3. Differentiation – The teacher acquires and uses specific knowledge about students’ cultural, individual intellectual and social development and uses that knowledge to adjust their practice by employing strategies that advance student learning.
My interpretation of this standard is that it is necessary for teachers to use pre-assessments wisely and to inform future lessons. Delivering a lesson that is suited to the needs of the students in each class is vital to the students acquiring the knowledge being taught.
The following link will open a copy of a lesson plan that provides opportunity to differentiate instruction for all students. Also attached to this lesson plan is an explanation of how differentiation is built into the activities and presentation of the lesson.
During instruction of the skills, modelling, verbal explanations, and mimicking are used to provide examples for students with varying learning styles. The warm-up activity serves as an opportunity for the teacher to provide individualized feedback to the students during a non-competitive activity. This warm-up provides practice with each of the key skills to enable each student a low-pressure situation to become more comfortable and capable of performing the skills. The main activity of this lesson provides each student the opportunity to further develop the skills at their comfort level. Each student will be provided the opportunity to practice each skill multiple times and the teacher has the opportunity to provide individualized feedback during and after the activity.
I am continuing to modify past lessons and ideas for future lessons to provide opportunities for differentiation. In a subject that has many large-sided activities required, it is sometimes difficult for each student to have the same experience, though it is possible to give each student the opportunity to have the experience they work for. I have made it a habit to encourage students to simply practice the technique as taught, and to give their best effort during activities. If each student puts forth their best effort, they will all be provided opportunities to succeed in my classes.
A change I will continue to make is similar to the sentiment in the last paragraph. My hope is that I can modify lessons I have taught, and felt successful teaching, in the past and make sure they provide the best opportunity for my students to acquire the skills I am attempting to teach them.