Teaching & Learning Strategies, Concepts, and Terms That Every Teacher Must Know: Letters DIA-DIG

To be considered a competent educator, there are almost 2000 strategies, concepts, and terms that you must know. However, since teachers wear so many hats, who has the time to learn them all? Don’t worry; we have you covered. In this series, we will discuss all the teaching and learning strategies, concepts, and terms that you need to know to be considered an effective educator. There are over 70 articles in this series, so pace yourself. We recommend reading one piece per weekday, which will allow you to complete the series in three to four months. We hope you enjoy it.

Click here to read all the articles in this series.

Diacritics Small letter shaped symbols, or other types of marks that can be added to a vowel or consonant symbol to modify or refine its meaning are known as diacritics. The IPA chart contains 31 diacritic symbols. In the General American English, a common diacritic is the rhoticity diacritic /˞/ that is used to indicate if vowels are rhotacized or have an ‘r’ like quality. Examples of these include (e.g., /ɝ/ and /ɚ/).

Diagnosis Identification of reading challenges based on information about students’ reading behaviors.

Diagnostic Evaluation A detailed assessment conducted by a specialist related to a specific developmental or learning issue.

Diagnostic Tests Are designed to identify or assess learning difficulties that students may experience. Diagnostic tests are often delivered to students by professionals trained in the area of presumed difficulty.

Dialects Apparent variations in the way that a language is spoken in different areas or among different ethnic groups. Dialects are rule-governed, fully developed language systems.

Dialogic Reading A style of reading which invites children to participate in storytelling. A parent, caregiver or other adult reads a book and shares pictures, pausing to for child input.

Dialogue Journals A conversation tool in which students communicate in writing on a variety of topics which may or may not be prompted. They are also known as interactive journals.

Diamante A seven-line poetry form with a diamond shape that contrasts two opposite topics. It can be used in all content areas.

Dictation A part of the pre-writing stage in which a child would like to write something, but is not ready developmentally. The child dictates what they would like their sentence to convey and the adult writes it in the child’s plain view. Then the adult reads what they wrote back to the child. You can think of it as a form of scaffolding.

Didactic materials Materials designed to teach a specific topic or to be used in a specific way, as opposed to open-ended materials which allow for many uses.

Didactic Teaching A style of teaching in which a teacher transmits content to students with the expectation that they will simply learn it.

Difference Model A theory used to explain the differences between genders in a career path. It is based on the idea that there are intrinsic differences between men and women when it comes to their behavior, goals, and outlook on life.

Differentiated Instruction Refers to lesson planning and curriculum design that focuses on students where they are, rather than the standardized, one-size-fits-all approach. Teachers are proactive in arranging varied approaches to the material be learned. Differentiated instructional strategies are student-centered and focus attention on how students learn and how the learning will be evaluated.

Differentiated Instruction Refers to the concept that defines the fact that students learn differently and have to receive instruction according to those differences.

Differentiating Products When teachers provide several different ways for students to demonstrate or share what they have learned.

Differentiation Theory A theory that states that a child can learn to differentiate the characteristics of objects and situations to choose relevant ones based on their past experiences with stimuli.

Difficult Child A child who does not provide positive feedback to the adults and may be fussy, hard to soothe, and challenging to put to sleep.

Digital Divide Refers to the societal division in which all people do not experience the same degree of access to modern digital information and communication technologies (ICT), particularly on the basis of their socioeconomic status.

Digital Inequity Is the unequal distribution of digital resources and availability. This inequality disproportionately affects families of color and families living below the poverty line. Black and Latino students are far more likely to live in homes without internet access, as are students in families with an annual income below $50,000.

Digital Leaders Digital leaders do more than consume information. They synthesize learning and use it in collaborative environments. Digital leaders are dynamic change agents who transform the status quo, facilitate better communication and understanding, and integrate a variety of technology tools in their lives. Also, digital leaders improve technology experiences not just for themselves, but for others as well. They look out for the greater good.

Digital Native Is a person who has been raised in an environment of digital technology- such as the use of computers, the Internet, mobile phones, and MP3s.

Digital Portfolio Describes a teaching portfolio contained on an external storage device rather than hard copies filed in a notebook.

Digital Readiness and Competence Digital readiness is simply the ability to use digital tools with ease. In other words, digital readiness refers to how “ready” or how comfortable an individual is with digital technology. Along the same lines, digital competence refers to the confident and critical use of the full range of digital technologies for information, communication and basic problem-solving in all aspects of life. It can be easy to assume that most people are comfortable with using digital technology, but, unfortunately, this is untrue.

Digraph (consonant) When you take two letters, place them together (side-by-side) in a word, and only one sound is perceivable. Examples include: ch, gn (less common), sh, th, wh, wr.

Digraph (vowel) Two vowels that are side-by-side in a word and work together to make one sound. Examples include: ai, ee, oa, or, aw.

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