3 considerations for differentiation in the classroom

Prioritizing individual student needs and managing differentiation in the classroom isn’t an impossible task if the right strategies are in place

Differentiated classroom instruction has always been part of U.S. public education, but today’s focus on tailoring each lesson for each student can overwhelm teachers. There are, however, best-practice approaches to differentiating instruction that enable educators to provide customized learning experiences for students without creating an unmanageable burden for teachers. Here are the top three considerations for doing differentiation in the classroom right.

1. Redefine ‘differentiation’

Too often, educators are encouraged to implement a personalized approach for each individual student instead of recognizing the benefits that groups of students can enjoy from similar modifications to the curriculum. Teachers can adopt a manageable approach to differentiation in the classroom by identifying clusters of student needs and then classifying the most beneficial ways to differentiate instruction for these groups. The goal is to understand what will work for most students, while creating more than one entry point or path for individual student learning.

In designing these points of entry, teachers can cluster students by the types of needs they may have.

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