Differentiation refers to the wide variety of teaching techniques and overall adaptations that educators utilize to more effectively instruct a diverse group of students. Differentiation must be implemented within the classroom to ensure all student’s needs are met and promote individualized success. In order to make impactful differentiation implementations, it is essential you understand who your students are both within and outside of school as well as their general needs and strengths. Opportunities for differentiate include, but are not limited to:
Assessment: Students often prefer to express their understanding in different ways. This can include traditional (multiple choice test) and non-traditional assessment (portfolios, presentations, speeches, etc.). Incorporating a variety of these options throughout the school year, or providing students the choice of assessment is a great opportunity to differentiate in order to allow students to showcase their knowledge to the fullest extent.
Lesson steps: In addition to students variety in displaying their knowledge, they also differ in terms of their preferences when being introduced to new information. Therefore, it is encouraged to implement some of these examples of lesson step differentiation: the amount of writing required, a variety of level of challenge, stations, leveled reading, heterogeneous/homogeneous grouping (Newsela).
Overall classroom decisions: There will also be every day, small choices you can, and should, make to meet your students needs. For example, how you choose to group students, where students sit during instruction (ie. alternative seating), providing audio books for some students, and more.
Ultimately, these decisions are made specifically for students needs, so do not be scared to venture beyond what I have outlined within this post.