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Essential elements for successful differentiation include specific classroom management techniques addressing the special needs of a differentiated classroom, planned use of anchoring activities, and flexible use of time, space, and student groups.In a differentiated classroom, the management plan must include rules for working in a variety of configurations.An answer to this question lies in differentiating instruction.
It is an organized, yet flexible way of proactively adjusting teaching and learning to meet students where they are and help all students achieve maximum growth as learners (Tomlinson, 1999).
These principles direct us to select and adapt content and curricula to meet the interests, abilities, and learning styles of our students; to recognize our students’ diversity; and to encourage them to reach their full potential in mathematics. The differentiated classroom: Responding to the needs of all learners.
Tomlinson (1999) described tiered lessons as “the meat and potatoes of differentiated instruction.” A tiered lesson is a differentiation strategy that addresses a particular standard, key concept, and generalization, but allows several pathways for students to arrive at an understanding of these components based on their interests, readiness, or learning profiles. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
The movement toward inclusion has impacted classrooms by requiring teachers to respond to a broader range of academic needs.
How can we possibly reach all the students in our classrooms when they are academically diverse, have special needs, are ESL learners, or have some combination of any or all of these factors?