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Like you, I strive to provide differentiated instruction for all of my students. When asked how to plan for diverse learners, my best advice to new and aspiring teachers is – to put yourselves in the seats of your students. Ask yourself how do I learn best? This often helps to get teachers over the hump when they feel unsure about how best to differentiate instruction.
The good news is that differentiated instruction is not hard to do. According to Carol Ann Thomlinson, “differentiation means giving students multiple options for taking in information.” What does this mean for the teacher? It means the role of the teacher in differentiated instruction is to “observe and understand the differences and similarities among students and use this information to help inform [class] instruction.” This is good news for teachers because it means we have all of the essential information we need to meet the individual needs of each student. Now, how do you plan your instruction so that it meets the specific needs of each learner? Blogger John McCarthy provides three practical ways to plan for diverse learners. Check out his blog post on Edutopia. tlb