Examples of ways to differentiate instruction
TeachersFirst's Thinking Teachers who write our resource reviews often have suggestions that have worked in their classrooms. Open the reviews to the "more" view to see ideas for using specific resources as tools to differentiate for a variety of learners. Alternatively, use the keyword search tool at the left of this page to search for a curriculum topic and the term "differentiate." For example, search fractions differentiate (with "all the words" selected for the search).
Grades3 to 5
In the ClassroomTake advantage of the tools included in this collection to differentiate instruction both in-class and during remote learning. Use Freckle, reviewed here to create a class account and assign lessons based on student interest and ability across subject areas. Use Voki, reviewed here, as recommended in this collection, to have students create animated characters. Have students create a Voki to discuss a book they read, share a solution to a math problem, or to discuss a science concept.
GradesK to 2
In the ClassroomUse the Scholastic Listen and Read activities, reviewed here, to provide a variety of reading options to your students. Differentiate instruction based on ability levels and types of activities. Use Voki, reviewed here, to have students role-play a community member found in the reading activities. Share student Vokis on your class website for all to see.
Grades4 to 8
In the ClassroomTake advantage of the many suggested classroom uses for this resource found on the Instructional Guide (PDF). Consider using the historical information and primary sources from the book to have students create timelines of the important events during the Great Depression. Class Tools, reviewed here has an easy to use timeline creator or choose from other timeline creation tools located here. Use TES Teach Blendspace, reviewed here to share additional information and activities related to the Great Depression. Include videos, links to primary source documents, and websites appropriate for your students' grade level. Differentiate learning by customizing Blendspace activities to match your students' interests and ability levels.
Grades2 to 6
In the ClassroomMolly of Denali is perfect for including with any lessons or units on Alaska or Native Americans. Listen to podcasts together as a class pausing throughout the episode as needed to identify important information such as different modes of transportation used in Alaska, weather and climate indicators, and geographic locations referenced. Before beginning your unit, engage students by asking them to brainstorm what they know about Alaska or Native Americans using Padlet, reviewed here, where you can add columns for wildlife, transportation, weather, etc. Build upon students' knowledge and address misconceptions based on your brainstorming activities. Consider creating activities within a learning management system such as Actively Learn, reviewed here. Add videos and articles based on your students' ability levels and comprehension. Enhance learning further using Symbaloo, reviewed here, to share bookmarks for further learning and additional activities. To differentiate learning, create two or more Symbaloo's based upon student interest and/or ability levels. Extend learning by participating in a Skype virtual learning field trip. Choose from several different options found at The Microsoft Educator Center, reviewed here. To find the options for virtual field trips, follow the links found under the link "Skype in the Classroom." Take learning to a whole new level and ask students to create their own podcasts featuring any destination using Molly of Denali as a model. Anchor, reviewed here, is one of several free podcasting services suitable for classroom use.
GradesK to 6
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In the ClassroomBookmark this math page to find and share engaging games for practicing math facts. Share a link to selected games on classroom computers for student use during math centers. Share this math page with parents as an at-home practice and review site. Due to the variety of activities, this site is an excellent choice for providing differentiated learning opportunities to meet the needs of all students. Extend learning even further by asking students to share tips with their peers on some of the more challenging activities. Use a video response tool like FlipGrid, reviewed here, and ask students to share their suggestions for learning math facts or how they apply problem-solving skills when faced with difficult math problems.
Grades9 to 12
In the ClassroomTake advantage of the many resources shared on this site to supplement your current classroom instructional materials. Use these materials to find and differentiate learning for students, especially when working with gifted students as you look for content and resources to meet their educational needs that aren't available within your current curriculum. Offer students a variety of options using those found on this site. Share available student choices using Padlet, reviewed here. Enhance learning by encouraging students to collaborate in the learning process using Notejoy, reviewed here. Notejoy offers tools for collaborative note-taking and sharing of ideas through chats, shared images, and more. Ask students to demonstrate their understanding of topics learned by asking them to create a multimedia project sharing their knowledge. Suggestions for multimedia tools include Sway, reviewed here, Wakelet, reviewed here, or Adobe Spark, reviewed here. These multimedia tools present the opportunity to enhance or extend student learning depending on teacher requirements for the project or even student ability; most allow for adding narration, videos, text, and links to help explain what certain parts of the content are about.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomBookmark OER Commons to use as your first stop in lesson planning. Take advantage of the search filters to narrow down the content and grade-level information to suit your needs. This website is also an excellent resource for finding materials to differentiate instruction. Use higher-level activities to challenge gifted students, and search for content to use for remediation. As you gather resources into a collection or lesson plans, be sure to think about ways to incorporate technology in meaningful ways to enhance and extend learning.
Grades10 to 12
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