Differentiated Instruction, Tailoring Lessons to Fit the Needs of Students

Differentiated Instruction is when educators tailor their lessons and what they are teaching to fit the needs of the students. This is extremely important as all students have different needs, interests, and levels of readiness.


Different students learn best through different learning methods. There are visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learners.

  • Visual learners learn best through visuals such as reading words, viewing pictures, etc.
  • Auditory learners learn best when they are able to hear the content such as spoken word, music, etc.
  • Kinesthetic learners learn best by moving their bodies or through the experience of completing tasks or projects, individually or in a group.

Teachers can choose to differentiate in a number of ways that fall under content, process, products, or learning environment. Differentiation of these four classroom elements can be based on student readiness, interest, and learning profile.

  • Content: what the student needs to learn or how the student will get access to the information
  • Process: activities in which the student engages in order to make sense or master the content
  • Products: culminating projects that ask the student to rehearse, apply, and extend what he or she has learned in a unit
  • Learning Environment: the way the classroom works and feels

Tomlinson, C. A. (August, 2000). 

Why should we use differentiated instruction?

  • Engagement varies – Students have different interests; therefore, different students will be more motivated than others to learn about particular subjects.
  • Different levels of readiness – Some students may already know certain concepts and some may not.
  • Different learning styles – Students learn best through different modalities; such as visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learners.
  • Disabilities – Some students may require modifications and accommodations to help learn new information and processes.
  • Different students take different amounts of time to learn different topics – Some students will understand the concepts right away, and some students may need more time to understand the concepts.

Our online curriculum, Rock Digi, teaches Social Emotional Learning and life skills for success. All of the lessons allow for differentiation so a variety of learners have the opportunity to understand the concepts in the lessons.

Each lesson includes:

Whiteboard Animations to introduce the concepts through animated, entertaining visuals and narrations.

Lyric Music Videos, which allow for students to see all of the lyrics as they are being sung, and creates a vibe or aesthetic for the classroom that can improve retention and help students make emotional connections to the concepts.

Discussion Questions, so students have the opportunity to collaborate with other students and to gain a deeper understanding of other people’s points of view on various issues. This also involves student empowerment through having students’ voice elevated.

Drill Down Activities really give the educator the freedom to tailor the lessons around the needs of the students and really build on any parts of the lesson that students need to improve on.

The School Home Partnership allows for parental involvement in each of the lessons and helps to create consistency between school and home.

To see how our lessons for yourself, please feel free to visit rockdigi.org and view some of our Free Trial Lessons!



Tomlinson, C. A. (August, 2000). Differentiation of Instruction in the Elementary Grades. ERIC Digest. ERIC Clearinghouse on Elementary and Early Childhood Education.



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