• guided practice: practice of a process, behavior, or tasks that happen alongside an educator or coach
  • individualized instruction: instruction that is planned and implemented based on the individual interests, strengths, and needs of each child
  • modeling: explicitly demonstrating a process, behavior, or task
  • scaffold: a specialized instructional support that helps children learn; examples include prompts, hints, reminders, or models
  • visual and auditory cues: signals and other indicators to let children know that something is about to begin or end


Before watching this video, read the text below. When instructed, watch the video from the beginning to end.

No two children are alike. Each child comes to us with different interests, talents, needs, and abilities. Although the learning goals remain the same for all children, educators need to tailor instruction accordingly. This individualizing of instruction can be done by assessing children’s strengths and challenges in order to plan for individualized instruction, demonstrating and guiding the learning, and clearly communicating rules, routines, and expectations.

In this 45-minute, self-paced tutorial, you will explore best practices in individualizing instruction. Three short videos will show seasoned educators using best practices in action. After watching each video, you’ll review and reflect on what you’ve seen and heard.

During this tutorial, you will:

  • Explore the best practices for individualizing instruction.
  • Assess and use each child’s interests, talents, needs, and abilities in order to create individualized activities, adaptations, or extensions.
  • Understand how to demonstrate, guide, and model in order to scaffold and support learning.
  • Communicate rules and expectations clearly and consistently.
  • Apply new knowledge to current practices.

First, do a self-assessment to discover what your strengths are and to identify specific skills you'd like to work on.

  1. Download and print the Self-Assessment (PDF).
  2. Complete the first half now, before you begin the training.
  3. Save the sheet with your answers. At the end of the training, you'll complete the second half, compare your "before" and "after" responses, and find out how far you've progressed.

Watch an overview of Individualizing Instruction featuring Eleonora Villegas-Reimers, Associate Professor of Education at Wheelock College in Boston, Massachusetts.

Download and print the Learning Log (PDF). Use it during the tutorial to answer questions, reflect upon the materials presented, and jot down ideas and insights about how to apply what you have learned to your own learning environment.

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