Differentiation: The teacher acquires and uses specific knowledge about students’ culture, individual intellectual and social development and uses that knowledge to adjust their practice by employing strategies that advance student learning.
- Demonstrating knowledge of students.
- Demonstrating flexibility and responsiveness in lesson adjustments.
- Demonstrating flexibility and responsiveness in support to students.
To me this standard means that we as teachers need to keep in mind that all of our students come with different educational needs that are based on what the student needs specifically.
Reading Subjects Matter, Second Edition: Exceeding Standards through Powerful Content-Area Reading by Daniels and Zemelman I have learned that:
- Before reading draws on prior experience and the knowledge that he student already has. (Daniels and Zemelman 88)
- During reading teachers question students to see where the lesson will go. (Daniels and Zemelman 88)
- After reading teachers have students share new ideas they have learned. (Daniels and Zemelman 89)
By instructing individuals in such a way it helps build the program standard of differentiation because it uses student information to progress forward using student feedback and knowledge to move the lesson in the way the students can have a lesson based off of their needs.
What this standard teaches me is that if you listen to where the students are at you can meet them at their level to help them reach the information. This can be even done through giving information through many different formats. For example, if you are teaching via read alouds and your students are not getting what you are trying to teach them, then you might try presenting the information through readers theater instead.
Teaching students with differentiation helps students learn, and gives more student the opportunity to learn.
Not to mention I have seen how successful this has been in my student teaching classroom as I work with each student on their individual needs. For example, one student I am working with was told in elementary school that he would never be able to read, knowing how that feels I felt for this student because I too was told that I would never be able to read. His one goal for the year was to have all of his sight words memorized. Therefore, each week we have been working on his sight words with using audio-books so that he can hear and see what the word looks like so that he will eventually master all of the sight words. He went from not knowing any sight words to now knowing a little over 20, and just by listening to his voice we were able to make that big of a stride.
I think another part that can be added to this is making sure that you are using strategies that are research based and collecting data as you use them to see if they are working or not. Collecting data to me is very important with this subject because I want to make sure that my students are getting all of their needs met, and I want to make sure I am working on the right things with my students for example I cannot go from sight words to novels it is a step-by-step process.