Differentiated instruciton in mathematics
Hovland, Laura Katharine
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Students learn in various ways; therefore, differentiating instruction is crucial in order to provide pupils with a meaningful education, and one that enhances their motivation towards learning. This project compares a traditional instruction approach (teaching to the average student academic level), to a differentiated instruction approach (teaching tiered lessons according to ability levels), in order to identify which method of instruction helps students master and retain core fourth [-] grade mathematics concepts most effectively, as well as distinguish how student/teacher attitudes and motivation levels are affected by differentiated instruction. My district, Bozeman Public School District #7, mathematics curriculum standards were used as a foundation for this project, and lessons were differentiated using various math manipulatives, higher-level thinking activities, problem solving skills, and enrichment/remedial materials to accommodate the different performance levels. Student surveys, pre and postunit assessments, daily journaling, and delayed assessments were a few of the numerous tools used to evaluate the effectiveness of differentiating instruction, and the impact on understanding concepts. Although, the retention of concepts long-term was not much higher, the results concluded that postunit assessment scores improved after differentiated instruction was implemented, and an increased morale existed in both students and the teacher.