Considering the meaning of education confirms the importance of the need for differentiation.

A buzz word in the U.S. education system currently, differentiation is often both a desire & a challenge for teachers. It’s best explained by an example.


Imagine this scenario for a moment –

you are responsible… for teaching a group to progress in their literacy development…

Here is what you have to get started –

  • Technically, your multi-age class is K-3rd.
  • One student in your class is reading at a 4th grade level, though they are in third grade.

  • Another student is in kindergarten & is an English Language Learner whose actual daily practice more closely resembles a preschool understanding of the alphabet.

Each student is remarkable, but needing distinct instruction. Your responsibility is to teach the class collectively, while meeting each individual need.


So, perhaps you decide to teach a group lesson on kindness…


one way you differentiate the teaching would be

to invite the older student to write an essay using the word “kindness” while

you practice writing “k” & making its’ corresponding sound with the younger student.


Differentiation for Learning, National STEM Learning Centre