Differentiated Instruction: How to Reach All Your Students at One Time
At Child1st, we believe in meeting the needs of all the different types of learners in the classroom. While you might think it is not possible to teach your material ways that all your students understand, we are here to tell you it can be done!
We’re talking about differentiated instruction. In this type of instruction, when the teacher reaches out to individuals or small groups in the classroom, she varies her teaching style to create the best learning experience possible for every student. Differentiation is a way of teaching, not a program or a worksheet you hand out to students. It requires a teacher to really know his or her students to plan instruction based on each child’s strengths and weaknesses.
Educators can differentiate based on a student’s readiness, interest, or learning profile. Once the child’s readiness, interest, and learning profile have been assessed, the teacher can tailor the lesson based on what the student needs.
According to Edutopia , a teacher’s job is connect to content, process, and product. Content being what a student needs to learn, process being the activities in which the student engages that help him or her understand the content, and product being projects that ask a student to rehearse, apply, and extend what they have learned in any given lesson.
Another factor in differentiated instruction is environment. How a classroom works and feels can have an impact on a students’ ability to learn. For example, a classroom that has a quiet study area, as well as a space where students can collaborate.
We know it can be one of the biggest challenges as a teacher to find ways to meet the needs of many types of learners day after day, but we’re here to help. We’ve written on the topic of meeting the needs of different types of learners before and suggest incorporating different elements into lessons such as drawing, reading, writing, story, etc. to be sure you’re hitting all the strengths of the learners in your classroom.
So why is differentiation important?
Since not all students will connect the content in the same way, or use the same process for understanding the materials you are teaching, or express what he or she has learned in the same way, differentiated instruction can help all your students succeed. It allows the students the freedom and creativity to learn how they are wired to learn. When a child is able to learn in a way that makes sense to them, it makes them excited about learning and allows their brilliance to shine.
How does Child1st help you differentiate?
All of our resources are made with the goal of reaching every student in the classroom at one time. We believe in multisensory teaching and learning, and we incorporate that into every one of our products by using visuals, story, rhyming, body motions and more. We provide examples of multisensory learning activities using our Snap Words and Alphabet products here. But we don’t stop there, you can turn any lesson into a multisensory experience using our MINDmap.