Differentiated Instruction in Elementary Math

This leaves the teacher with a need to fulfill their educational requirements while tackling a disability or learning capability issue within the classroom. It is here that I will cover what research has proven to be effective, some examples that I have ascertained and how I can implement them in my own classroom setting. There are multiple researches that have been done in regard to differentiated instruction, but I will only be focusing on the examples of what has been shown to be effective and what appeals to me within this research. Keywords Differentiated instruction, interdisciplinary teaching, integrated learning, thematic learning, Universal Design for Learning, Multiple Intelligence Theory, IQ test. Differentiated Instruction Currently, there are more than 4 million students that lack grade-level proficiency in reading and mathematics. One reason for this is their need for individualized instruction, supplementation and modifications to ensure proper cognitive access within the general education curriculum. This need is rarely met, as teachers do not have the training that they need to ensure these lower functioning students are able to benefit from the instruction provided. Part of this issue is that students are coming from increasingly diverse backgrounds, in which the expectations of their parents and the normalcy within the community are at odds with the current schooling methods (Lapkoff amp.Li, 2007). These current schooling methods are ineffective to a large number of students, because of their diversity, ethnically, culturally and cognitively. These are the students that fall through the cracks, due to the standard approach to education. This, in turn, causes higher rates of drop outs, poorer performance on standardized testing and lower graduation rates. (Lipsky, 2005). The solution is differentiated instruction. According to Tomlinson (2004) differentiated instrcution is ensuring what a student learns, how he/she learns it, and how the student demonstrates what he/she has learned is a match for that student’s readiness level, interests and preferred mode of learning. Literature Review This is particularly important in regards to students with cognitive disabilities. An educator that provides their students with a reduced emphasis on whole-class instruction and an increase in the use of peer-assisted learning, has been shown to heighten students learning abilities, whether considered gifted or not. There have been many studies that also verify the fact that differentiated instruction works much more efficiently than other forms of instruction, but show the reasons why this is not implemented in many schools. They are simply the demands of the teachers themselves to follow a set curriculum and learning sets within a given period of time, leaving many students behind. This has given birth to a creative solution called REACH (Rock, et al., 2008). This type of interdisciplinary teaching is used to highlight the steps necessary for implementation of differentiated instruction. The acronym stands for: Reflect on will and skill. Evaluate the curriculum. Analyze the learners. Craft research-based lessons. and Hone in on the data. It is imperative that the educator take these steps to seriously