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Abstract

Abstract

The proposed article, Differentiating writing instruction: Meeting the diverse needs of authors in a classroom, begins with an explanation of the concept of differentiated instruction as a basis and another term for responsive teaching. This involves writing instruction that is sensitive to the diversity of students’ individual strengths and needs and reacts to these factors in a timely manner with targeted instruction. The practice of responsive teaching — teaching differentially — is also the foundation of RTI (response to intervention) structures, currently developing in schools across the U.S. as a result of the national mandate. However, responsive teaching is understood universally as pedagogical best practice in all curricular areas.

For responsive, differentiated writing instruction to be effective, the teacher must have accurate, useful, and timely data on the learner’s current level of performance. After thoughtful analysis of multidimensional writing traits in children’s daily writing, teachers make tentative determinations for the next instructional step with an individual writer.

The articles explores research-based rationale and practices for responsive, differentiated instruction that targets students’ identified needs with respect to aspects of the writing process.

Implementation of any logical, reasoned instructional approach will only be effective when the tenets are understood. This article outlines a rational for responsive, differentiated writing instruction — a cycle that requires ongoing assessment, instructional decision making, responsive, differentiated instruction, guided practice, and assessment. Responsive teaching holds great promise. Teachers’ mindful implementation of interventions will determine the success of this principle.

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