are searching for a workable solution to the difficulties
of providing instruction for a diverse population while also
meeting the demands of state standards. You may have students
at the secondary level who are reading and performing at only
the fourth grade level, in addition to large numbers of students
with exceptional needs in the inclusion setting. What is a
teacher to do? Try differentiated instruction.
instruction provides an opportunity to plan curriculum and
instruction that meets the needs of academically diverse learners
by honoring each student’s learning needs and maximizing
each student’s learning capacity. (Tomlinson, 1999).
are five key concepts for differentiated instruction:
CONTENT: What is taught; accessibility to the information
and ideas that matter.
texts at varying reading levels
organizers and anticipation guides for note-taking
examples and illustrations based on student interests
How students come to understand and “own” the
knowledge, skills, and understanding.
the pacing of student work
activities that lead to a variety of perspectives on topics
critical content in the text
and tier large assignments and projects
PRODUCT: Student demonstration of what he or she has come to know,
understand, and be able to do.
bookmarked Internet sites at different levels of complexity
rubrics for success based on grade level expectations and
individual student learning needs
students to use a range of presentation tools and products
AFFECT: Student linking of thought and feeling in the classroom.
students develop multiple perspectives on topics and issues
equitable participation of each student
for choice and individuality
ENVIRONMENT: Classroom function and feeling.
of furniture for individual, small group and whole group
of supplies and materials
and management techniques for various arrangements and tasks
of the subject/content area, employing differentiated instruction
is one way for teachers to be responsive to his or her students’
academic, social, emotional needs and level of learning readiness,
and thereby empowering the students to learn and have multiple
and varied opportunities for practice.
C. A. (1999). The Differentiated Classroom: Responding
to the needs of all learners. ASCD.
& Whittaker (2006). Planning Differentiated
Multiculural Instruction for Secondary Inclusive Classrooms.
Teaching Exceptional Children 38(3).12-20.
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