The Toolkit:

Differentiation Strategies Toolkit: Click this link to view a catalogued compendium of all the strategies, video and resources we have learned about this year in our differentiation journey.

Professional Development:

Independent Exploration Modules: The activity from the Focus Meeting on 1.3.12, and our department meeting on 3.27.2012.

Teacher Exemplars:

Differentiated Review: Amy McCabe (Athena Teacher) shares a differentiated approach to reviewing for the Regents Exam that can be adapted to any course or content area.

Differentiated Projects: Lauri Secker (Former Athena Teacher) has developed an incredibly differentiated and rigorous approach to project based learning.  She has put together 14 different types of projects, each with a two page list of differentiated criteria and a correlating rubric.  This can be applied to any content area at any grade level.

Differentiating with Bloom: Tim Bruner (Athena Teacher) has shared this incredible PPT on differentiation.  You will find 10-15 different activities and strategies to differentiate your instruction at each level of Blooms Taxonomy. That’s over 80 different ideas for how you can differentiate instruction in a strategic way in your class.

Differentiating with Stations: Daniel Wallace (NYC Teacher) leads his students through three different, interactive stations that force students to think through literature in a variety of analytical ways. This is done to prompt student to ultimately write more analytically.


Teacher Examples:

Screen Shot 2013-01-31 at 7.16.33 AMDifferentiated Lessons Based on Self Assessment (GCSD Teacher): Mrs. Benz shares a lesson in which students use a pretest to determine what stations they will complete in order to differentiate the instruction.


New Teacher Tries Differentiating Instruction (The Teaching Channel): Watch as a new teacher begins to experiment with differentiation with her mentor.


The Self Checklist (GCSD Teacher): Mr. Burke shares how to differentiate feedback with an emphasis on learner accountability.


Differentiating with Learning Menus (The Teaching Channel): NYC Teacher, Mary Vagenas shares a lesson in which she differentiates the learning by allowing student choice.  Click here for more examples developed by a GCSD teacher.


Interactive Writing Rubric (GCSD Teacher): Ms. Secker shares a simple way to differentiated feedback on student essays.


Snowball Technique (The Teaching Channel): This technique for incremental learning can be used to differentiate instruction by allowing the teacher to focus on struggling learners while scaffolding independent work.


Gradual Release of Responsibility (The Teaching Channel): This strategy is for those who are more comfortable with differentiation and focuses on allowing students to become independent learners at their own pace.


Open or Closed: That is the Question (The Teaching Channel): A short video on how to differentiate your questioning to maximize student learning.


School System Examples:

Lessons from a Turn Around Public School (Edutopia, Cochrane High School): This video highlights the journey of a school that was one of the worst public schools in the State of South Caroline and is now making incredible gains.  This remarkable turnaround is not a mystery or an accident.  It is the result of every teacher and administrator focusing all their efforts on doing whatever it would take to focus on student success. Specifically, they adjusted instruction to ensure they maximized instructional time on what was research has shown really works.

How to Engage Underperforming Students (Edutopia, Cochrane High School): Teachers at Cochrane, formerly one of the worst schools in the State of South Carolina, have learned that adjusting how they teach, authentic professional development and a focus on relationships has transformed how they meet students learning needs.

Differentiated Instruction: Fast Track to the Top (Edutopia, Mesquite Elementary): Devastated by scores they were not proud of, the teachers and administration at Mesquite Elementary came together to develop a system that demanded that every student meet the essential learning objectives prior to moving on.  They altered the schedule and teaching practices to ensure that every student learned the objectives agreed upon.

Reteach and Enrich: How to Make Time for Every Student (Edutopia, Mesquite Elementary): A practical video that shares how one school turns the traditional system of “some get it and some don’t” on its head.  By collaborating across grade level teams, teachers share students and work together to ensure that all students are held accountable to achieve the essential standards, rather than holding teachers accountable for making it through the textbook.

Online Resources:

Dare to Differentiate: An incredible website with a myriad of resources to support anyone looking to improve their ability to differentiate instruction.

Differentiation Central (Web Link: Carol Tomlinson) This page contains numerous links to lessons ideas, instructional strategies and resources to help make differentiation possible.

Differentiated Instructional Strategies (PDF: Dan Mulligan – Appomatox Central School District) This document contains pages of strategies and resources that you can use to support your current instruction and add an element of differentiation to what you are already doing.  (Click here for the website)

Differentiated Instruction: Fast Track to the Top (Web Link: Edutopia – Mariko Nobori) This article/video focuses on differentiation in an elementary context, but has several nuggets that make it worth a look for any teacher interested in improving their ability to differentiate. Key Quote: “During (an assigned) period teachers give students who are struggling with a concept extra time and attention, and students who have mastered the basics receive instruction that takes their learning to the next level.”

Education World’s Differentiated Instruction Page – Lots of links and resources to help you on your journey.

Enhancing Learning with Technology – This site focuses on integrating technology, but has some good ideas for differentiating as well.

I’m Done. Now What – A PDF document with a lot of ideas and strategies to tryout. Ideas on when, how and what to use for anchor activities.

Tools for Differentiation – Another great resource.

Learning Style Inventory Tools:

Multiple Intelligences Inventory – This is a tool you can use to help understand how your student learn and what their particular learning strengths are.

Paragon Learning Style Inventory – This is a tool from Oswego University that will help you assess individual learning styles.  This tool aligns with the Myers-Briggs Type Indicators model.

Carol Tomlinson Lecture Videos

On Differentiation: Seizing Opportunities

On Differentiation: Responsive Teaching

On Differentiation: Proactive Instruction

On Differentiation: Connecting Kids and Content

On Differentiation: A Sample M.S. Ed. Class

1 Response to Differentiation

  1. John says:

    Video: Burke’s Self Checklists and Tomlinson’s Proactive Instruction
    Article: Differentiated Instruction Allows Students to Succeed

    MVP: Differentiation is ongoing and must be applied to daily as well as long term planning

    New way to differentiate learning: Might try self checklists with warm-ups.

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