The Differentiated Classroom: Responding to the Needs of All Learners

The Differentiated Classroom: Responding to the Needs of All Learners

The Differentiated Classroom: Responding to the Needs of All Learners

The Differentiated Classroom: Responding to the Needs of All Learners


Although much has changed in schools in recent years, the power of differentiated instruction remains the same--and the need for it has only increased.

Today's classroom is more diverse, more inclusive, and more plugged into technology than ever before. And it's led by teachers under enormous pressure to help decidedly unstandardized students meet an expanding set of rigorous, standardized learning targets. In this updated second edition of her best-selling classic work, Carol Ann Tomlinson offers these teachers a powerful and practical way to meet a challenge that is both very modern and completely timeless: how to divide their time, resources, and efforts to effectively instruct so many students of various backgrounds, readiness and skill levels, and interests.

With a perspective informed by advances in research and deepened by more than 15 years of implementation feedback in all types of schools, Tomlinson explains the theoretical basis of differentiated instruction, explores the variables of curriculum and learning environment, shares dozens of instructional strategies, and then goes inside elementary and secondary classrooms in nearly all subject areas to illustrate how real teachers are applying differentiation principles and strategies to respond to the needs of all learners.

This book's insightful guidance on what to differentiate, how to differentiate, and why lays the groundwork for bringing differentiated instruction into your own classroom or refining the work you already do to help each of your wonderfully unique learners move toward greater knowledge, more advanced skills, and expanded understanding. Today more than ever, The Differentiated Classroom is a must-have staple for every teacher's shelf and every school's professional development collection.


She waited until they were all in their usual places, and then she asked,
“Did I choose you, or did you choose me?” And the Souls answered,

E. L. Konigsburg, The View from Saturday

This book has now been a two-part journey for me. I wrote the first edition, published in 1999, shortly after leaving my public school classroom and the 20-plus-year teaching career that grounded me as an educator and as a human being. Those years were still fresh in my thinking and breathing and were full of nostalgia then. I told my new colleagues at the University of Virginia that I would always be a middle school teacher first, if for no other reason than that I would not have as long a career at the university as I had had in public school. My powers of prognostication were a bit off—as they often are. As I conclude the revision that will be the second edition of The differentiated classroom, I have been at the university longer than I was in the public school classroom.

Many things have changed over the past 15 years.classrooms that once had few if any English language learners in their student mix now teach students from many parts of the globe. Whereas in 1999, there was precious little classroom technology available for teachers and students, now technology routinely opens classrooms to the world and to a world of ways to think about teaching and learning. Today, we know much more about the science of teaching and learning than we did then, and educators in the United States and many other countries have been through multiple national conversations focused on what and how we teach our children. And, of course, more educators are familiar with differentiated instruction. Some even consider differentiated instruction a fundamental expectation for teachers in today’s classrooms.

Nonetheless, many things have remained the same for me and in schools and classrooms. At heart, I am still a middle school teacher who is grateful for . . .

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