Early childhood education provides the building blocks to learning. The children who are enrolled in a preschool or child care setting are being exposed to a variety learning materials as well as new concepts and ideas. The young learners need to be taught in a setting that provides strategies that play to their weakness as well as strengths. This is where differentiated instruction comes into play. Differentiated instruction is a model of instruction that allows educators to offer alternatives and options to their learners to meet their learners’ needs. Tomlinson (2001) states “Differentiated classrooms provide different avenues to acquire content, to produce or make sense of ideas and developing product so that each student can learn effectively” (p. 1).
Preschoolers are constantly being bombarded with new concepts and information on a daily basis. Many of these young learners have not acquired all of the necessary skills to work independently without support from their parents, teacher, and even their peers. By using tiered activities as well as flexible grouping, young learners will acquire the key concepts of a lesson or activity. Allowing learners to work in learning centers that scaffold materials to reach all of their individual needs is key to getting young students to remember and transfer new information.
The use of learning profiles is a great way to ease into differentiated instruction. Learning profiles help educators learn important facts about their students. Learning profiles are designed to help educators understand their student’s specific academic needs. For example, a learning profile will have information about the student interest as well as goals t...
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... to Support Young Children 's Alphabet Knowledge by Shanye Piasta, provided a great reason why early childhood educators should differentiate instruction. Piasta,( 2014) states
“Early childhood educators need to move beyond whole-class instructional approaches and instead provide alphabet instruction that is aligned with current emphases on assessment-driven decision making and differentiated instruction holds promise not only for better meeting individual children 's learning needs but also increasing instructional efficiency such that whole-class time can be devoted to other important learning goals, such as language and vocabulary development (p. 203).
Young children need as much support in acquiring lifelong skills. This is why providing differentiated instruction in preschool will help learners learn and retain the key concepts as they enter into kindergarten.
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