate, and how they will be informed of their child’s progress.