Differentiated Curriculum and Instruction
Differentiated instruction is how teachers in New Albany meet the day-to-day academic needs of our gifted learners within the classroom. Our teachers understand that not every child must be doing the same activity at the same time as every other student in his/her class. Different learners have different needs, and teachers design learning opportunities for students according to each student's needs, readiness, and interests. Differentiated instruction allows teachers to provide those opportunities without labeling or obviously isolating individual learners in the classroom.
Gifted children benefit from a differentiated curriculum within a cluster group of students with similar gifted identifications. The Gifted Intervention Specialist works with the teachers to assist in the planning of modified activities and lessons for our gifted students. The Gifted Intervention Specialist will also provide materials and other resources to the classroom teachers to help meet the day-to-day academic needs of our gifted learners.
Differentiated teaching is responsive teaching. It stems from a teacher's solid understanding of how teaching and learning occur, and it responds to varied learners needs for more structure or more independence, more practice or greater challenge, a more active or less active approach to learning, and so on. Teachers who differentiate instruction are quite aware of the scope and sequence of curriculum prescribed by their state, district, and school. They are also aware that the students in their classrooms begin each school year spread out along a continuum of understanding and skill. The teacher's goal is to maximize the capacity of each learner by teaching in ways that help all learners bridge gaps in understanding and skill. (Tomlinson and Edison, 2003)