Differentiation at a Glance
You can differentiate:
Content- what the teacher wants the student to learn and the materials or resources through which that is
Process- activities designed to ensure that students use key skills to make sense out of essential ideas and
Products- vehicles through which students demonstrate and extend what they have learned
Readiness- a student's entry point relative to a particular understanding or skill
Learning Profile- how an individual student learns
Differentiation is not
o assigning 30 math problems and the other students get 15 math problems
o giving the students an extra project or extra assignments
o simply enrichment
o providing choice
o offering alternate assignments
o flexible grouping
Low Preparation Differentiation
High Preparation Differentiation
Choice of Books
Open Ended Activities
Varied Supplemental Texts
Choice Boards/ Tic-Tac-Toe
Flexible Seating/Learning Groups
Multiple Testing Options
Work Alone or Together
Choice of Writing Prompts
Tiered Activities & Products
Think of your students when you plan.
o Vary the types of learning experiences to appeal to different learning styles and intelligences
Prompt high-level thinking and responses for all students.
o Challenge all students, regardless of learning level, to continually analyze and synthesize as they
Encourage multiple responses from students instead of suspending discussion after only one response.
o Follow up multiple responses by prompting students to prove or justify answers.
Provide tasks that involve varying levels of difficulty and incorporate appropriate levels of challenge
Support students' interests and choices.
o Allow students to choose topics to study, products to develop, and an array of applications and
extensions to enhance their learning.
Share criteria for success and high achievement with students in advance.
o Encourage students to use criteria for self or collaborative evaluation
Using the teacher guide as support
• Does the activity help the student reach the standard?
• Is the activity basic or advanced?
• Do the suggested extensions offer more depth and more complexity, or just more work?
• Are there multiple activities that provided opportunities for tiering the content?
Flexible Grouping –
students are grouped according to ability for specific instructional purposes
enrichment groups stress student choice and students as producers of useful products
Interest Centers/Interest Groups –
often used for guided explorations
self-explanatory so students can work independently
provides students opportunities to learn more about a topic or play around with a concept
learning experiences can be directed toward a specific learner interest, allowing students choice
Tiered Assignments, Lessons and Strategies –
assignments, activities, and products are designed for varying ability levels
curricular content and objective(s) are the same, but the process and/or product are varied according
to the student's level of readiness.
students often have choice and must do certain assignments in order to receive a grade.
Alternative Assessments opportunities to demonstrate understanding of material learned in "real-world" ways.
Choice Boards –
organizers that contain a variety of activities
students can choose one or several activities to complete as they learn a skill or develop a product
can be organized so that students are required to choose options that focus on several different skills
Examples of products that can elicit sophisticated responses Write and produce a play
Make a relief map
Make a game
Develop a display
Write a new song
Make a map
Create a slide show,
Formulate a scientific theory
Produce a video
Take a survey and analyze results
Compile a photo essay
Write and illustrate a story
Design and construct a new product
Design an experiment
Paint a picture, make a mural, or any piece of art
Write a computer program
Compile a newspaper
Teach a lesson
Plan a journey
Give a demonstration
Create an advertisement
Draw and explain a graph
Compile a portfolio of sketches or writings
Create a political cartoon
Give a speech
Compile a booklet
Write an opinion article
Great website for content specific activities:
The Differentiator – a website that creates higher-order questions and products with a few clicks of a mouse