Document Type



Many elementary education teachers employ differentiated teaching strategies during reading instruction to ensure all students’ needs are being addressed, based on well-established evidence that not every child learns the same way. Differentiated instruction is not as simple as altering expectations or standards. In order to provide academically diverse learners an equal opportunity to access and demonstrate learning, changes need to be made in the instructional delivery method, assessment method, or both. By using differentiated instruction and employing various delivery methods and assessments, teachers can develop an inclusive classroom environment where students have opportunities to be successful regardless of their learning styles and learning abilities or disabilities. This study looked at four differentiated instructional strategies for teaching guided reading: flexible grouping, ongoing assessment, instructional choice, and modeling. The purpose was to discover which differentiated instruction strategies are most successful and applicable for teaching reading in the elementary grades. Through observation, the employment and effectiveness of teachers’ differentiated-instruction strategies for teaching reading were observed, recorded, and analyzed using field notes. The three fourth grade teachers were each observed using guided reading techniques to instruct their students during reading. Students were placed in homogenous reading groups and given a leveled text to read with comprehension questions to respond to and discuss within their group. Direct instruction was used to teach isolated skills when needed to each group or whole class, based on ongoing formal and informal assessments performed by the teacher. In a differentiated classroom, these teachers created a supportive learning environment where instruction was designed to meet individual student needs.


Elementary Education

Thesis Comittee

Gia Renaud (Thesis Advisor)

Patricia Emmons

Robert Sylvester

Copyright and Permissions

Original document was submitted as an Honors Program requirement. Copyright is held by the author.