Differentiating During Language Arts in the Primary Grades

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Differential instruction in language arts in a classroom setting creates a challenge from the standpoint that all children learn at different levels, with various levels of abilities, cognitive awareness, and learning consistencies that are met by one person who is challenged to create a meaningful experience for each child. Language arts is perhaps the most challenging because it is a subject all children have to master to become better readers, as well as improve cognitive and motor skills. There are some real tips that can help make this happen effectively in the classroom:

1. Create different levels of lessons so that all children can participate at the same time. A “one room schoolhouse” approach can be great.

2. Partner children who are excelling with those who may need help. Children can learn well from other kids.

3. Repetitive language lessons that incorporate new concepts daily are better than teaching one set of skills over a period of time. Again, some children will excel, but those who need additional assistance will encounter the lesson each day, learning through repetition and restatement of the learning outcome.

4. Finally, take the small accomplishments of each child as a reason to celebrate and reward. This is a true reward in teaching.

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