This page sheds more light on the importance of differentiating inside a classroom including strategies to differentiate.

What is Differentiated Instruction?

According to Tomlinson (2003), it is instruction that involves proactive planning with varied approaches to what students need to learn, how they learn it and how they will show what they learn. Consequently, you are increasing the likelihood that each student will learn as much as they can.

(Tomlinson, 2010)

We can assume that each class is filled with different degrees of diversity. 
Examples of this might be:

 Gender      Age  Race
 Socioeconomic Status      Learning Style  Confident Students
 Shy Students  Religion  Culture
 ESL Students      Special Need Students  Other

Because of the vast diversity present, we need to limit a "one style" fits all instructional approach. 

Here is an example:
  • Suppose you spend a few class periods lecturing your students on photosynthesis. Next, you provide a formal assessment in order to gauge student understanding. After examining the data from your formal assessment, you recognize six students are struggling with photosynthesis. There is a high probability these six students failed to master the process of photosynthesis because they are not auditory learners. Hence, they did not respond well to the instructional method chosen, lecturing. Rather then providing a "one-size fits all" approach to instruction, your lesson and assessment on photosynthesis might have looked like this:

Differentiated Instruction and Assessments

Differentiated Instruction

Here are other examples of Differentiated Instruction:
  • New Teacher Survival Guide: Differentiating Instruction
    • This is a video illustrating a teacher new to the profession learning how to differentiate instruction with the support of Rick Wormeli, education consultant.
  • Learning Menu's
    • This is an extremely creative approach to differentiating instruction. This teacher uses the concept of menus such as appetizers, entrees and desserts in order to provide students choice over the process used to learn.

    Subpages (1): Formative Assessments