• The Differentiated Classroom 
            
             In a differentiated classroom, teachers begin where students are, not at the front of a curriculum guide. They accept and build upon the premise that learners differ in important ways. In differentiated classrooms, teachers ensure that a student competes against himself more than he competes against other students. Also, teachers provide specific ways for each individual student to learn as deeply as possible and as quickly as possible, without assuming one student’s road map for learning is identical to anyone else’s. These teachers believe, I believe, that students should be held to high standards. We work diligently to ensure that struggling, advanced and in-between students think and work harder than they meant to; achieve more than they thought they could; and come to believe that learning involves effort, risk and personal triumph.
     
                In action, teachers in differentiated classrooms, begin with a clear and solid sense of what constitutes powerful curriculum and engaging instruction. Then they ask what it will take to modify that instruction so that each learner comes away with understandings and skills that offer guidance to the next phase of learning. Within my classroom, within any classroom, students are at all different levels. However, a basic set of skills are taught to all learners. It is my job, to modify how I teach those skills so that each individual progresses and is challenged. Essentially, I accept, embrace and plan for the fact that all learners bring many commonalities to schools, but that learners also bring essential differences that make them individuals. I can allow for this reality in many ways to make my classroom a good fit for each individual.
               
    Please do not hesitate to email or call me with questions about the differentiated classroom approach.  

     

     

    Elements of Differentiation

     

    n      Teacher focuses on the essentials

    n      Teacher attends to student differences

    n      Assessment and Instruction are inseparable

    n      Teacher modifies content, process and products

    n      All students participate in respectful work

    n      Teacher/Student collaborate in learning

    n      Teacher balances group an individual norms

    n      Teacher/Student work together flexibly

     

     

    Learning Environments That Support Differentiated Instruction

     

    n      Teacher appreciates each child as an individual

    n      Teacher remembers to teach whole children

    n      Teacher continues to develop expertise

    n      Teacher links students to ideas

    n      Teacher strives for joyful learning

    n      Teacher offers high expectations

    n      Teacher helps students make their own sense of ideas

    n      Teacher shares teaching with students

    n      Teacher clearly strives for student independence

    n      Teacher uses positive energy and humor

    n      “discipline” is more overt than covert