What Is Differentiated Instruction?

Differentiation means tailoring instruction to meet individual needs. Whether teachers differentiate content, process, products, or the learning environment, the use of ongoing assessment and flexible grouping makes this a successful approach to instruction.

Examples of differentiating content at the elementary level include the following:

  1. Using reading materials at varying readability levels;
  2. Putting text materials on tape;
  3. Using spelling or vocabulary lists at readiness levels of students;
  4. Presenting ideas through both auditory and visual means;
  5. Using reading buddies; and
  6. Meeting with small groups to re-teach an idea or skill for struggling learners, or to extend the thinking or skills of advanced learners.

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