Unit 3: Useful Strategies for Differentiating Instruction




Upon completion of this unit, participants will be able to

  • Identify strategies for differentiating instruction.
  • Create a lesson or activity to be used in their classroom that incorporates differentiated instruction while also considering the theory of multiple intelligences.
  • Discuss their specific classroom goals for differentiated instruction.

Strategies for Differentiating Instruction in the Classroom

The final activity of this mini course will be for you to create a lesson or activity that incorporates the ideas of differentiated instruction that you will carry out in your classroom. However, before you begin brainstorming ideas, it is important that we remember what differentiated instruction is and what it is not.

  • Differentiated Instruction is based on the belief that everyone learns differently.
  • Teachers should strive to meet the educational needs of their students.
  • Differentiated Instruction does NOT mean separating the "smarter" students from the "weaker" students.
  • Differentiated Instruction goes beyond giving students choices.

Consider the subject area and content that you teach in your classroom. Do you already use strategies to differentiate instruction? When trying to brainstorm ideas and activities to further differentiate instruction consider the following -

                          CONTENT - What are you teaching?
                          PROCESS- How are you teaching?
                          PRODUCT- How will student learning be assessed?

It is important to remember that differentiated instruction can take many forms - some more complex than others. Read over the following list of examples - do you already use any of these strategies in your classroom?

  • Tiered Lessons
  • Reading Buddies
  • Flexible Grouping
  • Think-Pair-Share
  • Multiple Intelligence Options
  • K-W-L Charts
  • Exit Tickets
  • Student Interest Surveys
  • Multiple Texts
  • Multiple Levels of Questioning (Bloom's Taxonomy)

To help get some ideas for how to differentiate instruction, watch the following videos -

Differentiating Instruction Part I - Student Choice and Multiple Modes of Learning

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wFJNchYlJToDifferentiated Instruction Part II - Tiered Assignments, Student Choice and Other Strategies

Set a Goal for Yourself in your Classroom

Additional Information

Making a Difference; Carol Ann Tomlinson Explains How Differentiated Instruction Works and Why We Need it Now.

Six Strategies for Differentiated Instruction in Project Based Learning

Culturally Responsive Differentiated Instructional Strategies

One Size Doesn't Fit All