What is "differentiated learning"?

No two children enter school with identical abilities, experiences and needs. Learning style, language proficiency, background knowledge, readiness to learn, and other factors vary widely within a single class.  Regardless of individual differences, however, children are expected to master the same concepts, principles and skills. Helping all students succeed is an enormous challenge that requires innovative thinking.  

Differentiated instruction is an instructional theory that allows teachers to face this challenge by taking diverse student factors into account when planning lessons and teaching them.  Based on this theory, teachers can structure learning environments that address the variety of learning styles, interests and abilities found within a classroom.  Rather than simply "teaching to the middle" by providing a single avenue of learning for all students, teachers using differentiated instruction match tasks, activities, and assessments with their students' interests, abilities, and learning preferences.

Differentiated instruction requires planning, commitment, and acknowledgment of the fact that diverse abilities, experiences, and interests have a tremendous impact on student learning. (From "Teaching Today" at Glencoe Online​)​

What are "learning skills"?

"Learning skills" are the basic skills a child acquires in the first years of school (and kindergarten,) which are needed as a foundation for learning reading, writing and math.  Certain benchmarks are identified by the school system and by educators for every developmental or educational level.

What is "learning skills' acquisition"?

"Learning skills' acquisition" is how students acquire foundational skills through formal instruction and practice.

What are "educational tools"?

Educational tools are any high- or low-tech tools that are used to create an active learning environment.  These can be tools used by teachers such as charts, reports and forms, and workbooks, worksheets, on-line activities, games, puzzles and readers, used by students. 

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