Inspiring Differentiation: Prekindergarten and Elementary School

Every teacher knows that students come to school with different background experiences, different interests, different personalities, and different levels of readiness for learning essential content. No two students are the same. Differentiated instruction helps teachers leverage student differences so that they become pathways to academic success, rather than impediments to learning. “INSPIRING DIFFERENTIATION,” a new video series featuring author and educational consultant Carol Ann Tomlinson, includes elementary school and Pre-K. Inspiring Differentiation: Prekindergarten and Elementary School explores five key characteristics of differentiated classrooms. An environment that supports learning – highlighting the attitudes and practices of teachers who create engaging, challenging, and joyful learning environments. High Quality curriculum that focuses on understanding – featuring a differentiated kindergarten math lesson designed to move every student toward the same long-term learning goals. Ongoing assessment to inform instruction – introducing an innovative way to integrate formative assessment into math instruction so that assessment becomes part of the lesson. Instruction that responds to student differences – demonstrating the use of heterogeneous centers in a first-grade reading lesson to accommodate a wide variety of readiness levels. Leadership and flexible classroom management – proving that as early as pre-school, children can adapt to routines, benefit from student choice, and learn from one another.

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