Differentiation is the Difference

Differentiation Is The Difference:

In the Lower School, we use the nationally recognized Fountas & Pinnell Leveled Reading program. It allows teachers to personalize the reading instruction, while leaning heavily on research-based best practices to promote literacy across grade levels. It focuses highly on comprehension, fluency and decoding strategies that help continue to develop the student’s progress.

“Differentiation is really just a fancy word to describe good teaching,” says Dr. Kevin Hessberg, Lower School Director. “It allows teachers to personalize instruction for all students. Our teachers differentiate instruction to meet students where they are in the curriculum, which helps students meet the teachers’ high expectations.”

As students matriculate into the Upper School in sixth grade, we continue to differentiate, but it looks much different with this age group.

The differentiation in the Upper School is supported by a variety of great literature. “When a student reads her book with strong proficiency, then she will be steered toward a higher level book for her next selection,” says Mrs. Jaffe, the sixth grade English teacher. “Strong proficiency means she understands the inferences, the themes and the authors’ intention while she reads. She is then able to write a well-organized and well-supported synopsis of the book.”

“The goal is that she take these skills and further develop them while reading a higher level book.”


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