They learn differently, and they learn uniquely. To effectively differentiate instruction, you must recognize that each student has a different background, a different knowledge base/readiness level, a different learning style, and different interests. Even though they are all different, the accountability for all students is the same. Furthermore, the accountability and expectations are very high. Despite a student’s background or uniqueness, the end result is always expected to be student achievement and student growth. The more often a teacher can integrate activities that individualize learning and cause students to make connections, the more successful one will be as an educator.
Differentiation may be the most challenging and rewarding part of the teaching. Differentiating instruction provides the vehicle for meeting the needs of all learners while meeting the standards of knowledge and skills identified in the standards. When aligning your instruction to the level of rigor and content of the standards while addressing varying student needs and backgrounds, much consideration has to be given to classroom environment, student learning styles, interests, levels of achievement, and cultural experiences.
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