Differentiating Instruction in the Regular Classroom by Diane Heacox is an excellent guide for all teachers. DI is a method of teaching all teachers should try to adapt in the classroom since every student learns differently. This book gives you templates and step by step instructions how to implement some of the practices into the room. DI at first seems unorganized and frustrating because many students are doing various activities based on their learning style and academic ability but once you are comfortable with it then it gets easier. This technique allows all children to succeed because the teacher is modifying activities based on the students learning ability. The teacher can give the lower students basic activities that he/she knows the students can succeed yet it all be a challenge; however for the advanced children the teacher can give activities based on the same topic just more complex. Using DI is so essential because it allows all students to be challenged and motivated to learn more. Whether the students are in centers, small groups or individuals taking the various learning styles from Gardner and adding them into the activities will make your classroom a positive and exciting learning environment. Implementing DI into your classroom is a lot of work, especially, in the beginning but the teacher can save their work for the following years. All you would have to do is make small changes each year to adapt to the students. I suggest everyone read this book. The resources and advice they give you is amazing.

 

Here is a website where you can buy the book if you are interested: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Differentiating-Instruction-in-the...

 

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Replies to This Discussion

Eryn, this book sounds interesting. I think the step-by-step instructions will be very helpful for not only implementing into the classroom, but also for sparking new ideas for teachers to use.
Differentiated Instruction is something that many teachers have already been doing in their classrooms. Many published curriculum are now adding these pieces to the daily activities. If you are familiar with Math Expressions then you will know what I am talking about. As a teacher it is our job to reach our students where they are at. This is a book I have looked at and recommend it highly. If you are new to this method of teaching, start putting feelers out there for teachers to help you. Many teachers have materials and ideas that you can use in your daily instruction. There is no need to reinvent the wheel, but this book will help you if you have yet to introduce this method into your own teaching.
Eryn,
I agree that DI can be difficult at first but in the end it's definitely worth the extra work. From my experience, using DI in centers was a great success. Giving a center the same task but differentiating, allows all students to work to their own personal ability, guiding lower level learners and challenging higher level learners. Teaching is a growing process and making changes along the way is a huge part of being a great teacher. Although DI is a fairly new method of teaching, all teachers should implement it into their instruction because DI allows you to reach all your students and if your kids are successful than so are you!
This book sounds very helpful and easily applicable to the classroom. With so many levels of learners and inclusion being such a big trend, differentiated instruction is crucial for every child. I agree with how it can be very difficult to differentiate in the beginning. I feel that as I got to know my students and learned about their learning preferences, I was able to easily differentiate for each. This will definitely be a summer read!

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