Why Differentiation?


Now that we’ve learned a bit about differentiation and some of the strategies that work really well for gifted learners, here’s your chance to process your thinking.  What are some points you’re still thinking about?  What action do you want to take right away?  What big ideas have you captured this morning?  Need help getting started?  Use some of the sentence stems to help get your started.  You can also use this blog to ask additional questions you may still have about differentiation.

  • ___ is significant due to . . .
  • It’s important to note . . .  since . . .
  • ___ is especially relevant due to . . .
  • ___ is the same as/is different from . . .
  • Although ___ still/yet . . .




42 responses »

  1. Although differentiation is not a new topic to me, I am getting a better grasp on how to make this work for my students.

  2. Differentiation is significant due to the variety of students in our classroom. Every child can be successful and we need to ensure that we give them what they need to succeed.

  3. Although I really like differentiation I feel like you have to have a plan in place and structure. I really believe in the self assessment idea. I think that holding students accountable for their learning and having goals is very important in a gifted classroom.

  4. Peer and Self-Assessment are significant because they allow our students to be more involved and take ownership of the learning process. It is my goal to create a supportive learning environment so that my students feel comfortable assessing one another and discussing their own successes and failures.

  5. Self-assessment is significant due to children needing to be aware of how they are doing on their own. There are many ways for them to self assess themselves. I want to be able to give my kindergartners more freedom when it comes to self assessing themselves through graphic organizers. I also want to incorporate research throughout the year in my centers.

  6. I really like the idea of student developed centers this allows all students to use their creativity in learning.

  7. Differentiation is not the same as individualizing instruction.Be flexible an allow students to produce projects based on their interests, learning profiles and readiness.

  8. Differentiation is important to address the needs of Gifted Learners due to their unique characteristics. Teachers have to be respectful and meet learners at their readiness level and challenge them so they can meaningfully acquire knowledge and skills.

  9. I think differentiation is significant due to the fact that students have various ways of learning and to fully reach their highest potential, we must take into consideration their interests and learning styles.

  10. In regards to differentiation, it is very important to differentiate more than one aspect – in terms of the content, process, and product. I get lost in that sometimes…although I differentiate with instruction, I don’t always with tests and such. When it comes down to it, there is no differentiation on the STAAR tests, so I always felt that they needed to, in the end, be able to do just the same as all the other students (such as being able to perform and demonstrate mastery on a written test).

  11. I feel like differentiation is one of the most important things that we can learn as teachers. It applies across grades, across subjects, and can be used in the gifted, monolingual, and bilingual classes to help every child. It takes lots of preparation, but will be worth the effort in the long run.

  12. It is important to remember this is not a new idea for every student. This is creating a different avenue for each child to express what they know or do not know. Making sure that we just don’t differentiate the content but the product as well. Questioning and peer assessment is a huge way to differentiate for all your students. Peer assessment gives the student more ownership of their work and being able to not only convince you as the teacher but their peers as well. Questioning wait time is most crucial after the student has given their answer.

  13. Although I have always thought that I was providing great differentiation in the classroom through small group instruction, I have learned that it takes more than just rephrasing and reteaching in order to properly differentiate. Not only do I need to make the instruction meaningful, but I also have to ensure that the students are engaged, interested, value the learning, and are challenged to stretch their minds in order to complete the task. Each student needs to feel: challenged, brought up to current content based knowledge, interested, and catered to their learner profile. Questioning plays an important role in acquiring the information needed in order to provide meaningful differentiation.

  14. Differentiation Instruction isn’t a new topic to me however I have learned how to implement different strategies for Kindergarten. For example sending home a getting to know you form for the parents to fill out would significantly help me create lessons geared to students interests.

  15. It is important for students to learn how to self-assess in order to create and reflect upon their work. Therefore, we as teachers must differentiate instruction in order to provide students with the opportunities to build work that they feel reflects their thinking and learning.

  16. Student developed centers is an amazing idea. It would be fun to implement this later in the year in kinder. Can’t wait!

  17. I loved all the new insight on what differentiation is and how to be flexible in grouping students, how to have them as producers, how open-ended critical thinking questions are so important, having learning centers and research centers for students and having students assess themselves.

  18. Identifying what each child is passionate about will help make the year more successful. Allowing students to have choice in the process of learning and their final product is also important.

  19. It’s important to note the use of checklist rubrics since differentiated instruction strives for individual success and using those rubrics in stations for example will teach the students about accountability and help in the development of their intellectual independence by allowing them to self assess their work that was done in stations.

  20. Differentiation is significant due the to different array of students that are in each classroom. It should be based on students readiness, interests, and learning profile. to help then excel.

  21. It’s important to note that even if you don’t have a variety of levels in your class, differentiation is always needed to target individual needs. It’s best beneficial for students to be grouped in flexible ways according to their readiness, interests and learning profiles to best achieve learning.

  22. I feel that I have learned a lot of student self-assessment. I have learned about it’s true definition and how I can use to benefit the learning process and allow students to have more ownership of their learning.

  23. The big idea I learned for differentiated instruction is through assessments. Teachers can tell that even if its the same test, students may see a different test . Some students might see that was an easy and good test while other might see it as complicated and had not a complete understanding of the lesson.

  24. Understanding the types of questions we ask students during classroom instruction is significant to me. I would write Big Ideas and an Essential Question before each new science unit, but during the lesson the questions I asked were based on student’s conversations and connections. In retrospect, my goal is to write purposeful questions ahead of time to guide my instruction for this upcoming school year.

  25. When differentiating, one must always keep in mind our student’s learning styles, culture and environmental preferences in order to maximize their readiness.

  26. Self assessment is closely linked to critical thinking, which is something we practiced in our classroom last year. I plan to help students gain more ownership of their learning by helping to improve their critical thinking skills and by having my students complete regular self-assessments.

  27. I’ve learned that there are numerous approaches to differentiation. It takes a flexible teacher who is willing to take the time to build meaningful relationships with his/her students. What particularly stood out to me was the importance of student self-assessment. I plan on implementing this into our routine to help my students set goals and monitor their progress throughout the year.

  28. Differentiation is significant because it maximizes the growth of each student in the classroom by meeting their educational goals. Students develop their educational goals for learning and the teacher develops the lesson based on those goals by differentiating the centers and projects being taught.

  29. I really like the idea of using rubrics in centers. It’s an easy/efficient way to make kids accountable and reflect on their learning.

  30. Differentiation allows students to become successful by helping them move from meaningful learning at their current ability level and into the realm of self-assessment to help them plan their learning and intellectual growth.

  31. Student-assessment is beneficial for students in that it guides them to know what their end goal is. It can also help with reflecting what they have done.

  32. Understanding the benefits of differentiation in student progress allows a first year teacher to be more comfortable with the necessity of differentiation in the classroom. Allowing students to be accountable for their work, propels an instructor’s approach to lesson design.

  33. Differentiated Instruction is especially relevant due to the need to tap into authentic learning in the GT classroom setting. There should not be a cookie cutting approach to teaching concepts in the learning environment.

  34. It is important to note differentiated instruction is not individualized instruction however, it does maximize individual success.

  35. Student self-assessments: students should be giving to other students and receiving from other students feedback on the quality of their work. One of the best ways to learn is to try to teach someone else. If one had trouble explaining, it is often because one is not as clear as one needs to be about what one is explaining.

  36. It’s important to note . that differentiation is not the same as individualizing instruction since differentiation means that teachers differentiate content, process or product. The teacher differentiate what they teach and how students learn the content. The teacher provides vary opportunities for students to process and express their individual learning style and interests.

  37. Some big ideas I grabbed from this is student developed centers. I feel this would, in a sense, allow sts to teach sts. Also, sts setting goals. I feel this is very important for sts to do so they can be accountable throughout the school year. Reading about self-assessments was interesting and goes along with goal setting.

  38. Differentiation should be seen in every class for each student to reach their highest potential. In the GT classroom differentiation allows the flexibility for students to use their own strengths to achieve their ultimate goals,.

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