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Curriculum Differentiation

Brewster Elementary School

Curriculum Differentiation


 The Rochester Community Schools curriculum is based on Michigan standards and benchmarks that require the use of higher order thinking skills.  Classroom teachers utilize these benchmarks to challenge their students to think, work, and produce at a meaningful level. The goal of a differentiated classroom is to maximize student growth and individual success. 

Curriculum Differentiation allows teachers to provide a variety of opportunities for learning within the classroom community.  Teachers assess students in order to provide the best possible instruction.  Students engage in many different thinking processes and open-ended activities to learn about a topic. Support and practice is given to students so that they may experience success in an enriched curriculum.

Grade 1 – Curriculum Differentiation



SHARED READING:  Children are introduced to the concepts of print while gathered around a big book with large text and illustrations, along with a familiar pattern.  Some children will be at the beginning of understanding different print concepts, such as left to right direction and return sweep.  Others will be ready for higher level skills like comprehension.  Some will memorize the text and others will be reading the words.  Both are important early reading skills.

GUIDED READING:  Children meet in small groups of children based on the children’s abilities.  A story is introduced and different concepts and skills are taught.

INDEPENDENT READING:  Books are available for children to read at their own level, throughout the school day.

MODELED WRITING:  The teacher writes for the children as a group, demonstrating the writing process and making comments about concepts of print.

SHARED WRITING:  In another whole group setting, the teacher writes patterned sentences with familiar words, talking through the writing process.  She demonstrates skills such as capital letters, spacing and beginning sounds. 

INTERACTIVE WRITING:  This whole group activity shares similar goals as shared writing, but this time the children “share the pen”.  Some children contribute a letter or punctuation mark in the story while others might write words.

WRITER'S WORKSHOP: The children write several times a week.  Minilessons are covered with every day that the children write.  Many kinds of writingare touched on, and the children also get a chance, as well, to choose their writing topics.  They write in journals, create story maps, write letters, notes, compose their own stories, write books about things they know.  Each child can progress at his own rate.  They may focus on spelling, sentence structure, and punctuation, content, paragraph structure.



The math lessons use manipulative objects to solve problems from real life.  The concepts are taught and strengthened through a game format.  Math concepts are integrated throughout the curriculum.  Each child can progress at his/her own rate.  When a lesson is introduced the child will grasp concepts for which he/she is developmentally ready.  The lessons are designed to revisit concepts several times.  Each lesson builds on the previous lesson.  Children develop skills in counting, measurement, time, money, geometry, math facts, patterns, and probability.  Home Linke provide parents with a chance to practice skills learned in our classroom in their home setting.



Thematic units of study are integrated throughout the curriculum.  Example: Science-study of butterflies, Math: symmetry, shapes, Art: create own butterfly using different mediums, Writing: write a butterfly fact book or a creative butterfly book or poem, go on a nature walk and count butterflies.  Each child learns concepts at their own developmental level.  The children are given plenty of time to interact with the materials.  They learn in large group, small group, partners and individually.  Many different science and social studies units are studied throughout the first grade school year.