As an educator, differentiated instruction means teaching in a variety of ways so that all types of learners in the classroom can soak in the information and feel comfortable understanding it. With differentiated instruction, students are challenged in a way that is appropriate and beneficial as it suits their needs. Students feel comfortable processing information because material is being presented to them in a way that make them interested in learning.
As a pre kindergarten teacher, I find it very easy as well as useful to differentiate instruction to the children. It is what I have always have done. I never have given it too much thought. I would assess the children with their knowledge of upper and lower case letters, colors, number recognition, etc. I will record my observations and use them to work with each child one one one, focusing on their weak points that needed strengthening. Some children are more advanced with letters, so I would work with them with math and numbers. For the ones that needed help with letters, I would differentiate what I taught them by focusing on activities that would strengthen their math skills. The way I teach the children varies from child to child. From what I have learned, each of us learn differently- some of us visual, some auditory and so on. I figured if we all learn differently than I could alternate the way I teach and accommodate the learning style of each individual style. The children all did the same type of work but not necessarily in the same way. I was the lead teacher in the classroom, so I would work with the two assistants that I had and we would go over the children’s abilities, strengths and weaknesses. I would give them ideas on what they should be doing with each child and always specified to them that what works for one child does not necessarily work for another, We, as teachers have to be flexible with out style of teaching in order for our students to be successful.
I am eager to learn more about differentiated instruction. It is an important subject that is valuable for our success in the field of education. In order to be a valued educator, I feel, what we do is have to put the students in the forefront. They are the reason that we teach. If a student is not learning the way that we teach than it is up to us to differentiate what we do in order for the student to thrive.
There are different types of thinkers, even in pre kindergarten, one can see the difference in the way on child thinks compared to others. There are concrete random thinkers, abstract random thinkers, concrete sequential thinkers and abstract sequential thinkers. I want to learn more about the types of thinkers. I am wondering how a teacher knows their students thinking style. How do you know yours? Student centered activities are important and intrinsic motivation is fostered. Importantly, multiple intelligences and learning styles are addressed. A question that I have is, how can we have enough time to celebrate the unique talents in all learners? I am assuming it to be more challenging in higher grades. In pre kindergarten and kindergarten it is more flexible- maybe because this is what I am use to. I see the children struggle and I figure out what I can do to make them thrive and to bring out what is special in them. This is where learning is more play based but serious too. Being a pre kindergarten teacher is like being a performer, we have lesson plans etc, but things change. We never know the moods or personalities of children on any given day. We have to roll with it. Many things are impromptu, but it works. I would say that this can be why differentiating my instruction falls more natural. I give each child different homework according to their needs. Others may get more than the next student because they are quicker learners. Sometimes they just need some intrinsic motivation. I think it is great, that it makes us like detectives to try and figure out what they need, look for it and then apply.