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4 Easy Ways to Differentiate Instruction

Today’s classroom settings are as diverse as the children sitting in them—each student will have a complex set of strengths and challenges unique to them as individuals.

How can educators effectively address these learning differences, while still preparing students for relevant education standards? Here are four key principles to check off when you’re implementing differentiated instruction in your setting:


  1. Integrate assessments year-round.
    Every child will arrive to class with varying skill levels and knowledge, and each of them will continue to progress at their own pace. Ongoing, meaningful assessments not only measure student growth, they also provide families with student portfolios of their children’s improvement over time.
  2. Communicate frequently with families.
    Back to School Night shouldn’t be the only time you communicate with families. Whether it’s sending home letters or using technology to share progress reports, quick, yet frequent, updates about your students’ progress will keep everyone informed and involved.
  3. Encourage extra practice.
    Learning Without Tears programs are designed for you to easily implement lessons in 10–15 minutes a day. However, there will be days when you will have other priorities. Check out these free resources and share them with families!
  4. Enlist additional support. 
    You’ve heard it before: it takes a village. (You’re only one person, after all!) The first few months of school is the best time to build good habits and prevent further problems. However, if a student is still struggling, find out whether further remediation is needed.


Return to HWT Connections – October 2017 >