It should be noted that this presentation is only intended to be a brief overview of this encompassing topic. We’re thrilled to announce the launch of the all new EdWeek.org. If the basic assignment itself is far too easy for an advanced learner, having a chance to answer an additional complex question is not an adequate challenge. Let's take a look at them! ©2020 Editorial Projects in Education, Inc. Not all students are alike. Succeeding With Differentiation. Simply lowering our expectations for student achievement is problematic, too. As Carol Ann Tomlinson has said, differentiation means giving students multiple options for taking in information (1999). Not to mention that it is very hard to juggle homeschooling my own children and designing professional learning for those I serve. One would think this practice of publicly ranking the intellectual haves and have-nots died out a while ago. Differentiation is not a magic wand that will make a single teacher in a classroom generate better test scores out of a greater quantity of students with less support and fewer colleagues. It is not an even trade for a classroom assistant. Each group has a point. Given the expectation that each student needed to have a different reading assignment, for example, it didn’t take long for teachers to become exhausted. From there, the seating arrangement was a snaking hierarchy with the highest-performing students in the back row. Differentiated instruction is not a traditional approach where a) the con-tent is selected, b) an instructional process is employed, c) an assessment is given, and d) students who struggle in this approach are specialized and referred for testing and often more restrictive services. Through differentiated instruction subject matter can also be more comprehensible for English Language Learners and as well as those students with special needs through the use of different activities. Page 12: Classroom Implementation. Classroom teaching is a mix of whole-class, group and individual instruction. Differentiation is more reminiscent of a one-room-schoolhouse than of individualization. All teachers differentiate to some degree. It’s the act of modifying an activity to better suit diverse abilities. The software students are using helps teachers at Whittemore Park differentiate instruction.   In a differentiated classroom, teachers recognize that all students are different and require varied teaching methods to be successful. For more useful teaching tips and tricks, click here. Differentiated instruction is when a lesson is tailored to meet more than one academic level. Those middle-of-career teachers can attest that trying to level materials to a student who is below grade level is harder than it seems. When teachers tailor a lesson to fit students’ needs, they are differentiating instruction. Otherwise, differentiation risks becoming yet another washed-up idea. What has actually worked for building student-teacher relationships so far this year? Tomlinson describes differentiated instruction as factoring students’ individual learning styles and levels of readiness first before designing a lesson plan. However, differentiated instruction is not 30 students doing 30 different lessons – that would be impossible, unmanageable, completely ineffective and chaotic. Differentiated instruction allows students to show what they know in different ways. An international nonprofit education association, ASCD is dedicated to providing the resources that empower educators to support the success of each learner. 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. However, differentiated instruction is for everyone, not just the outliers at the top and the bottom of the class. Differentiated instruction is NOT just “tailoring the same suit of clothes.” Many teachers think they … Differentiated instruction allows us to zero in more closely on individual needs. Under this system, buzzards nearly always worked with buzzards on skills-focused tasks, while work done by cardinals was typically at “higher levels” of thought. Differentiated instruction is a blend of whole-class, group, and individual instruction. Student-Centered. I believe my colleagues and I are better teachers for having gone through differentiation training. Differentiated instruction is a wonderful strategy but with a class of ESE students it is difficult to use without an assistant to help. Differentiated Instruction. Differentiated instruction describes the variety of methods teachers use to accommodate a diverse range of learners. Tomlinson describes differentiated instruction as factoring students’ individual learning styles and levels of readiness first before designing a lesson plan. It asks teachers to know their students well so they can provide each one with experiences and tasks that will improve learning. For more useful teaching tips and tricks, click here. But as class sizes inflate and staff decrease, it becomes more difficult to perfectly identify all of students’ needs. One way to know what has been lost is through testing, but is it reasonable, Thu., January 21, 2021, 1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. In past approaches such as the banking model, students were asked to be passive learners. This approach ensures classes are focused on the needs of the students, not the needs of the teacher. Differentiated instruction, also known as differentiated learning, is a teaching philosophy that considers the needs of all students, even if they’re in the same (virtual) classroom. 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Page 12: Classroom Implementation. Differentiated instruction refers to tailoring your instruction to meet the individual needs of your students. Follow the Education Week Opinion section on Twitter. For teachers and administrators, a useful definition of differentiated instruction is “adapting content, process, or product” according to a specific student’s “readiness, interest, and learning profile.” It can be first that of as a matter of contrast–‘differences.’ Teachers need to build community as well as attend to individual needs. That model of instruction recognized that the teacher needed to work sometimes with the whole class, sometimes with small groups, and sometimes with individuals. There is not an intervention available that I will not implement for one of my 8th grade students, if needed. DigitalVision Vectors/Getty and Laura Baker/Education Week. No matter what you call it, differentiated instruction is at the heart of everything that highly effective teachers do. Students work in a variety of group configurations, as well as independently. It is not English-language-learner support. Differentiated instruction is not going away. Every student benefits from being on the teacher’s radar and from seeing evidence that the teacher understands their development and plans with their success in mind. Whether you differentiate content, products, process, or the learning environment, the use of flexible grouping and ongoing assessment makes this an effective approach to instruction. Small adjustments in a lesson may be all that’s needed to make the lesson “work” for a student in some instances, but in many others, the mismatch between learner and lesson is too great to be effectively addressed in any way other than re-crafting the lesson itself. Designing good curriculum starts with identifying the essential Understandings — the concepts, principles, or big ideas of the unit topic. Classroom teaching is a mix of whole-class, group and individual instruction. High-quality curriculum means planning with the end in mind. These variations were important both to move each student along in his or her particular understandings and skills and to build a sense of community in the group. What Is Differentiated Instruction? Submitted by Joan Risner (not verified) on April 5, 2015 - 6:18am Differentiated instruction is changing instruction and/or assignments to meet the individual needs of your students. We will modify our personal approach, the materials, and the digital environment to spur progress in learners based on the framework of the curriculum and standards. The training included a discussion about optimal seating arrangements, one of many interventions that are folded into the term “differentiation.” The idea, the trainers explained, is to situate the lower-performing students in the same area so the teacher can support them efficiently. Certainly students who have identified learning challenges are likely to need scaffolding on a fairly regular basis in order to grow academically as they should. What does differentiated instruction look like in the classroom? Differentiation is not a magic wand that will make a single teacher in a classroom generate better test scores out of a greater quantity of students with less support and fewer colleagues. Although Mr. Shelton has learned about strategies to differentiate instruction and how to prepare his students and his classroom for this type of instruction, he still feels somewhat overwhelmed by it all and does not know how to begin. Differentiating instruction isn’t easy, but teachers and professional learning facilitators can work together to overcome the obstacles. It begins with clearly defining where we want students to go before thinking about how we want them to get there. Students with the lowest grades sat in the front row beside his desk. It also becomes harder for harried teachers to provide the necessary support for students who are learning at well above or below grade level. But while differentiated instruction is the perfect solution for some, it may not be for others. A hallmark of an effective differentiated classroom, by contrast, is the use of flexible grouping, which accommodates students who are strong in some areas and weaker in others. It is therefore crucial that the faculty and administration discuss and agree on what differentiation is going to look like in their building, with their staff, and their resources. Modern teachers will try our best to differentiate as the technical craftspeople we are. Differentiated instruction is not a single Differentiated instruction is not really a new concept; it has been with us for a very long time in the guise of ‘mixed-ability teaching'. Differentiated instruction does not change WHAT is taught; it changes HOW it is taught. Student-Centered. Differentiation should be responsive instruction, not mechanical instruction. instruction is tailored based on individual differences, engaging students where they are, rather than where they are expected to be, according to a prescribed curriculum. Understandings that are meaningful, intriguing, and thought provoking allow students to s… The qualities that made for a good teacher then are just as true today, even as the vocabulary we use has evolved: knowing students on a social-emotional level; communicating with the parents; assigning work at the level of students’ performance and responding to changes in performance; giving tailored, specific feedback; and generating and modifying daily materials. At times, whole-class instruction is important and effective. We can’t expect our students to all be on the same level, so why would we design our lessons that way? Differentiated instruction is NOT "individualized instruction." Hardworking teachers have always recognized the diverse needs of students and adjusted their instruction to account for them. ET, The pandemic has disrupted lives and schooling for nearly a year—and some in the education space—and beyond—worry about lost learning. ... where their individuality is not simply accepted but celebrated; where their differences are not hidden, but rather used to expand learning in the class. A framework for giving students choice in demonstrating their understanding of course content. Video 8.5.1. Differentiation is a way of teaching; it’s not a program or package of worksheets. Differentiated Instruction. August 23, 2018 ©iStock/MachineHeadz. Chad Towarnicki is an 8th grade English/language arts teacher in Ambler, Pa. Differentiated instruction is a very popular, not to mention broad, topic in today’s educational arena. 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. Teachers can differentiate content, process, and/or product for students (Tomlinson, 1999). We can’t expect our students to all be on the same level, so why would we design our lessons that way? ©2017 by ASCD. What do we want them to Know, Understand, and be able to Do (KUD) as a result of the learning experience? When some teachers think of differentiating instruction, they imagine having to create a different lesson for every student in the room. The COVID-19 pandemic, combined with the nation’s mental health and equity concerns, has accelerated the shift in the accountability landscape. Decades ago, in an attempt to honor students' learning differences, educators experimented with what was called "individualized instruction." Here's what they said. In the era of one-room schoolhouses, a single teacher needed to engage students of a wide age range. In past approaches such as the banking model, students were asked to be passive learners. Nor should we fool ourselves into thinking it can cure all that ails education. The most powerful differentiation is based on pre-assessment and ongoing assessment of student progress toward key goals. However, differentiated instruction does not only fit elementary students but every student from different levels as well. Differentiating instruction isn’t easy, but teachers and professional learning facilitators can work together to overcome the obstacles. approach that helps educators tailor their teaching so that all students Differentiation is not supposed to equal remediation, however. It can work well in general education classes that include students with learning and thinking differences. Differentiated instruction is changing instruction and/or assignments to meet the individual needs of your students. it is teaching with student variance in mind. Sign up to get the latest Education Week Opinion in your email inbox.A version of this article appeared in the November 27, 2019 edition of Education Week as What Differentiated Instruction Is Not. What does differentiated instruction look like in the classroom? Differentiated instruction is when a lesson is tailored to meet more than one academic level. Differentiated instruction is a blend of whole-class, group, and individual instruction. In this 2014 photo, 6th graders Willyum Oliver and Michael James (from left) discuss a math performance task during class at Whittemore Park Middle School in Conway, S.C.. Differentiated instruction is not a single strategy but rather a framework that teachers can use to implement a variety of strategies, many of which are evidence-based. 'Trust Us' Isn't Enough, Distance Learning 'Has Been OK, I Guess': Students Share About This Year's Experiences. Differentiated instruction does not change WHAT is taught; it changes HOW it is taught. The teacher uses a variety of instructional strategies to help target instruction to students’ needs. Attend this online summit to ask questions about how COVID-19 has affected achievement, instruction, assessment, and engagement in math. Mr. Shelton learns that differentiated instruction is an approach whereby teachers adjust their curriculum and instruction to maximize the learning of all students: average learners, English language learners, struggling students, students with learning disabilities, and gifted and talented students. Differentiated instruction allows all students to access the same classroom curriculum by providing entry points, learning tasks, and outcomes that are tailored to students’ needs (Hall, Strangman, & Meyer, 2003). That was my belief until four years ago when I attended a multi-day professional development workshop where my middle school colleagues and I were introduced to differentiated instruction. Differentiation means tailoring instruction to meet individual needs. Teachers do it all the time, whether they realize it or not. The standards represent grade-level achievement, which is supposed to be the aim. Differentiated instruction only uses pre-assessments to find out what students know and to help guide instruction. ... where their individuality is not simply accepted but celebrated; where their differences are not hidden, but rather used to expand learning in the class. In my 8th grade, English/language arts inclusion class, to further the parallel, abilities often range from grades 6 through 10. Compared with teachers who offer a single approach to learning, teachers who differentiate instruction have to be more active leaders. Differentiated instruction is a framework for teachers to use to adjust their instruction and curriculum based on student’s abilities and learning needs. Differentiated instruction, also known as differentiated learning, is a teaching philosophy that considers the needs of all students, even if they’re in the same (virtual) classroom. As we move beyond test scores to a more holistic picture of students and school, Wed., January 13, 2021, 2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. This content is provided by our sponsor. A teacher, who I otherwise loved, seated his class based on the students’ marking-period grades. I was in high school in 2000, among the first cohort of 21st-century learners. Whether you differentiate content, products, process, or the learning environment, the use of flexible grouping and ongoing assessment makes this an effective approach to instruction. And, student behavior is considerably more focused and productive. If students are to remember more than their rung on an ability ladder, teachers must do the hard work of providing each student with the scaffolds that support their engagement and help them build their skills. High-quality curriculum means planning with the end in mind. Fear of returning to uncertainty about “control of student behavior” is a major obstacle for many teachers in establishing a flexible classroom. What differentiated instruction means. Differentiation should be responsive instruction, not mechanical instruction. Many teachers think they are differentiating instruction when they let students volunteer to answer questions, grade some students a little harder or easier on an assignment in response to the students’ perceived ability and effort, or let students read or do homework if they finish a class assignment early. ET. What do we want them to Know, Understand, and be able to Do (KUD) as a result of the learning experience? But while differentiated instruction is the perfect solution for some, it may not be for others. Effectively differentiated classrooms include purposeful student movement and sometimes purposeful student talking, but they are not disorderly or undisciplined. What is Differentiated Instruction? Whether teachers differentiate content, process, products, or the learning environment, the use of ongoing assessment and flexible grouping makes this a successful approach to instruction. During COVID-19, our conversations focus on the learning loss of students. Why is differentiated instruction important? Students work in a variety of group configurations, as well as independently. They simply observed the teacher’s instruction. Carol Ann Tomlinson is a leader in the area of differentiated learning and professor of educational leadership, foundations, and policy at the University of Virginia. You may be surprised how easy it is to incorporate into your classrooms. Differentiated instruction only uses pre-assessments to find out what students know and to help guide instruction. It is not an IEP. All rights reserved. It begins with clearly defining where we want students to go before thinking about how we want them to get there. Frank also uses tiered curriculum to differentiate instruction in his classroom. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff. Differentiated instruction, the tailoring of educational experiences to meet individual learner needs, is nothing new. However, differentiated instruction does not only fit elementary students but every student from different levels as well. Differentiated Instruction. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. approach that helps educators tailor their teaching so that all students Differentiated instruction describes the variety of methods teachers use to accommodate a diverse range of learners. Succeeding With Differentiation. ’ marking-period grades one of the one-room schoolhouse model attempt to honor students ' differences! Variety of group configurations, as well as independently feedback on our new site to sure. It is very hard to juggle homeschooling my own children and designing professional learning facilitators work! Lesson to fit students ’ needs, they are differentiating instruction: ’. It also becomes harder for harried teachers to provide the necessary support for students ( Tomlinson, ). Asked to be passive learners will improve learning teacher in Ambler, Pa doing. Are definitely some pros and cons of differentiated instruction include: 1 your classrooms passive learners it asks to. Not supposed to equal remediation, however to instruction that incorporates a variety of instructional strategies help. And, student behavior is considerably more focused and productive understanding of course content a classroom assistant frightening. 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