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A Parent’s Guide to Differentiated Instruction By: Gia Granahan ED602
Welcome to Our Classroom • Hello and welcome to our classroom! It is my pleasure to inform you that your child’s education is about to change in the most positive way possible! • This year, we are employing a teaching method throughout the Upper Levels called “Differentiated Instruction.” This type of teaching affords your child the opportunity to learn at his/her best within the classroom. • This change will bring many positive and reflective opportunities to the table in regards to your child’s learning. We wanted to make this change at the beginning of the year so that your child may benefit from the consistency and organization that this type of instruction also provides.
What is Differentiated Instruction? Differentiated Instruction is … • A teacher’s commitment to adjust the curriculum content, teaching style, methods, and student learning activities tailored to the students’ individual needs in order to meet the same, overall objective. • A method in which student learning styles, levels, and needs are defined, acknowledged, and supported within the educational environment. • Delivered through consistency, support, feedback, and reflections. Differentiated Instruction affords students the opportunities to set goals, measure motivation, and reflect on where they were compared to where they would like to see themselves in the classroom environment. • A teacher’s opportunity to vary instruction, create various forms of assessments and learning activities that support his/her students, observe student behaviors, growths, and developments throughout the year, as well as reflect on his/her best practices and their outcomes. • A successful approach to learning.
What Differentiated Instruction Looks Like in the Classroom Environment: Student-Centered: • Focused on student interest. • Affords students ownership over their learning. • Student interest is at the forefront of all activities. Supportive: • Focused on students’ diverse, individual needs. • Consistent-which yields development. • Flexible groupings afford students various outlets in which they can collaborate with peers: whole group, small group, partners, one-on-one, homogeneous & heterogeneous. Goal-Oriented: • Students set various measureable goals throughout the year to gauge development and growth. This yields reflective opportunities. • Teacher sets goals with students. This yields adjustment to content and delivery. Assessment-Based: • Formal: Graded assessments that measure students growth and development in the forms of tests, quizzes, essays, presentations, and projects. • Informal: Non-graded assessments that measure validity and on-task behaviors, such as observations, checklists, exit tickets, starters, and class discussions. Gradual: • Students work at their own pace within their preferred learning style. • Students aim to attain the same objective, but through varied outlets. • Students work progressively and collaboratively with peers and teachers to maintain consistent work ethic.
How Differentiated Instruction Works in the Classroom Environment • Please view the You Tube video on Differentiated Instruction in the Middle School classroom below to see how Differentiated Instruction works in a classroom. Enjoy http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oS45ZkIh_rA
How You Can Foster Differentiated Instruction At Home Differentiated Instruction can be fostered at home in a variety of ways: • Checking-in with your child on the activities that they engaged in throughout the school day will enhance and reinforce the learning process in the classroom. • Setting goals at home will increase your child’s likelihood of maintaining positive connotations to goal-setting in the classroom. • Working with teachers to ensure your child’s learning styles are met in the classroom will yield progress. • Talking to your child about their current and ever-changing interests will help teachers to better differentiate. • Providing your child with similar grouped activities at home will instill a sense of consistency and connection to the classroom.
A Few Last Words… • Please note that your child is about to experience learning at a new level of personal, as Differentiated Instruction is literally tailored to your child’s needs based on your child’s learning styles and personal interests. • You may feel free to contact me through my school e-mail or at my school telephone number if you have updates, suggestions, or questions in regards to your child’s learning • . • Please advise that each child learns at their own pace and on different levels than other students. Differentiated Instruction is being implemented in our classroom this year to ensure that all students are attaining the same objectives in a variety of ways, based on their own learning styles and interests, so the learning process of one student may appear differently than a learning process of another student.