When it comes to engaging all of our students, we’ve realized that students learn in different ways. Some may work best when engaged in group work, while others perform best when working on their own. If this is the case, differentiated instruction and assessment, also known as differentiated learning, is the framework we use to reach students through different avenues of learning.
The first differentiation technique changes up the physical layout of the classroom. We organize our classrooms into flexible workstations. This requires us to move furniture around to support both individual and group work. For example, we can create a teaching table where teacher-led instruction will take place. This workstation would be focused on teaching new, challenging material.
We prepare thoughtful lessons backed by data.
We create tailor-made assignments based on students’ learning goals – using differentiation strategies to shake up the end product that students turn in for assignments can also help us reach different learners.
We adjust our lesson content based on student needs. The most apparent way of differentiating the learning process is to change the type of content we use in our lessons. During a lecture discussing say, “Lady Macbeth’s” morality, we may see that certain students aren’t paying attention, or are completely lost. Therefore we switch the content up by using computer programs, tape recordings, videos or even making it an interactive lesson by having students act out scenes from the play.