Differentiated Instruction with an Example Lesson Plan

This video by the Teaching Channel provides a quick 12 minute description about Differentiated Instruction that anyone can understand, regardless of their area of expertise. Differentiated instruction is at the core of my teaching philosophy.

Some tips:

In order to differentiate you must assess. If you don’t assess, you will not know how to differentiate your instruction because you won’t know the levels your students are at.

Assessment is continuous and pre-assessment is vital in order to group students.

Exit slips and class discussions can let you know if any students are struggling or excelling. These are examples of post-assessment.

TIERED INSTRUCTION is key! Tiered instruction involves teaching the same, global lesson for about 15 minutes (approximately) and then providing different levels of assignments. Students will be put in a particular level based on their pre-assessments and exit slip results. One way to do this is to teach a lesson, give each of the three groups an assignment or task or station to work at as the teacher circles the room, and then summarize with the group at the end of the lesson.

– Groupings can be made based on interests, learning styles or academic level. Groupings should be changed. A great tip is to color code the tiered assignments and change the color so that students are not singled out!

– Scaffolding is also important. Group discussions where students can scaffold off of each other’s answers are beneficial for all students.

It is important to note that:

– Sometimes students can all complete the same thing. Group instruction is not bad. Variation is needed, however.

– It is impossible to incorporate 800 differentiated techniques at once, just like it is impossible to work on 800 goals or data collections at the same time. Start small. I’d recommend trying to do this once a week at the beginning of your career. FURTHERMORE, DO NOT MAKE INDIVIDUAL PLANS FOR EACH STUDENT. GOOD TEACHING STRATEGIES ARE GOOD TEACHING STRATEGIES! 

My Example of Differentiated Lesson Plan Example with Tiers!