Differentiation instruction is a non-traditional learning model that allows tutors to pay close attention to students’ needs and nurture their knowledge. Teachers use various classroom techniques to cater to the students’ multiple demands; the grouping of students according to their interests or ability is the most common differentiation method. Content, process, products, and learning environment are the most crucial elements of differentiation. The teachers nurture classroom behavior expectations to create order in the classroom; this helps students become more confident and independent. Positive behavior expectations can be influenced by strong teacher-student relations, motivation, and self-esteem of students.
Differentiated instruction is a practical teaching strategy that provides all students in the classroom with a learning method that adequately improves their abilities. Johnson, a kindergarten instructor, allows pupils to decide on the schedule with the teachers’ assistant, while the first-grade teachers also guide students to form class programs (Johnson, 2019). Pre-k, kindergarten, and first-grade classrooms are set up differently to accommodate various age groups’ engagement (Ahmad et al., 2017). In first grade, the classroom contains a diverse range of learning capabilities, and differentiation allows teachers to accommodate all learners, while in pre-k, the classroom and teacher stimulate and engage a student’s creative skills. However, in the pre-k grade, the instructor develops and illustrates class schedules through songs and dances, while in first grade, the tutor provides several choices for students to select their preference, then later the schedule is announced to the students.
Rules and Routines Comparison and Adjustments in the Classrooms
In the videos, Northwest School Division created rules and behavior expectations in the classroom, which mentally stimulates and engages students to have control over actions which makes them appear more confident, especially in first grade. Another observed method of sharing rules was through songs and hand gestures, especially in the pre-k classroom. The students constantly repeat the rules, which helps them understand the behavior expectations and how to act in the classroom effectively. In kindergarten and pre-k, behavior reinforcements observed during class include displaying personal interest to each student and establishing a positive learning environment (Northwest School Division, 2016). EngageNY helps develop intrinsic motivation by educators engaging the learners’ actions and mindset productively (EngageNY, 2016).
Building children’s confidence by acknowledging and praising learners’ efforts strengthens the bond between tutors and students, promoting self-esteem and conflict resolution (Johnson, 2019). During learning, the identified differentiation instruction in kindergarten, pre-k, and first-grade was the level of attention provided by grouping students according to shared interest or ability and the continuous assessment of the pupils’ needs. Using technology in the classroom actively engages students in creating an interactive learning session in all grades. Mobile devices such as tablets, laptops, and projectors to display fun educational programs as a teaching tool would be the most ideal.
Classroom design can positively or negatively affect a child’s ability to learn. The interaction between students and teachers is critical in a diverse classroom with dynamic learning abilities. Rows, circles, and group teams are the most common classroom designs for kindergarten, pre-k, and first grade (EngageNY, 2016). However, the classrooms make use of colorful desks and charts on the wall. The circle seating arrangement is the most effective design that promotes positive classroom environment; pupils become more attentive and provide exceptional feedback.
In conclusion, students have different learning abilities, and teachers need to recognize that each individual in class has diverse needs and nurture them through encouragement and setting goals. Teachers highly determine classroom engagement based on grade interaction, seating arrangement, and teaching method. Students in kindergarten, pre-k, and first grade learn better with repetitive songs for an elaborative understanding. Teachers compel learners to repeat the classroom rules in a way that they are most comfortable with, and this could be in the form of a song or hand gestures. Classroom arrangement affects students’ engagement and understanding. Conflict in the class negatively impacts the learning environment, and resolving disagreements requires effective communication and critical thinking.
Ahmad, C. N. C., Shaharim, S. A., & Abdullah, M. F. N. L. (2017). Teacher-student interactions, learning commitment, learning environment, and their relationship with student learning comfort. Journal of Turkish Science Education, 14(1), 57-72.
Northwest School Division. (2016). A day in the life of Pre-K. YouTube. Web.
Johnson, K (2019). Kindergarten classroom tour – Teacher vlog. YouTube. Web.
EngageNY (2016). Teacher establishes routines, procedures, transitions, & expectations for student behavior. YouTube. Web.