JOURNAL ENTRY: REFLECTIVE JOURNAL
Just as everyone is unique and different in their own way from another person, they have different ways of doing things. Differentiated instruction is a teaching method that designs and delivers instructions so as to best reach each student . It’s about the teacher making a lesson take into consideration the abilities, interests, background, learning methods and other factors unique to each of the students. Mrs. Ashland definitely does a very good job in making sure that the lesson takes care of the various weaknesses/strengths of the students individually. She takes advantage of the strengths of the students to get them to understand the lesson, as she also deals with the weaknesses of these students. Her class has got drawing and shape copying sessions, which she uses to reach out to those kids with fine motor skills like Kalya, and to help the struggling ones like Jane. Mrs. Ashland’s use of stories is a differentiation strategy, because of those students who love stories. Mrs. Ashland uses stories, a factor that has contributed to the language development of Kayla, Caleb and Johnny. I remember very well back in 6th grade, our teacher back then would often group us according to some criteria and then give us group assignments. Other times, she would call me alone and coach me one on one to address a specific challenge. I now understand it was all about differentiated instructions, based on our strengths/weaknesses. She would make sure that she deals with us based on our language abilities, emotional vulnerabilities, moral development, physical capabilities and social wellbeing. I certainly will use the strategies that were used by my teacher and by Mrs. Ashland in order to make the most of the learning process for my students. This would also include other dimensions such as creating a learning environment that resonates with my students’ interests and background.