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Teacher Resources

How to Differentiate Instruction


Change the Pace:

  • pre-testing
  • Curriculum Compacting         
  • tiered activities           
  • most difficult first
  • alternate assignments
  • learning contracts
  • Independent Study
  • Learning Centers

Change the Delivery/Content:

  • mini-lessons
  • different resources
  • Curriculum Compacting
  • Independent Study
  • open-ended questions
  • teacher conferences
  • reading journals
  • previewing resources

Change the Product:

  • choice boards
  • Tic Tack Toe menus
  • RAFT (role, audience, format, topic)
  • game show menu
  • student choice options
  • game creation
  • technology-based products: websites, podcasts, movie making

Change the Process - Add Depth:

  • tiered activities
  • open-ended activities
  • higher-level questions
  • curriculum ladders
  • student experts
  • increase complexity
  • decrease structure

Change the Process - Add Breadth:

  • Tic Tack Toe menus
  • interdisciplinary units
  • orbital studies
  • simulations
  • “your own idea” options
  • choice boards
  • RAFT assignments
  • interest centers
  • case studies
  • role plays

Guiding Principles of Differentiation:

  • Respectful work for all learners.

    • Assessment & instruction are inseparable.
    • Assessment before, during, & after instruction is critical for making appropriate modifications for gifted learners.
    • Focus on the essentials.
    • Modification of content, process, and products.
      •  Content = what is taught and how students access information.
      •  Process = how a student makes sense of or comes to understand the information, ideas, and skills that are that the center of the lesson.
      •  Product = assessment or demonstration of what students have come to understand & know.
    • Replacement tasks should be respectful works that serve a purpose (not busy work)

Pace – Delivery -- Product -- Process (Depth & Breadth)

Online Resources

Serving Gifted Students in General Ed Classrooms

Blog Articles

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The Differentiator

The Differentiator is based on Bloom's Taxonomy, Kaplan and Gould's Depth and Complexity, and David Chung's product menu. 

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