Monday, I had the wonderful ability to participate in a Professional Development with many of my colleagues from our sister schools. As a colleagues, experts and learners we came together to discuss what differentiated learning is and how this practice impacts and improves learning for the students that we work with.
Through our presentations and our conversations we discussed four major areas:
Planning for Differentiation
Social Skills Development
In all of the groups and discussions that I was part of, there was one resounding element. An element that many effective teachers and administrators know and do with out having to think about. So, what is this magic ingredient that will help teachers in the classroom and will help students in their learning.
KNOW YOUR STUDENTS
Knowing your students, is a key element when building relationships, but in doing so you can find out a students readiness, learning style, reading level, personal interests, talent’s and more importantly their academic support requirements and multiple intelligences. Obviously formal and informal assessments will be able to provide some insight, and I am sure that like myself many people have shelves upon shelves of information that could help, but the easiest thing and most beneficial, both to you as an educator and to your students is to KNOW YOUR STUDENTS.