Fountain Valley School District

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Differentiated Instruction

What is Differentiated Instruction?

Differentiated instruction is the manner in which each teacher modifies the core curriculum and designs strategies to address the unique needs of gifted students. Differentiation of curriculum is dependent on these principles:

  • Differentiation is based on the state content standards at each grade.
  • Differentiation is affected by the dimensions of depth, complexity, novelty, and acceleration.
  • Differentiation should be an integral part of, rather than an adjunct to, the core curriculum.
  • Differentiation modifies what students will know (content), how students will think (critical, creative, and problem-solving skills or processes), how students will access and use resources (research skills) and how students will summarize and share their learning (products).
  • Differentiation should be available to gifted and advanced students as well as any other student who evidences a readiness for the same experience.
  • Differentiation can be facilitated through flexible grouping and regrouping of students for each task or group of tasks based on need, interest, and ability.
  • Differentiation should be provided consistently and should be accompanied by high standards of performance.
  • Differentiation must include teacher instruction and should not be assumed to be self-taught by students.

One way in which differentiated instruction is accomplished is through the integration of depth and complexity of principles, theories and generalizations into the core curriculum. FVSD GATE curriculum is structured around iconic teaching, which means that our teachers utilize icons or symbols, which represent the different aspects of depth and complexity.