Meeting The Needs Of All Students
The first word that stuck with me when I began my career in 2007 was differentiation. To me, this word means that because every person in the world is different, every person in the world learns differently and thus all assignments and lessons may look different from student to student. Since all students are held to the same Common Core Standards and will inevitably take the same state assessment, it is vital that teachers use different approaches with different children in order to give them the fair and proper education that they deserve.
The term differentiated instruction is not only for students with disabilities. In my case, and in many other ICT classrooms, teachers use differentiated instruction to challenge those students who enter the classroom exceeding standards and expectations as well as to meet the needs of students who are not yet meeting those standards in a traditionally measurable way.
Differentiated Instruction can look very different for every different circumstance. For instance, a teacher would be differentiating by giving a child extra time to complete a task or by providing a student with a more or less complex text to read within a non-fiction reading unit. I have come to realize that differentiated instruction is a way for teachers to meet students where they are and to move them as far along as they possibly can within the school year.
As a teacher it may seem overwhelming to think that each student may need an individualized or differentiated lesson plan, however it is simply the only way for all students to achieve and reach their goals and potential.
When I embarked on the 2013-2014 school year, it was clear that my key to survival would be differentiated instruction. Now the challenge was to figure out the best way to approach Jonathon!