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Tuesday Teaching Tips: Differentiated Instruction

One of the biggest challenges I’ve faced as a teacher is working out how I can best cater for all the different types of students who may be in my…

Differentiated Instruction

One of the biggest challenges I’ve faced as a teacher is working out how I can best cater for all the different types of students who may be in my class. This includes students with varying learning styles, ability levels, emotional and social needs, races or genders. And from your recent responses to my ‘teaching challenges giveaway’, it also seems that many of you are faced with this same challenge.

I’ve been hunting around on the internet for some practical videos that show how schools have used differentiated instruction to cater for the various needs and abilities of students. To me, differentiated instruction can be described as attempting to tailor the curriculum/instruction to meet the needs of my students so they have the best opportunity to learn.

The video I have for you this week shows how a school took a holistic approach to helping those students who may have not grasped a particular concept. They have labelled their approach as ‘reteach and enrich’.

To summarise, this approach includes:

1. Setting specific objective/s for the week;

2. At the conclusion of teaching the objective/s conduct a formative assessment;

3. Based on the results students are categorised as either mastering or not mastering the concept;

4. Divide the students into the two groups: reteach or enrich; and

5. For the following week the whole school participates in ‘reteach and enrich’ sessions for 30 minutes each day.

There’s a lot to like about what this school is doing to help those students who are struggling to learn a concept, but also to extend students who are capable.

I really like the way that they are taking a whole school approach. They have not ‘dumped’ this responsibility solely on individual teachers. The teachers are working collaboratively in planning, assessing, reteaching and enriching.

It’s also worth clicking through to Edutopia to read through the comments on this video. The Principal of the school explains a bit more about what they’re doing to make this work. It sounds like they have provided extra specialist staff who are trained to assist classroom teachers with either reteaching or enriching. They also provide professional development and other resources to help their teachers know how to differentiate their instruction across all content areas.

I’d love to know what you think of this approach and the video. If you have any good tips of what’s worked for you with differentiating instruction then please leave your comments below.

I hope you enjoy the video!

Can’t see the video, watch it here.

You can find all archived Tuesday Teaching Tips videos here.

 

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