Unit 3: Differentiation of Materials on Microsoft Teams


Utilizing Microsoft Teams to Design Instruction

Image Obtained from 3P Learning


Think About It

Please take time to brainstorm answers to the following questions.

1. What is differentiation?

2. How have you differentiated instruction, or how have you seen instruction differentiated in the past?

What is Differentiation

Differentiation is a very important aspect of teaching. Tomlinson said that, "at its most basic level, differentiation consists of the efforts of teachers to respond to variance among learners in the classroom. Whenever a teacher reaches out to an individual or small group to vary his or her teaching in order to create the best learning experience possible, that teacher is differentiating instruction." Differentiation is important because it allows for all students to receive the tools necessary to be able to succeed. There are multiple ways to differentiate instruction. This unit will show you just a few of the ways that Microsoft Teams can be utilized to differentiate instruction.


Watch the following video

Brainstorm an answer to the following question.

  • How do you think Microsoft Teams can help differentiate instruction?

Further Reading

Carol Ann Tomlinson, What is Differentiated Instruction?

Differentiation in the Classroom

Microsoft Immersive Reader

What is the Immersive Reader

Directly from Microsoft

"The Microsoft Immersive Reader is a free tool, built into Word, OneNote, Outlook, Office Lens, Microsoft Teams, Forms, Flipgrid, Minecraft Education Edition and the Edge browser, that implement proven techniques to improve reading and writing for people regardless of their age or ability."

All About the Immersive Reader.png


Watch the following video

Complete this interactive activity about utilizing the Immersive Reader

Creating Private Channels

What are Private Channels

Private Channels are channels that only specific students within a Team are added to. This is hugely beneficial if you have students in your class who have an IEP or a 504 plan and receive specific services. This allows you to provide the services that they are legally entitled to. For example, if students have in their IEP that they receive a graphic organizer for an assignment, you can post the graphic organizer in the private channel for the students to have access to.


Create a Private Channel

  • Step 1 - Create a Channel
    • Follow the steps that you used in Unit 1 to create a channel.

  • Step 2 - Make the Channel Private
Making a Channel Private.png

  • Step 3 - Add Students
Add Students to Private Channel.png

  • Note that private channels appear on your side-bar with a lock beside the name of the channel
Private Channel Lock.png

Further Reading

Private Channels in Microsoft Teams

Assigning Materials to Specific Students

Why Assign Work to Certain Students

One great way to differentiate instruction is to give different assignments to students. These differences can be different reading materials, different writing assignments, etc. This can be used in a jigsaw activity, or another activity where students are responsible for different parts of a project, or it can be used to provide extra scaffolding for students who need.


Create an assignment and assign it only to specific students.

  • Step 1 - Follow the steps to create an assignment from Unit 2.

  • Step 2 - Click Where it Says 'All Students'
Select All Students.png

  • Step 3 - Select Which Students You Want to Assign it To
Select Students.png

  • Step 4 - Assign the Assignment

Next Unit

Once you have done the following you can move on to the next unit where we will be exploring evaluating on the Microsoft Teams platform.

Unit 2: Design of Content and Assessments on Microsoft Teams | Unit 4: Evaluation of Students on Microsoft Teams


3P Learning. (2020). Differentiation in the Classroom. Retrieved from 3P Learning: https://www.3plearning.com/blog/differentiated-instruction/

Education Week. (2018, September 11). Differentiating Instruction: It's Not as Hard as You Think. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h7-D3gi2lL8.

Microsoft. (2018, October 4). How to Improve Reading Skills With Microsoft Learning Tools. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3n5emMEm3Uk&feature=emb_title.

Microsoft. (2020). All About the Immersive Reader. Retrieved from Microsoft Educator Center: https://education.microsoft.com/en-us/resource/9b010288

Microsoft. (2020). Inclusive Classroom: Help Students Read More Effectively. https://content.cloudguides.com/en-us/guides/Help%20students%20read%20more%20effectively.

Microsoft. (2020, June 18). Private Channels in Microsoft Teams. Retrieved from Microsoft: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoftteams/private-channels

Tomlinson, C. A. (2000, August). What is Differentiated Instruction. Retrieved from Reading Rockets: https://www.readingrockets.org/article/what-differentiated-instruction#:~:text=Differentiation%20means%20tailoring%20instruction%20to,a%20successful%20approach%20to%20instruction.