The research is compelling: When teachers differentiate reading instruction, students learn more. But teachers are too often given the expectation of differentiation without the details on how to make it work. In No More Reading Instruction Without Differentiation, Lynn Bigelman and Debra Peterson offer a framework that adapts instruction based on individual students' needs and interests.
Differentiation doesn't mean creating separate lesson plans for each student every day. Differentiation is responsive teaching that identifies what each student knows and can do and what can happen next to move that student forward in her learning.
In the following video, the Lynn and Debra explain how to begin differentiating reading instruction in the classroom–it comes down to knowing your students.
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Lynn Bigelman has been a classroom teacher, reading specialist, and, for the past 14 years, an elementary school principal. She has served as the president of the Michigan Reading Association and Oakland County Reading Council.
Debra Peterson is a consultant for the Minnesota Center for Reading Research at the University of Minnesota. She was the recipient of the International Literacy Association's Albert J. Harris Award for Reading Research.