Parents, you’ve got questions, we’ve got answers.

Or just as likely, we’ve got questions and you’ve got answers.

Challenge: Open Discussion

What Parents Need to Know About Differentiated Instruction In Math

Vote up!
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Email this article

Differentiated instruction in math

Unlike the fifth or sixth grade students, parents don’t have a clue on what differentiated instructions entails when it comes to math. In short, differentiation refers to tailoring instructions to meet individual needs. A teacher might choose to differentiate products, process or content, but in general, taking advantage of flexible grouping and use of on-going assessments makes it an excellent approach to instructions.

Why Is Differentiate Instruction Important?

Parents need to understand that students aren’t the same. They learn in different ways and at a different p ace. Although a standard test is best suited for most kids, classroom materials and techniques need to vary if such tests are going to meet the need of every child. When it comes to differentiated instructions, teachers usually come up with different paths for the children with different abilities.

This makes it easier for children to conceptualize learning outcomes in a way that best suits them. Also, it allows for cooperative learning, peer teaching and students can easily take responsibility for their learning. The differentiated environment provides for three to four options for children in a given classroom. Given that interest, learning style, ability and readiness vary from time to time, and students get equal learning opportunity from a differentiated class.


How to differentiate instruction

Teachers can differentiate instruction by varying the environment, product, process, and content.

Differentiating By Manipulating The Environment

With this type of differentiation, students are categorized into personality types, and this is based on how it affects their response in a particular learning environment. Some classrooms do not provide for a more casual sitting arrangement, or offer limited sound and lighting levels, or eliminate the visual essay writing tips. Given such kind of settings, teachers might choose to vary their teaching techniques to provide students with an environment where they can learn optimally.

Differentiating The Product

When it comes to differentiating the product, students are required to create products that have different complexity. Those students who might be working above their grade level might be required to produce work that’s more advanced. In such cases, students will always be motivated if they are given choice of the end product.

Differentiating The Process Or Activity

When it comes to differentiating process or activity, there will be varied strategies, and this is meant to provide students with the right learning method. This is important since it tackles diverse learning styles such as auditory, kinetic and visual. Students will also use charts or diagrams, maps, and graphic organizers to show their understanding of a given concept.

Differentiating Topic /Content

In math, students cover lots of topics. That being said, the skill and knowledge your child gains from the learning outcomes is referred to as content. In most cases, teachers give the students a pre-test to identify those who don’t need direct instructions. Any students who understand the concepts doesn’t need to go through the instruction step. All they got to do is to apply the concept in solving the task at hand. This is also referred to as “compacting the curriculum.” The other method teachers could use different content is by working ahead on some independent projects and even allowing students to proceed at an accelerated pace.

Parents need to understand that curriculum isn’t defined by the type content taught by teachers. In fact, it revolves around what your child can demonstrate, and if students are to move forward, it’s essential for you to learn how your kid can learn best. Additional, parents should also focus more on what their children know as opposed to review. This is the only way your child can take a proactive step to a fulfilling education.

This post comes from the TODAY Parenting Team community, where all members are welcome to post and discuss parenting solutions. Learn more and join us! Because we're all in this together.