Saturday, August 27, 2011

How Do You Differentiate Instruction in Your Classroom???

Well, I have survived the first two days of school. Cute little kiddos have been welcomed into their new home away from home. I was worried about getting everything ready by Open House but as always it came together.

Now for the true reason for this post. I am currently working towards my master's degree and have an action research project.  The topic is Differentiating Literacy Instruction in Kindergarten. I know that all you wonderful teachers out there have ideas and strategies that 'wow'. Could you please share with me what works in your classroom? I will be forever grateful!!!!

Have a great school year and thanks for making a difference in the lives of children!!!


  1. Hey! It's hard to really stop and think of how we do this because we really do it all day...we have to when we teach kindergarten!! :) I think the biggest way I differentiate is probably like most - my small flexible groups in reading and math. I am really able to teach to what the kids need when they are separated into groups. I also do a lot of conferencing thanks to Daily 5. This allows me to have a good understanding of where each kid is and where they need to go. I also use "Clubs" to help with motivation for the kids - Name Clubs (I can write my name correctly) or The ABC Club...etc... So if kiddos are in the Name Club, they don't have to practice writing their name correctly - they can move on to something else during that time. I hope this helps a little!! :)

  2. I believe kindergarten teachers do this naturally. One thing that I have realized is that the term differentiated instruction has taken on different meanings for different people. My definition is that activities are provided for varying abilities and backgrounds of learners. This may be the same activity or different activities. Let's take guided reading as an example. Some kids are focusing on where the page numbers are, some kids are learning the words, some kids are focusing on following left to right, some kids are focusing on their shoe =) tee hee! Just kidding, but you all know what I mean!!!! I believe providing for different learning styles is differentiating instruction. If I am working in small groups, one group of kids might be working on identifying letters, another group might focus on letter sounds, and yet another group might focus on sight words. I believe one of the most important factors is knowing what your students know, what you want them to know and providing activities that will get them there. For some of my special ed. students, I don't require them to do as many activities or I might not have them do EVERYTHING that the other students are expected to do. For example, coloring the shapes on a worksheet. The goal of the worksheet is to learn about the shapes. Coloring is a fine motor and work habit skill which are add on skills. For the special ed student, I would narrow the focus on the skill of shapes. They would not have to color the shapes because they is the secondary skill for that activity. I would save the fine motor skill activity for a different time. I hope that makes sense. Of course, I keep this information on the down low or you get those students who say, "That's not fair!" I am very subtle about it. These are my thoughts and I think this is a long enough post!! =) I hope your action research paper goes well and please be sure to share your gleanings!