In an ever-changing education landscape anticipating students needs seems like it is becoming more and more of a challenge for educators and students are coming to the classroom with more and vastly different needs than ever before. Differentiated instruction is a way of anticipating and preparing for a vastly different student needs. Almost any student could receive differentiated instruction depending on learning or physical disabilities, readiness level, and student preference when the option is available. Students with physical disabilities, for instance visually impaired, could be given a different option in terms of seating so that they could best see from wherever they were. Students who may be on a much lower readiness level for kindergarten may receive more work with pictures than words, this is also applicable for ELL students. Since kindergarten students are very active and move quite a bit for students that have a hard time sitting down and working for longer periods of time shorter segments of work can be given to allow for breaks in between.
If through formative assessments like white board writing practice, think pair share, teacher observation, etc. a student is recognized as possibly not grasping the material additional steps should be taken to ensure that the student has the adequate resources and time available to understand the material before assessment to ensure the educational gaps do not persist. If during observations of white board writing practice I notice a student is frequently getting the wrong answer during addition or subtraction I may come over and work with that student one on one. I may also pair that student up with a higher student that has a better grasp of the material for partner work. If more than one student is having difficulty grasping the material but it is less than several I would add the students to a small group that would meet with myself during centers in order allow additional time and resources to be spent mastering the material. Students might be given slightly different work or be given a choice in their work as long as it leads back to the material we are covering. No two children are exactly the same and according to McCarthy, “The teacher’s responsibility is connecting content, process, and product. Students respond to learning based on readiness, interests, and learning profile.” (2015)
Thank you for reading,
McCarthy, J. (2015, August 28). 3 Ways to Plan for Diverse Learners: What Teachers Do. Retrieved February 02, 2018, from https://www.edutopia.org/blog/differentiated-instruction-ways-to-plan-john-mccarthy