Dr. Kathy Perez, is an international consultant and author specializing in brain research, student engagement, differentiation, and literacy.
She is Professor Emerita at Saint Mary‚Äôs College and has worked extensively with educators throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, Caribbean, Africa, Britain, New Zealand, China, Colombia, Australia, Thailand, and Singapore.
Differentiated Reading Instruction: Multiple Pathways to Literacy Success
Teachers in mixed-ability classrooms face multiple challenges at every level. Success for all students depends on the integration of multiple intelligences, cooperative learning and authentic assessment. This session provides guidance for literacy educators around the globe who are interested in creating learning environments that address the diversity in the classroom and within their schools or districts. Strategies shared will address a variety of learning styles. Learn multiple approaches to content, process and product and how to blend whole-class, group and individual instruction.
I imagine a literacy program as a maze of intersecting pathways; some of the students travel as a community, while others forge ahead as individuals or small groups. There are multiple routes to literacy, and differentiation can lead the way.
The concept of differentiation is certainly getting a lot of attention lately, but there is no magic wand needed to integrate differentiation into your literacy program. Quite simply, differentiation is adjusting your instruction to meet the unique needs of your diverse learners.
Furthermore, according to Tomlinson (2017), “Differentiating instruction means ‘shaking up’ what goes on in the classroom so that students have multiple options for taking in information, making sense of ideas, and expressing what they learn.” Differentiation is not a single strategy, but an approach to instruction that incorporates a variety of strategies.
When teachers differentiate, they do so in response to a student’s readiness, interest and learning profile. Because of their unique and diverse literacy needs, diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds, our students need us to differentiate the product, process and/or content of learning.
Use these differentiated instruction strategies and techniques to meet the diverse needs and learning styles of your students as they engage in the multiple pathways to literacy. After all, the purpose is reaching the widest range of students with their various entry points to learning.
References and Further Reading:
200+ Proven Strategies for Teaching Reading
Kathy Perez (2016)
How to Differentiate Instruction in Academically Diverse Classrooms, 3rd Edition
Carol Ann Tomlinson (2017)