“Differentiated instruction isn’t a strategy.
It’s a way of thinking about all you do when you teach and all that the kids do when they learn.”
Dr. Carol Ann Tomlinson
Differentiated instruction is not a curriculum or a program. It is a process that enables teachers to improve student learning bymatching students’ learning characteristics to the District 39 curriculum. This process requires teachers to anticipate and acknowledge the differences in students' readiness, interests, and learning styles. Teachers then effectively engage students in meaningful and challenging work. Classroom teachers challenge students to think, work, and produce at a high level. In differentiating instruction, teachers address student learning differences by modifying content, process, product, and environment.
- Content is what students will learn and the materials they will use. When teachers differentiate the District 39 curriculum, they may vary depth and breadth of learning or the complexity of the ideas. It may also involve student selection of topics related to the content.
- Process describes how children make sense of the content. When teachers differentiate process, they design learning experiences that involve thinking, from basic to complex understanding .
- Product is the way students demonstrate and apply what they have learned. Product differentiation means students may respond to learning in a variety of ways.
- Environment refers to the physical and emotional conditions for learning. Students have the opportunity to work independently and collaboratively in a flexible and student-centered setting. The teacher has created an atmosphere in which student differences are valued.