How Children Benefit from Differentiated Learning in an Early Childhood Environment

Min Joo (Eileen) Cho
Updated on
February 2, 2021

When your child enters into an Early Childhood classroom, they will quickly discover the types of activities and lessons that they like the best. It is clear that children have unique learning styles from the moment they begin their educational experience. Your child will need time to explore the formal classroom setting and should be given an opportunity to develop their own learning pace. As such, it's imperative that you select a school in which teachers will differentiate learning to accommodate different learning styles, levels of learning and speed of learning in the early childhood setting.

Benefits of Differentiated Learning for Early Childhood Students

Most early childhood students are walking into a school setting for the first time in their lives, and they are just beginning to understand what learning looks and feels like. These are a few of the benefits that your child will realise when there is differentiated learning experiences in their early childhood classroom:

  • Your child will enjoy various experiences within their classroom and learn more about their own interests.

  • Your child will have the chance to make choices in the classroom settings, giving them the confidence to try new things.

  • Your child will be supported by their teachers on an individual basis and will be given the tools they need to reach the next milestone.

Key Practices at OWIS to Bring Differentiated Learning into the Early Childhood Classrooms

At OWIS, we believe that play-based learning is best for your early childhood student. As this is their first experience in a classroom setting, we know that it's important that your child has an opportunity to explore the room, socialise with their new friends and play in a way that is safe, productive and fun.

With play at the centre of our programme, we have adopted these best practices to differentiate learning in the early childhood setting:

  • Our early childhood teachers provide open-ended resources and provocations. Provocations are open-minded exercises that are used frequently at OWIS. These exercises are designed to provide students with an immersive and stimulating experience that will help them form connections to the topic they are studying.

  • Our educators promote student agency by giving our youngest learners voice and choice in their classroom experiences. In the Early Childhood classrooms, students can visit various centres and themed areas that often relate to the unit that they are working on. For example, during a unit on ocean life, students may be able to visit a sensory tub table filled with water and seashells, pebbles, fish toys and sea creatures to explore and role-play with.

  • Our teachers differentiate targets and challenges for each individual child. There is a wide range of abilities and strengths that students exhibit during these formative years, and teachers will create targets for children based on their own unique needs.

  • Each Early Childhood classroom has a teacher and teaching assistant, but the classroom itself serves as the third teacher. The classroom is designed to be a place where students can explore, play and engage in self-guided learning.

  • Our teachers play the role of observers in the Early Childhood classrooms. Teachers will closely watch as students choose the activities and toys that they like the best, and design learning experiences that appeal to their interests. Teachers also find out and assess where students are at, in their learning journey, during this time and plan for the next step.

Differentiation provides your young learner with an opportunity to develop and grow according to their own interests, abilities and strengths. By differentiating learning in early childhood classrooms, OWIS teachers offer students a positive first experience in school and help these young learners to feel confident as they head into primary school. At OWIS, our Early Childhood programme adopts all of the best practices in differentiated learning to help all of our learners succeed.

To learn more about our Early Childhood programme, contact us today to schedule a virtual tour.

Please note: All the images in this blog were taken in pre-Covid times.

About Author

Min Joo (Eileen) Cho

Early Childhood 2 Teacher

Eileen is originally from South Korea and earned her Associate's Degree in Early Childhood at Suwon Women's College, Bachelor's degree in Early Childhood at Hanyang Women's University and a Level 3 Certificate in Early Childhood Education at Prestwick International College.

Eileen has been teaching for 13 years in South Korea, Sweden and Singapore.

Eileen's goal as an early childhood educator is to support children to build a firm foundation for their future learning. She believes every child is unique with full of potential. As an educator, she encourages students' independence to discover their own way of learning with positive learning attitudes; acknowledging their interest and enjoying the process of learning.

She believes that building a positive relationship between teachers and students is a foundational part of this learning. Collaborating with parents as a team maximises children's learning. For young learners, play-based and hands-on experiences will bring out the best in them. Most importantly, her goal is for every student to feel safe and happy in school with their friends and teachers.

Eileen's kindergarten experience when she was a little child has remained as a happy memory until now. Since that moment, she dreamed of being a kindergarten teacher because she wanted to make other children have the same experience as she had.

Eileen loves the diverse culture at OWIS and is happiest when travelling and trying different types of food around the world!

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