While working with a pre-kindergarten teacher the question was posed, “how do I differentiate instruction with my children?” As I began sharing I thought how many other pre-kindergarten teachers have the same question ensuring all educational levels are met. Here are some helpful hints to prepare lessons and activities that show differentiation instructions.
1. Use a formal assessment tool to record data information individually and collectively on skill levels of children.
2. Research beginning skill levels for each child as a base line toward planning activities related to lesson plan or study theme (according to assessment data).
3. Once lesson plan or study theme has been selected, start planning specific related activities that are based on each child’s skill level. For example, in the math area you have the children match numeral to numeral, match numeral to corresponding dot, match numeral to number word card, and so forth.
4. When circulating throughout the classroom, the teacher will record anecdotal notes or use other methods showing the child’s progression on specific skills and place comments in his or her portfolio. While reviewing portfolio, teacher will determine when the child needs to engage in more challenging activities and record achievements.
Remember, you must assess, plan, implement, observe, record, and make modifications as needed to ensure the child’s educational needs are met through differentiation instruction. Every child learns differently so plan accordingly to their skill level.