Describes How Teachers Differentiate Classroom Instruction And Environment Essay Example

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Students, Development, Children, Progress, Behavior, Learning, Skills, Psychology

Pages: 4

Words: 1100

Published: 2020/10/28

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Instructional and Behavioral Support: Developmental Milestones

Instructional and Behavioral Support: Developmental Milestones
Developmental milestones are checkpoints in a child’s progress, and they decide what the average child can do at a particular age. Knowing developmental milestones for different ages helps teachers and parents understand normal child development, and it helps find any potential problems with delayed development. There are four categories of developmental milestones including physical milestones, cognitive milestones, social milestones and communication milestones (Cherry, 2015).
Physical milestones include both large motor skills and fine motor skills. Large motor skills are the first developed by young children, and they include sitting, crawling, standing and walking. Fine motor skills develop later, and they include a greater precision in tasks. They include eating using a utensil, using a crayon or picking up delicate objects. Cognitive milestones are a child’s developmental abilities to learn, think and even solve problems. For example, an infant learning to respond to facial expressions and a preschool kid learning alphabets (Gilles, 2015).
Social and emotional milestones include a child's ability to express their emotion and to respond to social interactions they have with different people. For example, a 6-month-old can recognize familiar faces while a two-year-old stops playing alone and shows interest in playing with other children. Communication milestones develop a child’s verbal and non-verbal communication skills. For example, a one-year-old learning to say simple words while a five-year-old can speak complete sentences and even tell simple stories (Gilles, 2015).

Differentiation is the tailoring of instructions to needs of different people. Differentiation includes the basic efforts of a teacher responding to the variety of learners in the classroom. When a teacher reaches out to a group of students or an individual to vary their teaching so as to create the best learning experience, that teacher is differentiating instruction. Teachers can differentiate at least four basic elements including content, process, products and the learning environment (Tomlinson, 2011).
Differentiating content can include various things like using reading materials that are at varying readability levels. It can also include using spelling or vocabulary lists at readiness levels of students. It includes meeting with small groups and teaching a skill to struggling learners. Differentiating process or activities includes providing interest centers that encourage students to explore a class topic that interest them. It also involves varying the length of time a student takes to complete a certain task to offer more support to a struggling learner or to encourage a learner to pursue a topic in greater depth. Differentiating products includes allowing students to work on their products alone or in a group and to encourage students to create their product assignments.
Differentiating the learning environment includes making sure there is a place to work quietly without any distractions. It also involves providing materials that speak to the various cultures and different home settings. It includes developing routines that allow students to get help even when their teachers are busy or unreachable, and other students cannot offer immediate help. Teachers also set out clear guidelines for independent work to match each need (Tomlinson, 2011).

Classifies Positive Behavioral Supports and Student Responses

Positive Behavioral Support is a term that describes a research-based approach to behavioral support for producing a comprehensive change especially for students with challenging behavior. Teachers have come up with strategies that are successful. One of the strategies is altering the classroom environment. The environment should get modified to accommodate each student’s needs. For instance, students with Attention Deficit Disorder should seat away from noisy places. Students with hearing impairment should seat at the front of the class. Learning centers should also be placed far apart so that the activities in one class does not disrupt others. Teachers also increase predictability and scheduling for classroom activities. A well-designed classroom schedule prevents challenging behaviors. Teachers should create routine daily schedules and make sure their students are aware of them. It is always better if students know what to do and when to do it. Teachers should establish individualized routines for students who have limited attention spans or those who cannot concentrate for long hours. For example, students having ADD may need a more predictable time for their activities built into their schedules. Teachers should prepare students on how planned or unplanned changes in their schedules will affect them (Ruef, 1998).

Evaluates what Ongoing Assessments are needed to Mark Progress

There are different types of assessments including diagnostic, formative and summative. Diagnostic assessments determine mastery of prerequisite skills and knowledge and prior knowledge of certain content. Formative assessments check the progress of students throughout a unit or lesson cycle. Summative assessments are usually at the end of the semester or unit, and they measure the achievement and growth when the semester ends. Many schools pay more attention to summative assessments than to other forms of assessment. The tests are a tool to give data of student’s knowledge for official progress to the next class or semester. There are different tools used for summative assessments including tests and quizzes, performance assessments, portfolios and journals (Wiggins & McTighe, 2011).
Tests and quizzes are a true method of assessing a student’s progress. They are relatively quick to design and test, and they are flexible in terms of structure. They are an excellent way to generate quantifiable results to compare among students and can show a student’s progress. Performance assessments need a student to do a task and not simply answer a question. They are designed to resemble the challenges faced by adults on a day-to-day basis. They require a student to use critical thinking skills such as evaluating, judging and innovating. Portfolios contain a variety of student’s work, and they help students find the areas to improve on, and they also present a picture of the student’s progress. They also include a teacher’s written evaluations and a student’s self-assessment of the contents. Journals apply in all phases of assessment, and they offer a useful record of the student’s work over time. They communicate the students’ achievements and the areas of growth to both the students and the parents. Journals are used by students to write what they have learned and apply it to new situations. Students can also write any questions they have about the topic (Wiggins & McTighe, 2011).


Cherry, K. (2015). What is a Developmental Milestone? Retrieved from
Gilles, G. (2015). What are Developmental Milestones in Children? Retrieved from
Ruef, M. (1998). Positive Behavior Support: Strategies for Teachers. Retrieved from
Tomlinson, C. A. (2011). What is Differentiated Instruction? Retrieved from
Wiggins, G. P., & McTighe, J. (Eds.). (2011). The Understanding by Design Guide to Creating High-quality Units. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

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