Differentiating Instruction Characteristics

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Differentiating instruction can take on many forms, and can be used in any subject. It can be said that differentiating instruction is thinking about how teaching and lesson plans address all of the different needs of students in order for them to reach their full potential. According to Tomilson, in order to effectively differentiate to each student they need to know these three characteristics. The first is readiness which is “a student’s knowledge and skills as they pertain to academics” (Tomilson, 2003). The second characteristic that is vital to being able to differentiate instruction is the student’s learning profile. The students learning profile “is a student’s gender, culture, learning style, and intelligence preference” (Tomilson, …show more content…
Separating and creating products to fit the needs of student’s is one way that teachers can start to make the standards accessible to every student. The standards are addressed to the average student in that grade. However, they can often be both too confusing and complicated, or too simplistic for students who are below or above grade level. When teachers differentiate the K-6 science NGSS standards, they make science more enjoyable, less frustrating, and more applicable to the students. One teacher said that the “benefits is the product…the output of the students…the benefit of the level of self-esteem—the benefit is the level of involvement and engagement” (Tobin, 2014). Some suggestions on ways to differentiate products are by having products that are related to student’s tier level. Another suggestion is to use various graphic organizers, or allow the students product choices. These are all effective ways to address NGSS standards. However, products that are associated with the student’s tier level may be one of the most beneficial ways to help teach the standards. This is an effective way to help students with varying abilities to be able to meet the objectives associated with the NGSS standards. They can do this by differentiating the product that the students create to show what they have learned. If you have a child who does not like to write, having them write an essay to describe what they learned will usually result in a product that is insufficient and will provide poor assessment data, and a lack of learning, or a poor reflection of the students learning. Differentiated instruction allows for teachers to get students who are “creating higher quality products that richly reflected their learning and therefore yielded better assessment data”(Tobin, 2014). When the students are gaining a better understanding, and producing better

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