What Is "Differentiating The Curriculum"

What Is "Differentiating The Curriculum"
A Differentiated curriculum provides students with different avenues to learning so they have access to a variety of processes to acquire knowledge of the content being taught. If children do not have the curriculum differentiated to meet their academic needs, they are likely to find difficulty in understanding or completing classwork and homework. However there is a flip side to the differentiation question. If a student requires academic challenges to meet their needs, it is essential they be given every opportunity to reach their potential.
Thus if a year five student is gifted and talented, the curriculum outcomes and activities are planned at a more challenging level than the average outcome for a year five student. Conversely, if a student demonstrates difficulties in their learning, outcomes and activities should be created to provide the student with success in their learning and an opportunity to fill some gaps they may have missed in previous years.
Examples of differentiating the curriculum are the Spelling and Reading groups that evolve in the junior years of school. These are determined by the abilities of each student in the class. Your child's ability to handle a certain level of competency in these subjects, therefore determines their ability group level. This can also be the case with writing. For instance, a writing outcome for a Year Three group might be:
Writes complex sentences which are creative and demonstrate a solid understanding for the use of correct punctuation.
A higher achieving student may be expected to:
Write well structured complex sentences that use sophisticated vocabulary and a variety of punctuation.
Whereas a child who has difficulties with understanding the structure of writing may have a differentiated outcome that states:
Writes simple sentences with a capital letter at the beginning and a full stop at the end
The creation of a differentiated curriculum requires some pre-planning. It is important to find out what the students already know and their level of skill attainment. These types of pre-tests can provide valuable information about individual differences in ability within the class. The curriculum can then be adjusted accordingly where future lessons can be planned to accommodate higher order tasks for more able students and additional support for those who are struggling. For instance, during a reading lesson in Year Four more able groups can be given independent tasks such as comprehension or a written response activity while less able students work with the class teacher on strategies to read difficult words and to develop comprehension through explicit instruction from their teacher.
For the student who is struggling with a concept, the outcome must be adjusted so he/she can achieve at their level of ability. If understandings are evident, they will be ready to move to the next level with confidence. Imagine if you were expected to answer a Mathematics test on addition with trading when you have no idea how to trade. It would be much fairer for a student to have a test with questions they can achieve rather than a paper that show 0/10 as the grade.
Below is a very simple idea of the above notion using the Mathematics concept of addition.
(Can calculate vertical addition algorithms)
22 + 5 = 33 + 6 = 28 + 7 = 34 + 5
(Vertical addition without trading)
56 + 47 + 39 + 43 + 65 +
21 32 12 21 40
(Vertical addition with trading)
58 + 39 + 43 + 75 + 84 +
37 15 29 46 69
Differentiation does take time and effort and it is a craft that teachers are very competent at utilising in the general classroom. However it is often unrealistic to expect every lesson to be differentiated to the extent demonstrated above. Sometimes it may be a simple matter of the quantity of work to be achieved or the time expended on presenting a short talk to the class.
Teachers are professionals whose experience and knowledge of your child's needs are met through the differentiation strategy. At times it may be necessary for your child to seek further assistance outside the school. This is always a matter for discussion with your child's teacher in order to understand the specific areas your child can benefit in from such support.

Achieve and Implement a Positive Student Management System

It's not that easy to be able to command a certain group of students. Actually, it will be more conducive for teachers to only have a few students in his or her care. But this is not always the case, not all schools have the money to fund such expensive task. That is the reason behind student management system; they are made to make sure that everything is just right. Not perfect but just enough to get the teachers and students enough room, students will now be able to learn from classes because they aren't that many and teachers won't be able to miss some students because he or she will be able to know which one is which thus paying more attention to them.
Because of the system that shall be provided a class will now be able to be a real class, not just a certain group of individuals entering a room, pretend to study and then leave. Being able to pinpoint which of the students are not doing well will help better not only that person but also the whole class. A curriculum is only effective if and only if most of the people using it aren't hard-pressed but challenged because of it.
A student system will be better implemented if not only the teachers and the school establishment decides. It would be a positive move for everyone if the students, some representative maybe, are able to voice out their concerns and suggestions. Many of today's students are advanced in thinking and can rationalise things not only for their own advantage but also those that is beneficial to everyone, students and faculty alike. If their voice are given notice there will be lesser complains and better relationships between everyone.
A system, a school system in particular, will only be effective if pursues upon by everyone that should be involved in it. So far there are some schools that struggle to implement a good student system but there are also schools that positively reinforce their system with the help of active and supportive student bodies and faculty members. Overall, if a certain management system does not work, you can always try another one, retain those that is effective and replace those that does not seem to work, thus a trial and error helps create a better student management system.
So don't be afraid to try student management systems and experiment. Successful historical events have always had failures before them. The important thing is you learn and you are able to adapt. Listening helps a lot and being open minded can get you through those times when everything you try fails. Don't let other peoples negative opinion impairs your judgment but if their reasonable enough their comments might help better the process that you want to achieve.


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