• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • You already know Dokkio is an AI-powered assistant to organize & manage your digital files & messages. Very soon, Dokkio will support Outlook as well as One Drive. Check it out today!


B1 - DI Tools for Your Toolbox

Page history last edited by John McCarthy 14 years, 5 months ago

ModulesUnderstanding | Exploration | Examples | Invitation | Reflection


 Just about any strategy can be differentiated. What can make the processes effective is if student need is thoughtfully considered during the planning process. Every teacher differentiates in some fashion on a daily basis. The most effective and efficient methods are the ones planned during the lesson development, when student needs data can be evaluated and incorporated.


Strategies are differentiated based 1st on student needs (DI Components): Readiness, Interest, and Learning Process. As we've explored in the A series, understanding what students bring as strengths and challenges in terms of the DI Components helps us identify the tool(s) and area that will best support learning. Do I plan an experience based on

  • grouping students to do complex appropriate work (Vigotsky's Zone of Proximal Development [Site TwoThree, and Four]) based on readiness? 
  • offering several choices from which students determine the approach that engages their interest?
  • including tasks that address a variety of thinking styles so that each student can make connections based on their learning profile?


It's possible, and often occurs, that a combination of DI Components is used. It's a natural fit with the complexity of learning.


Next, we need to decide which Learning Component is to be differentiated--Content access, Process, and/or Product. More than one part of a lesson can be differentiated. The specific tools may change. 



Lesson on Making Inference

  1. Review the posted learning targets and lesson assessment.
  2. Teacher shows a video clip (ex. Simon the Cat).
    YouTube plugin error
  3. At the end of the clip, students talk in 2's or 3's summarizing the story, and then guessing as to what happens next in the story. They will write a short paragraph or draw a picture of the next scene.
  4. As groups share their thinking, the teacher connects their ideas with the concept of Inferences.


* * *



Video and storytelling is engaging, supporting learning profiles. This trend continues with the small groups as they have the option to write or draw their thinking. The "artist" or "writer" scribes the work, while partners discuss their thinking.


During step 3, the teacher can roam to track students progression for possible support later on in the lesson. (formative assessment)

  1. Students read a variety of scenarios and make inferences as to the answer. Some topics are mystery who dunnits and sports or social problem situations. There are 2 forms of the Scenario task sheet, which the teacher assigns to students based on previous reading assessments and work on story problems.
  2. When papers are completed, students group in 2's or 3's to review and discuss the answer guide.
  3. The teacher reviews the concept using student responses. Additional questions are asked such as:
    --Who might the cat's personality remind you of? Why?
    --What season is the video setting? What clues shape your thinking?






* * *

Readiness is important here. Students are assigned one of two Tiered assignements based on their reading. This form encourages everyone to be stretched in their skills. They could have been grouped heterogeniously to work on the same form. In this case skill level was a key consideration for stretching everyone.  During steps 5 and 6 the teacher may roam to support, or work with certain groups to assist their progress. (Formative assessment)
  1. Students choose from 3 options to demonstrate their understanding of inference making. They make their own version of scenarios using any topic or genre. The scenario can be written, picture (captioned), or photo (captioned). The teacher provides clear criteria for all students to be successful.
Interest and learning profile are combined here. Students choose which method they want to use, and in the case of learning profile, the final product is visual, kinesthetic, and/or abstract.


There is probably other cues you'll find in this example. What's important is that differentiated instruction takes on many forms, from whole class, groups, to individual tasks. While it's helpful to students to do a mix of these forms, equally important is to plan the experiences based on student needs data.


Response: (Please post in Comments section below)

What questions do you have regarding the use of the Learning Matrix?


ModulesUnderstanding | Exploration | Examples | Invitation | Reflection

Comments (0)

You don't have permission to comment on this page.