Differentiation Rationale

            We differentiated our instruction for the various learners in our classroom. We used flexible groupings in many of our lessons. Sometimes the groups were predetermined by the ability level of the students and other times students were allowed to pick their partner for activities. There were multiple extensions and enrichment activities planned in our lessons to accommodate for fast workers and students who need a little more of a challenge in tasks. Learning centers were utilized to allow different groups of students their space to work on tasks that were at their level. Multiple grouping strategies and varied tasks for the wide range of ability levels enhanced what each student got out of the lessons.

            Along with giving different ability levels different tasks, we also varied our level of questioning towards each student and gave them different amounts of scaffolding and modifications in assignments. We used various graphic organizers to help students clarify concepts and offer them different ways of demonstrating their understanding. Students learn from one another, and some students do not like to speak up and ask questions in class. By having different types of group discussions on topics, students were able to learn new ideas, clarify recently learned concepts, or review old concepts learned. It is important to always review the basics of a lesson and activate student’s prior knowledge, so all students have the chance to be on the same page with the understanding of the material. Explicitly explaining concepts and vocabulary are also important aspects to differentiating instruction, especially when teaching English Language Learners. Activating prior knowledge and building students’ background knowledge about concepts are helpful teaching strategies to differentiate instruction for your diverse students.

            Tiered levels, alternative assessments, and a lot of scaffolding help teachers challenge students and give them manageable tasks at the same time. By giving students books and assignments that meet their individual needs, you can help all students learn and grow at a manageable pace. Some students work slower than others and some students prefer to draw their responses rather than write them or say them out loud. Teachers need to be aware of the diverse needs of their students and make modifications and accommodations as needed.