How to Differentiate Writing Instruction for Students Video

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  • 0:04 Differentiated Learning
  • 0:40 Differentiated Writing…
  • 3:35 Assistive Technology
  • 4:21 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Sharon Linde
How can teachers reach all learners during writing instruction? This lesson highlights several strategies to differentiate writing instruction and gives examples of how each is used in the classroom.

Differentiated Learning

Ms. Kay has a class full of diverse learners. Some respond better when she teaches visual lessons, and some are better getting their hands on work. Some are beginning writers, and some have skills above their grade level. Because of this, she knows to differentiate her instruction, or teach in different ways so all children in her class can learn no matter what their level.

Take writing instruction, for example. She uses several strategies of differentiation, like guided writing groups and interactive writing instruction, to make sure content is understood by all. How does this look in her day-to-day classroom? Let's take a peek.

Differentiated Writing Instruction

Ms. Kay's school uses a method of writing instruction called writer's workshop. During this hour-long time period, she follows a predictable sequence of steps with her third grade students. First she teaches content in a mini-lesson. She follows this up with independent writing and finally group share time. What strategies does she use to differentiate each of these steps?

During the mini-lesson, Ms. Kay teaches her students a specific skill related to writing, either an author's craft, like creating a story arc, or structure, like ending sentences with periods. She knows she has students who learn well when she lectures, while others do better if they can see examples. Many students are on different levels, and she needs to make sure they all understand the core concept. She could use interactive writing to show students how to do a task.

For example, today students are working on how to replace boring adjectives with juicy ones. She prepared for the lesson by writing a short passage on a piece of chart paper. Together, she and the students read through the piece and cross off 'dead' adjectives and replace them with 'lively' ones. After demonstrating a few times, she allows students to come to the front and practice with the group.

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