The Curriculum : Learning Needs Of A Particular Student Or Small Group Of Students Essay

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Differentiated instruction is “attending to the learning needs of a particular student or small group of students rather than the more typical pattern of teaching the class as though all individuals in it were basically alike” (Tomlinson & Allan, 2000. P.4). Many teachers find that thinking about ways to differentiate literacy instruction comes somewhat naturally whereas differentiation in mathematics seems more demanding or challenging. As many teachers that I’ve interviewed put it, “Do we have to differentiate in math, too?” We can do this in reading, but it’s impossible in math! In reading, there are so many books to choose from that focus on different interests and that are written for a variety of reading levels. Often times, it has to do with math facts and fluency. Working with students on their math facts is differentiating enough.” It is vital to recognize that many teachers (particularly in elementary schools) feel this way. There are imperative reasons to differentiate in mathematics and they do not involve regurgitating facts. Based on the classroom visits I’ve conducted to gather information for this assignment, there were several noted indications of lack of teaching mathematics in an effective manner, in a way designed to meet a variety of needs. Students who struggled did not have access to concrete manipulatives to refer back to for guidance or build conceptual understanding. Rotation stations were evident and students appeared to be working in
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