Friday, January 28, 2011
Differentiation - how do you plan for it?
It's important for teachers to know the following about their students:
Student readiness - this is the thing that I find most challenging: if a student can complete a task effortlessly, he or she may not be learning. If the work is too difficult, the student will end up being frustrated and also not learning. The best learning takes place when a task is a little too difficult for a student's current level of knowledge, understanding or skill, but only when there is a support system that helps students to bridge the gap.
Interest - there are many ways to link what has to be learned with the students' own interests. However the best teachers also help students to develop new interests.
Learning style - working in collaboration with others, or working alone, for example.
How can teachers adapt the curriculum to meet the needs of their students:
Content - teachers need to keep constant WHAT all students need to learn, but need to modify HOW students access the content. For example this might mean varying the reading level of materials. Sometimes teachers need to vary WHAT the students are learning, depending on their readiness.
Process - teachers can vary the activities that students do which lead them to their knowledge, understanding and skills.
Products - teachers can vary what students can do to show their knowledge, understanding and skills.
Photo Credit: Crayon Tips by Darren Hester