Differentiated Instruction is based on standards. It is, in reality, a way of thinking and not a list of pre-planned strategies.
How to Enact Differentiated Instruction Learning?
According to Carol Ann Tomlinson, an American author and educator, there are four known ways through which teachers can differentiate instruction. Namely, they are-Content, Process, Product, and Learning Environment.
To ensure that all students pursue similar objectives, learning methods like differentiated instruction must be based on a standard.
First, the teachers should include tests designed to locate certain deficiencies, i.e., diagnostic testing and learning inventories. Individual students must be provided with baseline goals. It helps to identify the tactics needed to help each student achieve their goals and objectives.
The Ways to Enact Differentiated Learning in Details
The content should encompass the standards of learning set by the school board or state education department. But some students may be completely unfamiliar with some of the lessons, and others may have partial knowledge. A third group may already be a master in it even before the lesson starts.
Teachers then could differentiate the content by designing activities for groups of students according to the levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy (classification of levels of intellectual behavior from lower to higher thinking skills).
Bloom mentioned six levels: remembering, understanding, applying, analyzing, evaluating, and creating.
Students, unfamiliar with a lesson; should be instructed to complete tasks on the lower levels like remembering and understanding.
Students with a basic understanding can analyze the content, and students with high levels of mastery will be able to complete tasks both in the areas of evaluating and creating.
- Match vocabulary words to definitions.
- Read a passage and answer related questions.
- Think of a situation that happened to a character in the story and think of a different outcome.
- Differentiate fact from opinion.
- Create a PowerPoint presentation that summarizes the lesson.
Every student has a preferred style of learning. Successful differentiation involves delivering study materials that suit each style- whether it is visual or auditory or kinesthetic or through words.
This process-based method also showcases that not all students require the same amount of support from the teacher. Students can choose to work in small groups or work individually.
The one-on-one interaction may benefit some students. Other students can progress well all by themselves.
- Textbooks for visual and word learners
- Audiobooks for auditory learners
- Interactive assignments for kinesthetic learners
What the student creates at the end of the lesson is known as the product. It will demonstrate their mastery of the content that they have learned so far.
It can be determined in the form of tests, projects or reports, or other activities. The students could be assigned activities that allow them to showcase the mastery of an educational concept in a way that they find suitable, based on their learning style.
- Write a book report on a book you read recently
- Visual learners can create a graphic presentation of the story
- Auditory learners present an oral report of the assignment
- Kinesthetic learners present a diorama that illustrates the story.
Both psychological and physical elements are important when it comes to optimal learning. The key to achieving this is a flexible classroom.
The classroom features various types of furniture and arrangements that are designed to support both individual and group assignments.
On a psychological level, teachers should create a safe, welcoming, and encouraging environment for learning.
- Pair students into reading groups to discuss the assignment.
- Allow students to read individually on certain occasions.
- The classroom should be a quiet space with no distractions.