Through my connections on Twitter, I saw an interesting blog that made me think about the Ed Psych class that I am taking. One of my assignments asks me to take 4 students with diverse needs, and construct 5 lesson plans that explicitly point out differentiated instruction.
I believe that there is always potential for teachers to differentiate their instruction subconsciously, but when you evaluate the diverse needs within a classroom and want to list all of the strategies you use in order to help those students learn, it can be daunting! However, I believe that teachers that have technology on their side, are on the winning side of this battle.
When I want to differentiate instruction, I have many ideas that involve SMART boards, center learning, peer groups, one to one instruction. One of the thing that I think is most beneficial is the accessibility of educational games available online. I think if a teacher can compile these resources, they can be used as not only a teaching tool, but also for differentiated instruction.
To me, the best example of this would be when you are teaching Math. During my internship my students all seemed to be on different levels. The program that I was teaching built upon the concept that was taught previously, and there was also a lot of reading involved in the math lessons. I found that students that were struggling with reading required additional assistance and if students didn’t find a strategy to use for one concept, they struggled with the big idea for the next one. For all of these reasons, I had to find ways to engage students and get them out of the negative feelings they had for math. I searched long and hard and found multiple games with multiple levels for my students to “play” with. Students were almost always able to find a game they could play and that they were interested in. This helped me to get my students in to a positive space while building math concepts.
Now that I am specifically looking into my lesson planning for Differentiated Instruction I am excited to see yet another way that technology can benefit the students in my classroom.