Differentiated instruction is a teaching strategy used to provide students with different ways to receive and learn new content. This means that the teacher should adjust the curriculum to meet the needs of each diverse student and not the student modifying themselves to the curriculum. This type of instruction has been around for many years but it wasn’t until the 1980’s when differentiated instruction was used to address the needs of the entire class. Differentiated instruction was intended to be used to address the advanced learning children who were becoming bored with the content. As the years have passed differentiated instruction has been used to meet the needs of all students.
Research suggests that differentiated instruction is effective as a teaching strategy, because it attends to the needs of individual students, both struggling and proficient. The lesson plans should be effective to reach a vast area of students. Students learn in many different ways, therefor differentiated instructional approaches should vary and be adapted to each individual classroom. Differentiated instruction is rooted in on-going assessments. Without the knowledge gained through assessments, correct differentiation is not possible.
With differentiated instruction the teacher has to plan his or her lesson plans to reach different learners in the classroom. The lesson plans should be effective to reach a vast area of students. This allows the teacher to spend more of a hand’s on approach with the students. Differentiated instruction is being able to challenge the students that need to be challenged. With this type of instruction, the quality of work more than quantity is the top priority. What is meant: Say you have a student in physical education class that has mastered a skill in basketball, and then having that student keep repeating that same drill may have a reverse effect on that student. You want to advance that student on to next skill. In that same group, you have a student that has not mastered that skill of a lay-up, for that student to move on may be too much for him or her. You want the students to be productive in their task. With differentiated instruction teachers continually assess to identify students’ strengths and areas of need so they can meet students where they are and help them move forward (Robb, Laura).
Teachers in kindergarten through high school should be integrating differentiated instruction into the classroom to be able to meet the needs of all their students, because instruction consists of a teacher center, and several students grouped together, usually about six students in each group. Each day the teacher will start by doing whole group activities, on Monday the teacher will introduce the new content they will be learning for the week. Next, the teacher will give directions for each center group. Teacher will assign a group captain to help struggling student complete their task. In each center, the students will be learning the same content but each center provides the students a different way to obtain the content. The students will have practice daily on reading the story with the teacher in the teacher center. On Friday, the teacher will read the story whole group before the students has to take an assessment over the knowledge gain on the story and content. Early Elementary teachers can use Differentiated Instruction for advanced learners by using curriculum compacting. When some students have mastered the concept of place value, for