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).
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomBookmark this site to find math problems correlating to your teaching standards or content. This site is perfect for finding materials to differentiate instruction with different student ability levels. Have students share their results and discuss their problem-solving process on your interactive whiteboard. Take screenshots of the different solutions and include on your class website. Another option is to take a picture of student's written solutions, then use ThingLink, reviewed here, to extend student learning by having them add an audio recording describing their mathematical thinking. Share their ThingLink images on your website, or add to your student's digital portfolio on Seesaw, reviewed here, or another portfolio creation site. As students become more proficient in sharing their mathematical thinking and problem-solving activities, consider using their math talks as part of an ongoing podcast using Buzzsprout, reviewed here, as a way to extend student learning and promote math conversations and help students understand that there may be many different ways to arrive at the right answer to a problem. Buzzsprout features free and easy to use tools including the ability to create and schedule podcasts to be released on any date and time you desire.
GradesK to 6
In the ClassroomTake advantage of this free reading program to differentiate reading materials for your students both by ability and interests. Set up your program then share learning goals with your students and parents. Engage students use by using the free interactives and printables from ReadWriteThink, reviewed here, and have students create story maps, book covers, and much more as part of their retelling and summarizing activities. Create shared class activities using a video response tool like FlipGrid, reviewed here, to enhance student learning by asking students to share short book talks about their favorite books read on the site. Take learning even further by creating ongoing podcasts discussing favorite books and characters using Buzzsprout, reviewed here. Buzzsprout makes it easy to create and share podcasts by offering scheduling options to meet your needs.
Grades2 to 12
In the ClassroomUse oodlu to differentiate learning in your classroom. Assign questions sets to different groups of learners according to their specific needs. Be sure to show students how to log in and access questions (if your class is remote learning, show students the log in, etc. by using a video conference room such as Zoom, reviewed here, or Proficonf, reviewed here, and then include a link to the site on your class webpage for students to play at home. At the end of your unit, enhance learning and augment technology use by asking students to plan a multimedia presentation using a tool like SuperNotecard, reviewed here, where you can turn your notes into a storyboard! Extend learning and modify technology use by having students use the Storyboard to create a multimedia presentation with a tool like Sway, reviewed here, to share their learning. Have students include text, images, videos, and a link to oodlu learning games in the Sway.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomInstall InsertLearning for use with online newspapers, magazines, and primary sources. Create quizzes to share with students through Google Classroom. Differentiate learning by using this browser extension to create different prompts for groups of students. Use InsertLearning to help ESL/ELL and special education students understand difficult material by highlighting and defining vocabulary found in websites. Take advantage of the instant feedback received from student responses to provide interventions on the spot. Use InsertLearning in a blended classroom as a flipped learning experience or as an introduction to any new unit.
Grades5 to 12
In the ClassroomIntroduce SummarizeThis to students working on research projects as a way to quickly determine the content and viability of using websites. Use to differentiate instruction with students. Use with learning support students as a resource to make content more accessible. Use the summaries when teaching how to summarize in an ELA class. Compare the summary you create as a class or in small groups with the "automated" one. Are there subtleties or important distinctions that this tool misses? As a challenge for your more critical thinkers, have them try to figure out what signals the tool uses to create its summary.
Grades6 to 9
tag(s): animals (260), critical thinking (101), descriptive writing (34), digital citizenship (70), OER (32), plants (138), scientists (61), social media (44), STEM (213), volcanoes (51), writing (280)
In the ClassroomJoin MySciLife to bring excitement and energy to your science classroom. As you complete activities in the platform, use a concept mapping site like MindMup, reviewed here, to replace paper/pencil version of a concept map. Alter students' learning by asking them to create and share infographics based on their research and sharing of ideas. Canva, reviewed here, is an easy to use site for creating infographics using pre-made templates or from scratch. Take student learning to a whole new level by redefining it and having them create a game-based learning activity for their peers using Symbaloo Learning Paths, reviewed here. Symbaloo Learning Paths offers many options for creating differentiated learning using video, quizzes, and more.
Grades4 to 8
In the ClassroomUse Exam Elf to reinforce and practice math concepts to prepare for standardized testing. Create an account to differentiate math practice to meet varying student needs. Use the data provided in the teacher dashboard to guide math instruction.
Grades6 to 8
tag(s): data (136), equations (128), exponents (37), factoring (27), factors (32), fractions (185), geometric shapes (140), measurement (142), OER (32), percent (61), probability (103), pythagorean theorem (24), ratios (54), transformations (13), volume (38)