Differentiationby Victoria Neff
“If a child cannot learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn.”
Students all learn in different ways and at different paces. The need for differentiation in the classroom is always prevalent. This includes helping students get what they need to get done, using their resources that work for them. This means those children who need more instruction and more time, and those who are advanced and need more enrichment activities. It is crucial to try and accommodate all levels of learners in the classroom so that they are all included, and so that they are all reaching their own individual goals and potential.
This program is for the “gifted” students in the classroom I am in now. They travel to the middle school for half the day on Mondays. There, they do independent research projects to enrich their skills and their independence. This is a good use of their time because they get the opportunity to increase their literacy skills by reading things online in articles and picking out the information that they need on the topic.
I ask those students in my class about how they are doing in the A+B program often so that I can be more involved in the support to enrich these students. I think that it is important to give attention to every student, even the “gifted” ones, because they have potential too, it is just higher than others.
Guided Reading Level Groups
These leveled groups in my classroom are never mentioned as “levels”. They are mentioned as “groups” so that the children are not told what “level” they are on. As the teacher meets with each group and focuses on particular skills each book that is read, the students get that one on one time with the teacher. They are also reading at the level just appropriate for them, so that they are not too discouraged by a book that is too challenging, and they are also not just at a pause with a book that is too easy. This is another way differentiation is represented in the classroom.
This is a very common way guided reading is done in the classroom because it separates the students by their goals as an individual student. It gives the children a time to sit with a group who has the same goals as them, so that they can move forward and be successful. It is important for the children’s learning to have both kinds of teaching represented- whole group and small group differentiation.