As teachers we can differentiate,
- The content
- The assessment tools
- The performance tasks
- The instructional strategies
To differentiate content one example would be to give choice in an assignment, this would allow the student to pick a topic that they enjoy and want to learn more about. Another example of content differentiation would be in math, some students may learn different differently; some may find the use of technology to understand volume or area better than using manipulates such as unit blocks.
The Assessment Tools
As stated to differentiate assessment tools one most important techniques is to have a blending of the formal and the informal assessment tools. As an educator I think it is important to have a variety of different assessment tools such as pre-tests, check-ups, oral exams, written exams, to aid in all students understandings.
Speaking from experience from a high school English class, our teacher allowed us to create our own projects, as long as she approved them. For one project we could choose to do our own creative project such as building a significant prop and being able to explain the significance of the prop to the class, or we could write poetry, create a picture or drawing of a scene for the novel, or write a paper. By giving the students choice it allows freedom and also creates less stress on the students.
For example, a traditional spelling test could be different for many different students. But an oral learner may benefit from spelling the words out loud rather than writing them down. A musical student may remember the words better if they were to practice singing the letters. Making sure that you foster to the multiple intelligences is a good way that can aid a teacher in differentiating strategies.
Challenges of Differentiation
I believe differentiation will be one of the most difficult things I will face in the classroom, I believe differentiation can be very time consuming, in the way that a lot of planning will have to go into every lesson. Another challenge I see is parents not liking the fact that all the students are doing different work and/or are getting assessed differently. You also must be able to get to know your students well enough to know what might interest them to help you with their multiple intelligences and in turn be able to find a way of differentiated instruction that would help them.