Principles of Differentiation



            *When learning tasks are consistently too hard, students become anxious and frustrated. When learning tasks are consistently too easy, boredom results.  Both boredom and anxiety inhibit a student's motivation to learn and can eventually harm achievement as well.

               * Children already come to school differentiated. Students in today's classrooms represent a broad range of academic readiness, interests, learning profiles, modes of learning, and cultures.

               *To maximize the potential for each learner, educators need to meet each child at his or hers  starting point and ensure substantial growth during each school term.


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Differentiated Instruction is... Differentiated Instruction is not...
1.Assessing students before a unit of instruction to determine what they already know 1.All students in the class completing the same work for a unit/chapter
2.Adjustment of the core curriculum by content (below to above grade level), process (concrete to abstract), and product (simple to complex). 2 Limiting how and what is taught by teaching to the average student
3.Providing assignments tailored for students of different levels of achievement 3. Assigning more work at the same level to high achieving students
4. Having high expectations for ALL students 4. Focusing on student weaknesses and ignoring student strengths
5. Educational experiences which extend, replace, or supplement standard curriculum 5. Activities that all students will be able to do
6. Structuring class assignments so they require high levels of critical thinking and allow for a range of responses 6. Giving the same kind of problems or questions and expecting more
7. Students participating in respectful work 7. Creating more work-extra credit, do when done
8. Students and teachers collaborating in learning 8. Using higher standards when grading
9. Putting students in situations where they don't know the answer- often 9. Providing free-time challenge activities
10. Differing the pace of instruction 10.Using capable students as tutors
11. A blend of whole class, group, and independent learning 11. Using individualized instruction

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GOALS FOR A DIFFERENTIATED CLASSROOM                                                   
For ALL Students
*to make the curriculum richer and more meaningful
*to enhance motivation
* to remove artificial boundaries
*to develop skills in critical and creative thinking and problem solving

For ANY Students Who Have Mastered the Core Curriculum

*to meet individual needs' and to respond to individual differences
*to extend learning experiences beyond the core curriculum
*to explore multi-faceted dimensions and nuances of the content

For the Gifted

*to tailor learning experiences to the characteristics that distinguish gifted students from their more typical age-mates
*to provide complex and stimulating learning experiences for gifted students who are capable of stretching well beyond the learning abilities of others
*to provide appropriately challenging work for gifted students who can master basic skills or acquire information faster than others
*to make appropriate use of the wealth of knowledge and broader perspectives that gifted students bring to the classroom
*to explore the content in greater breadth and depth, going wider and deeper in order to accommodate specific interests of gifted students
*to help gifted students use their time productively
*to help gifted students maximize their capabilities in meaningful ways

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