Differentiated Instruction

Once student data has been collected and guided, flexible groups have been formed, the teacher is able to determine the best teaching strategies to use to meet diverse student needs.

Differentiated Instruction is a high yield, instructional strategy that teachers use to respond to students’ readiness, interests and various learning styles. This allows teachers and students to build new learning through connections to existing knowledge and preferred ways of working. Teachers use this information to vary the learning environment, instruction, and assessment and evaluation throughout the school year.

Running Records

Once you have established a classroom community, it is important to gather and collect data about each of your students. A running record allows you to assess a student’s reading performance as she/he reads from a benchmark book which provides a record of reading behaviors – a “snapshot”. Some schools use Reading A-Z and/or Fountas and Pinnell.

The data collected will help teachers to document student progress, provide insights into a child’s reading strategies, plan for future instruction, find appropriate reading level for students and to guide reading instruction. By creating flexible guided reading groups, students will be supported at their own individual reading levels. 

Below is a link to Reading A-Z with practical and useful links including a blank running record template, and specific steps to taking, marking and scoring a running record.

http://www.readinga-z.com/guided/runrecord.html#taking

Building a Classroom Community

As we begin another school year, it is important to build a classroom community that promotoes a safe and secure learning environment for ALL students.Teaching students how to cooperate, share, listen, respond, and interact with one another on a daily basis requires continual modelling of what these skills look like and sound like.

Choose age and/or content appropriate read alouds to model the kind of behaviours that are acceptable in your classroom. Create classroom agreements that are co-created by teacher and students to ensure ownership and committment. Create anchor charts and post them in your classroom to ensure that thinking and learning is visible and that students always have a point of reference. Build in time to talk with each of your students independently to provide opportunities to really get to know each child and what they bring to your classroom. Listening is key both as teacher and learner!