|Differentiate your Instruction Through Content, Processes, Learning Environments, and Assessments|
Carol Ann Tomlinson is a leader in the area of differentiated learning and professor of educational leadership, and she identified the fact that teachers can differentiate instruction through four ways: 1) content, 2) process, 3) product, and 4) learning environment.
In every classroom there are some students that may be completely unfamiliar with the concepts in a lesson, some students may have partial mastery, and some students may already be familiar with the content before the lesson even begins. The teacher may differentiate the content by designing activities for groups of students that cover various levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy to include: remembering, understanding, applying, analyzing, evaluating and creating. In order to completely, differentiate it is important to remember that students who are unfamiliar with a lesson may need to complete tasks on lower levels.
Examples of differentiating activities:
Each student has a preferred learning style, and successful differentiation includes delivering the material to each style: visual, auditory and kinesthetic and through words. Not all students require the same amount of support from the teacher, and students could choose to work in pairs, small groups or individually. Teachers should enhance student learning by offering support based on individual needs.
Examples of differentiating the process:
The product is what the student creates at the end of the lesson to demonstrate the mastery of the content. This can be in the form of tests, projects, reports or other activities. Teachers can assign students to complete activities that show mastery of an educational concept in a way the student prefers, based on learning style.
Examples of differentiating the end product:
The conditions for optimal learning include both physical and psychological elements. A flexible classroom layout is key, incorporating various types of furniture and arrangements to support both individual and group work. Psychologically speaking, teachers should use classroom management techniques that support a safe and supportive learning environment.
Examples of differentiating the environment: