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Differentiated Instruction Strategies & Examples

Differentiated Instruction in Practice

Changing your teaching style will take planning and practice. With determination, consistency, and the right resources, successfully implementing differentiation in the classroom is possible for any teacher.

When creating lesson plans, keep in mind each student's learning style, and remember that you can differentiate based on student readiness, interest, and learning profile. Some students will be working individually, and some will be grouped based on their shared interest. Others will be grouped based on their level of understanding.

For example, let's say you are teaching a lesson on photosynthesis, and you decide to differentiate the lesson plan based on student interest. To prepare, you would create a list of activities for students to choose from. You can instruct them to work in groups, individually, or make it their choice.

Here is a sample of the types of activities to include:

  • Plan and act out a 3-5 minute skit that explains the process of photosynthesis
  • Draw a diagram of the process of photosynthesis and include a short description of each step
  • Create a song about photosynthesis that details the steps
  • Write a short story (creative or literal) that follows the process of photosynthesis

By varying the types of activities in the lesson, students can find the one that speaks to their interests and talents. Students are likely to be more engaged and perform better if they have the freedom to choose a project they will enjoy.

To see the development of each student and the effectiveness of the teaching style, include frequent formative assessments in your planning and adjust lesson content and activities according to the results of the assessment.

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