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Amanda Zabojnik

Prompt #2
SpEd 480
March 1, 2016

As educators, it is extremely important to differentiate instruction in the classroom.


Every student is unique in their own way, therefore, every student will have their own
unique way of learning. It is imperative that individual student needs be met in the
classroom in order for them to succeed at their maximum learning potential. We, as
educators, are responsible for treating each of our students as the unique individuals
that they are realizing that each of them come from diverse backgrounds, have
different upbringings, have a vast variety of living situations, etc. Each of these
components factor into their individual learning processes and understanding.
There are a variety of ways that we, as educators, can bring differentiated instruction
into the classroom. First and foremost, curriculum enhancement and curriculum
modification. Curriculum enhancement pertains to no change to the actual curriculum,
but has instructional strategies that help all students learn to their fullest potential.
Classroom modification is more involved and is specific to each individual student need
being met. (Bos, Schumm, Vaughn (1997) Teaching Students. Boston, MA: Pearson
Education, Inc.) Adaptations may also be put into place for specific students. While the
act of implementing adaptations might be more time consuming for educators, it has
proven to be extremely successful in the classroom environment by providing students
with the learning support that they need. Learning Contracts can also be a useful
component when considering differentiated instruction in the classroom. When a
Learning Contract is implemented, specific standards and objectives can be addressed.
These objectives can then be discussed with the students and put into place to help them
reach their maximum learning potential within the classroom. (Bos, Schumm, Vaughn
(1997) Teaching Students. Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc.)
In addition to these components, a variety of multiple grouping formats can be used
when differentiating instruction. For example, at the secondary levels, students can be
tracked or placed in classes together based on achievement levels. Two main
grouping options are used, homogeneous (students at similar learning levels) and

heterogeneous grouping (students at a wide variety of learning levels.) Students can also
work in cooperative learning groups with one another or even in small groups. This
enables students to brainstorm together (under explicit instruction) and work toward a
common goal collaboratively during the learning process. (Bos, Schumm, Vaughn (1997)
Teaching Students. Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc.)
In conclusion, it is imperative that adaptations must be made in the classroom
environment when it pertains to students learning. Whether this be a student who is
Gifted and Talented, is an English Language Learner and/or Multiple Intelligence, etc.
(Bos, Schumm, Vaughn (1997) Teaching Students. Boston, MA: Pearson Education,
Inc.) As an educator, planning is a huge part of this process. Before success can be
achieved, each student must be carefully looked at on an individual basis, when it comes
to their unique and individual learning style. Differentiating instruction is just one of
the challenges that educators face on a daily basis in the classroom, however, in my
opinion, it is probably the most important. If we want our students to succeed at
learning and reach their fullest potential, it is important that we view and treat them as
the unique individuals that they are.