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February 7, 2019

On Monday, March 4, the Parents’ Association has invited Dr. Tonya Moon to speak to the community about differentiated instruction and how its practice benefits learners. Dr. Moon will begin her presentation at 6:30pm in the cafeteria, and I hope you will come learn from this dynamic guest. We welcome you to bring friends who would like to learn about this topic and how James River strives to bring excellence into every child’s experience.
As I wrote in December, every child learns differently. We witness differences in our own children, their friends, and even in ourselves. Why children learn differently varies widely, ranging from learning styles, interests, or prior school experiences to influences such as gender, race, and culture.
With so many variables affecting how one learns, how does James River maximize every student’s potential for academic success? One way is our practice of differentiated instruction. Effective practitioners “acknowledge the reality that students differ in ways that significantly affect their learning1” and teach accordingly. Teachers differentiate in a multitude of ways, from modifying content, to helping students create processes that foster deep understanding, to allowing students to “show what they know” differently, to modifying the climate and structure of the classroom.
Learning is, at its core, challenging. Mastering a skill, understanding a complex idea, building a positive mindset -- they each take commitment, time, and teachers who know their students. When students know -- trust -- that their teachers are committed to them as individual learners, the sky’s the limit.
Please join us on March 4 to learn from Dr. Moon and understand more about how we care for your child everyday!
Note: If weather impacts the event, the alternate date is Wed., March 14.
  1. A., Tomlinson Carol. Understanding Differentiated Instruction. ASCD, 2017.