Differentiation is teaching students based on their abilities and interests. It is “based on the belief that student learn in many different ways” (Smith & Throne, 2009). One of our jobs as teachers is to try to meet the learning needs of all of our students. When teachers use differentiation they are taking full advantage of every student’s ability to learn (Subban, 2006). We are working to meet every student’s learning potential.
One of the main ideas behind differentiation is to use flexible grouping (Tomlinson, 2001). The previous model of grouping students was not with flexible grouping. With flexible grouping students can move around at their own pace. We use flexible reading groups and meet periodically about various students and move them around in groups. It works out very well for all of the students involved.
Technologies that provide flexible learning and self-pacing would be effective in differentiating instruction. Technology can provide immediate feedback on student performance (Smith & Throne, 2009). Rather than students waiting for a teacher to grade assessments, many programs provide immediate feedback on students’ performance. Technology can be used to support curriculum in the classroom.
Differentiation in the classroom is an important topic in education. The reading this week has been inspirational in getting me to start thinking about ways to differentiate in my classroom. The obstacles that I am dealing with are having a class of 24 students and having a very difficult class behavior wise. If I can find ways around these obstacles, I would like to use technology and other tools to differentiate my instruction more effectively.
Smith, Grace E., and Stephanie Throne. Differentiating Instruction with
Technology in Middle School Classrooms. Eugene, Or.: International
Society for Technology in Education, 2009. Print.
Subban, Pearl. “Differentiated Instruction: A Research Basis.” International Education
Journal 7.7 (2006): 935-47. Print.
Tomlinson, Carol A. How to Differentiate Instruction in Mixed-ability
Classrooms. 2nd ed. Alexandria, Va.: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 2001. Print.