Audience: PK-12 Teachers
Description: Every teacher knows that providing equal education does not mean that all students receive the same instruction, materials, attention, enhancements, and accommodations; rather, it means that all students get what they need. At the same time, every teacher will acknowledge that is easy to say and hard to do.
Differentiated instruction is the process of teaching and learning that begins with the premise that students are not alike. Ascertaining precisely how they are different from one another begins with gathering appropriate and germane data from multiple sources and methods of evaluation. Subsequently, based on their readiness, learning preferences, and interests, teachers vary their approaches and adjust curricula to provide students multiple paths to achieve the same goals or outcomes. This differentiation meets students where they are and maximizes their opportunities for success.
Participants discuss the critical factors every classroom comprises:
- Content requirements, in the form of PA Core Standards, that serve as destination points for students
- Students who are ready for learning but who differ from one another developmentally and in terms of the skills and knowledge they have acquired
They also discuss the scholarship that addresses bridging these factors through a continual reliance on assessment and other data to plot strategies, set benchmarks, and establish time lines for growth. Participants are encouraged to apply the six components of effective differentiated instruction in their own planning:
- Preparation by clarifying the Standards, student learning outcomes and appropriate teaching and learning resources
- Assessment of students’ interests and needs
- Differentiating instructional strategies based on students’ learning profiles such as, but not limited to, styles, intelligences, and social and emotional factors
- Differentiating for student interest to focus attention and increase motivation
- Differentiating for student readiness by tiering instruction
- Managing the differentiated classroom through effective organizational strategies
Finally, participants learn to respond to students’ needs by varying content, process, and product and by connecting the six components with the analysis of diagnostic, formative, and summative data. OnHand Schools consultants offer learning tips, tools, and techniques for customizing instructional delivery and guide participants in creating strategies for successful implementation in their own classrooms.