Each day, teachers face the task of helping students stay engaged, show growth, and master the curriculum. How can they do this? Should they open the textbook and start teaching on page one? Should they use ongoing formative assessments to determine the individual needs of the student, also called differentiated instruction (DI)? According to research presented at the International Congress for School Effectiveness and Improvement in January 2011 (PDF, 168KB), "No other factor contributed to the change in student's achievement further than the intervention of DI." What DI Is and Isn't Many teachers feel overwhelmed if you mention the words "differentiated instruction." Creating an individual plan for each of my students Keeping students in stagnant groups based on data from the beginning of the year Teaching only the lower-level students and letting the higher-level students teach themselves. Instead, as stated in an ASCD infographic, differentiated instruction is when: 1. 2. 3.