Understanding Differentiated Instruction
- Summer DI Readings List: 150+ Seedlings for Growing Stronger Learners by John McCarthy (2014)McCarthy uncovers a bountiful reading list as you plan your garden of differentiated instruction methods and strategies for the coming year. More from this blogger: Myth-Busting Differentiated Instruction: 3 Myths and 3 Truths.
- Defining Differentiated Instruction by Rebecca Alber (Updated 2014)Differentiating instruction for a struggling student can begin with using graphic organizers, offering alternative assignments, and providing extended work time.
- 6 Scaffolding Strategies to Use With Your Students by Rebecca Alber (2014)Alber discusses the differences between differentiated instruction and scaffolding, and also what they have in common. Along the way, she shares some helpful strategies.
- Academic Success for All Students: A Multi-Tiered Approach by Edutopia Staff (2014)At P.K. Yonge Developmental Research School, using Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) enables teachers to differentiate and provide each student the right level of instruction to succeed. For another differentiated case study, see Differentiated Instruction: Fast Track to the Top about Mesquite Elementary School.
- Teaching in the Key of Jocelyn: Challenging One-Size-Fits-All Education by Stephen Hurley (2008)Hurley discusses an "Aha!" moment with a student that caused him to think about differentiated instruction and his teaching practice in a new way.
Knowing and Assessing Students
- Starting Student Feedback Loops by Taylor Meredith (2015)A feedback loop is a process of checking for and affirming understanding that is specific, non-evaluative, manageable, and focused on a learning target.
- Personalizing Engagement: Checking In Before They Check Out by Johanna Rauhala (2015)Through refocusing, clarifying instructions, and affirming progress, you can have a rich, deep impact on short- and long-term engagement one student at a time.
- How Learning Profiles Can Strengthen Your Teaching by John McCarthy (2014)Here's a heretical notion: learning profiles can actually benefit students. McCarthy shares some tips. Also check out his Students Matter: 3 Steps for Effective Differentiated Instruction, which highlights three strategies for differentiated instruction: knowing students' strengths, involving them in planning, and leveraging the strengths of fellow educators.
- 3 Guidelines to Eliminating Assessment Fog by John McCarthy (2014)It's easier to differentiate instruction for students when we break through the fog of learning targets and logistical guidelines to understand exactly what we're assessing.
- Mixing it Up With Mangahigh: Using Games to Differentiate Instruction by Kris Mueller (2014)Mueller, a teacher at Quest to Learn, uses the online math game site Mangahigh to illustrate three tips for differentiated instruction: pre-assessment, formative assessment, and the Goldilocks Principle of ‘just right.'
- Dipsticks: Efficient Ways to Check for Understanding by Todd Finley (2014)Through alternative formative assessment, teachers can check for student understanding without falling back on the tedious or intimidating pop quiz. For more ideas, you might also want to check out David Wees’ community post with 56 Examples of Formative Assessment and Edutopia’s formative assessment page.
- Tools for Teaching: Ditching the Deficit Model by Rebecca Alber (2013)Alber proposes five activities for gaining knowledge about your students' strengths, interests, and hidden talents.
Planning Tips, Ideas, and Tools
- 50+ Tools for Differentiating Instruction Through Social Media by John McCarthy (2015)Social media can enhance differentiated instruction if the tools are selected with a careful eye on individual students' readiness, interests, and learning profiles.
- Enhancing Learning Through Differentiated Technology by Julie Stern (2015)Three tech tools -- SAS Curriculum Pathways, Newsela, and EDpuzzle -- can help differentiate instruction by showing where students are and offering appropriate formative assessment.
- Small Group Work With "I Choose" by Edutopia Staff (2015)When teachers began asking for time to work with students in small groups, Humboldt Elementary found the time for them. In addition to adjusting the schedule, they empowered students by mixing scaffolded supports with a variety of student-friendly elective enrichments
- “Fliperentiated” Instruction: How to Create the Customizable Classroom by Joe Hirsch (2014)By combining the flipped learning model with differentiated instruction, teachers can quickly and efficiently mobilize their students in "right size" learning activities.
- 3 Ways to Plan for Diverse Learners: What Teachers Do by John McCarthy (2014)Teachers aiming to differentiate learning in their classroom can focus on content, process, and product in giving students opportunities to grow and shine as individuals. For more planning tips, check out McCarthy's 15+ Readiness Resources for Driving Student Success, which provides resources to help teachers meet the readiness needs of all students.
- Back to School: Differentiation for All Students by Ben Johnson (2013)Johnson offers up teaching and technology tools to differentiate classroom learning.
- Six Strategies for Differentiated Instruction in Project-Based Learning by Andrew Miller (2012)Miller offers six simple, effective approaches to differentiated instruction in project-based learning.
Teaching Diverse Learners
- Serving Gifted Students in General Ed Classrooms by Elissa Brown (2015)While gifted students might excel in certain areas, we must differentiate their learning to address other academic areas along with their social and emotional needs, writes Brown. For more tips for serving gifted students, see Josh Work's Uppervention: Meeting the Needs of Gifted and Talented Students.
- Bridging the ADHD Gap by Merle Huerta (2015)To create education equity for children with ADHD, make the learning child-centered, differentiate, integrate movement and mindfulness, create supportive learning environments, and document the process.
- Integrating ELL Students in General Education Classes by Dorit Sasson (2014)Through a blend of differentiated instruction and formative assessment strategies, ELLs can successfully keep up with their peers in a general education classroom. Larry Ferlazzo's Do's & Don'ts For Teaching English-Language Learners is another great source for helping reach ELL students in general education classes.
- The Power of Introverts: An Essential Understanding for Teachers by Elena Aguilar (2013)Aguilar shares how understanding the characteristics of an introvert can help teachers better serve shy and quiet students.
- Teaching Non-Traditional Learners by Suzie Boss (2012)Boss interviews author and non-traditional learner Rebecca Skloot about the teachers who noticed her strengths and changed her life.
- What Does the “Special” in Special Education Mean? by Marisa Kaplan (2011)Kaplan offers a fresh perspective on how, in education, one size does not fit all. For more about how to support students with special needs, visit Edutopia’s Special Education page.
Additional Resources on the Web
- Six Differentiation Strategies for New Teachers by Lily Jones, Teaching Channel (2015)
- Individualized Instruction vs. Differentiated Instruction by Ginny Osewalt, Understood.org(2014)
- A Teacher's Guide to Differentiating Instruction by Center for Education Reform and Improvement (Updated 2014)
- What Differentiated Instruction Is -- And Is Not, TeachThought (2014)
- 5 Good Tools to Differentiate Instruction by John McCarthy, Opening Paths (2014)
- 10 Inspiring Quotations to Help You Differentiate Your Instruction by Tina Byland, ASCD Inservice (2014)
- Assessment & Success in a Differentiated Classroom by Fran Loose, MiddleWeb (2014)
- How Does PBL Support Differentiated Instruction? by John McCarthy, Buck Institute for Education (2012)
- Differentiated Instruction for English-Language Learners by Karen Ford, Colorin Colorado(2011)
- From Differentiated Instruction to Differentiated Assessment by Douglas B. Reeves, ASCD Express (2011)
- Differentiating Instruction: Maximizing the Learning of All Students from The IRIS Center at Peabody College, Vanderbilt University
- Differentiated Instruction, ASCD
- Differentiation Central, a service of the Institutes on Academic Diversity at the University of Virginia's Curry School of Education
How do you approach differentiated instruction in your classroom? Share tools, resources, experiences, or advice in the comments.