Today, a teacher would be hard pressed to find a classroom that isn’t differentiated with student’s who possess a myriad learning styles. Because of this differentiation, the classroom is more multi-dynamic than ever. One of the most pressing issues for teachers today evolves from meeting the various learning styles this differentiation presents and ensuring that each student masters the same core principles, curriculum requirements and skills. Four of the basic practices: assessment, evaluation, grading and feedback; all present a set of unique challenges in their own right. In education there seems to be many debates over the meaning these terms. Most do not have “clearly distinctive definitions...Assessment is often referred to as the gathering of data, evaluation is the judging of merits, and grading is assigning values to letters or numbers for reporting purposes” (Assessment Strategies, n.d.). In this paper, I will attempt to further define each and demonstrate their impact on the differentiated classroom.
There are many different types of assessments that can be utilized by a teacher to better assist their students and they primarily depend on what information the teacher seeks. Pre-assessments are administered prior to instruction to give the teacher an idea of what knowledge the student possesses. Formative assessments are important during the learning process and demonstrate progress and allow for modification of instruction. Summative assessment will demonstrate if the desired goals have been met. An assessment that is going to be conducted within the differentiated classroom needs to be approached quite differently than that of the traditional environment. Firstly, we need to decide what the desired outcomes are and...
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