There is an abundance of information available about differentiated instruction but I have come to conclude that the basis on which this type of instruction is situated is that all learners have varied experiences, abilities, interests, and culture. So it is not surprising that students in any class will have different levels of readiness to learn. One of the first things to do before any instruction is to try and simply get to know the students. Take time to observe them and talk to them; find out what interests them. Teachers must be able to communicate effectively with their students and knowing the students personally will make this much easier. Tomlinson (2001) stated that it is the responsibility of the teacher to create a learning environment in which students will feel accepted, secure and respected. When students feel comfortable in this way, they may be more likely to ask questions or request help when they feel it is necessary.
It was interesting to learn about differentiated instruction for readiness, interest and learning style and how each of these can be used to differentiate the content, process and product of learning (Tomlinson, 2001). I feel more confident about addressing different cognitive levels of thinking relative to how students demonstrate their understanding. Grey and Waggoner (2002), demonstrated how to use Bloom’s Taxonomy and Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligence Theory to strategize ways in which students can demonstrate their knowledge and understanding. The table they presented in that article is a great tool. The 4MAT process of learning will also be very helpful for planning instruction (McCarthy, 2010). Coming to the end of this class I feel equipped to begin differentiating instruction with purpose!
Here is my completed mind map for differentiated instruction.
Grey, K. C., & Waggoner, J. E. (2002). Multiple intelligences meet bloom’s taxonomy. Kappa Delta Pi Record, 38(4), 184-187.
McCarthy, B. (2010, April 6). Delivering information: Step four of the 4MAT cycle. Retrieved September 23, 2015 from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pNofKVgSDbM
Tomlinson, C. A. (2001). How to differentiate instruction in mixed-ability classrooms. Alexandria, Va: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development