slide1 n.
Skip this Video
Download Presentation
Coaching for Differentiation By Lori Comallie-Caplan

Loading in 2 Seconds...

play fullscreen
1 / 211

Coaching for Differentiation By Lori Comallie-Caplan - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

  • Uploaded on

Coaching for Differentiation By Lori Comallie-Caplan. The success of education depends on adapting teaching to individual differences among learners. Yuezheng, in fourth century B.C. Chinese treatise, Xue Ji. (Snow, 1982). Differentiation. Is a teacher’s response to learner’s needs.

I am the owner, or an agent authorized to act on behalf of the owner, of the copyrighted work described.
Download Presentation

PowerPoint Slideshow about 'Coaching for Differentiation By Lori Comallie-Caplan' - daw

Download Now An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation

Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Presentation Transcript

Coaching for Differentiation

By Lori Comallie-Caplan

the success of education depends on adapting teaching to individual differences among learners

The success of education depends on adapting teaching to individual differences among learners.

Yuezheng, in fourth century B.C. Chinese treatise, Xue Ji

(Snow, 1982)



Is a teacher’s response to learner’s needs

Guided by general principles of differentiation

Respectful tasks

Flexible grouping

Continual assessment

Teachers can differentiate through

Building Community

Quality Curriculum





According to students’



Learning Profile

Through a variety of instructional strategies such as: Choice Menus, Anchor Activities, Cubing, RAFTS, 6 Thinking Hats, Structured Academic Controversy, The profiler, Tri-minder, etc



to Differentiate Content

  • Reading Partners / Reading Buddies
      • Read/Summarize
      • Read/Question/Answer
      • Visual Organizer/Summarizer
      • Parallel Reading with Teacher Prompt
  • Choral Reading/Antiphonal Reading
  • Flip Books
  • Split Journals (Double Entry – Triple Entry)
  • Books on Tape
  • Highlights on Tape
  • Digests/ “Cliff Notes”
  • Notetaking Organizers
  • Varied Texts
  • Varied Supplementary Materials
  • Highlighted Texts
  • Think-Pair-Share/Preview-Midview-Postview

Tomlinson – ‘00

to differentiate process


  • Fun & Games
  • RAFTs
  • Cubing, Think Dots
  • Choices (Intelligences)
  • Centers
  • Tiered lessons
  • Contracts


to Differentiate Product

  • Choices based on readiness, interest, and learning profile
  • Clear expectations
  • Timelines
  • Agreements
  • Product Guides
  • Rubrics
  • Evaluation

A Differentiated Classroom in Balance











Solid Curriculum









A Growth












to determine













to teaching

and learning


Respect for







“It means teachers proactively plan varied approaches to what students need to learn, how they will learn it, and/or how they will show what they have learned in order to increase the likelihood that each student will learn as much as he or she can, as efficiently as possible.”

what is differentiation
What is differentiation?

Differentiation is

classroom practice

that looks

eyeball to eyeball

with the reality

that kids differ, and the most effective

teachers do whatever it takes to hook

the whole range of kids on learning.

-Tomlinson (2001)


“Differentiation is making sure that the right students get the right learning tasks at the right time. Once you have a sense of what each student holds as ‘given’ or ‘known’ and what he or she needs in order to learn, differentiation is no longer an option; it is an obvious response.”

Assessment as Learning: Using Classroom Assessment to Maximize Student Learning

Lorna M. Earl

Corwin Press, Inc. – 2003 – pp. 86-87


“It’s a way of thinking about the classroom with the goals of honoring each student’s learning needs and maximizing each student’s learning capacity while developing a solid community of learners.”


Differentiation doesn’t suggest that a teacher can be all things to all individuals all the time. It does, however, mandate that a teacher create a reasonable range of approaches to learning much of the time, so that most students find learning a fit much of the time.


At its most basic level,

differentiating instruction

means “shaking up” what

goes on in the classroom

so that students have

multiple options for

taking in information,

making sense of ideas,

and expressing

what they learn.


It’s teaching so that “typical” students; students with disabilities; students who are gifted; and students from a range of cultural, ethnic, and language groups can learn together, well.

Not just inclusion, but inclusive teaching.

Based on Peterson, J., & Hitte, M. (2003). Inclusive teaching: Creating effective schools for all learners.

Boston: Allyn & Bacon, p. xix.

differentiating instruction rules of thumb
Differentiating Instruction:Rules of Thumb
  • Be clear on the key concepts and generalizations or principles that give meaning and structure to the topic, chapter, unit, or lesson you are planning.
  • Lessons for all students should emphasize critical thinking.
  • Lessons for all students should be engaging.
  • In a diffentiated classroom, there should be a balance between student-selected and teacher-assigned tasks and working arrangements.
it begins with good instruction
It Begins with Good Instruction

Lynn Erickson: We know from brain research that students need to see patterns and connections, and any learner is looking at information and trying to pattern and sort it into what they already have in their brains as far as past experience, past learnings. And if they have no way to make sense of this massive amount of information that's coming at them, then they tend to get confused. We also know that they tend to forget a lot of what they have learned. It just becomes "traipsing over trivia" because it doesn't make much sense to them. So, moving to a conceptual level for the structure of that information is going to be beneficial to students.

planning a focused curriculum means clarity about what students should
Planning a Focused Curriculum Means Clarity About What Students Should …


  • Facts
  • Vocabulary
  • Definitions
    • Principles/ generalizations
    • Big ideas of the discipline
    • Processes
    • Skills

Facts, names, dates, places, information

  • There are 50 states in the US
  • Thomas Jefferson
  • 1492
  • The Continental Divide
  • The multiplication tables

Essential truths that give meaning to the topic

Stated as a full sentence

Begin with, “I want students to understand THAT…” (not HOW… or WHY… or WHAT)

  • Multiplication is another way to do addition.
  • People migrate to meet basic needs.
  • All cultures contain the same elements.
  • Entropy and enthalpy are competing

forces in the natural world.

  • Voice reflects the author.

Understanding is more a matter of what people can DO than something they HAVE. Understanding involves action more than possession.

D.N. Perkins, Educational Leadership, 10/91

be able to do

Skills (basic skills, skills of the discipline, skills of independence, social skills, skills of production)

Verbs or phrases (not the whole activity)

  • Analyze
  • Solve a problem to find perimeter
  • Write a well supported argument
  • Evaluate work according to specific criteria
  • Contribute to the success of a group or team
  • Use graphics to represent data appropriately

“There is no such thing as genuine knowledge and fruitful understanding except as the offspring of doing… This is the lesson which all education has to learn.”

--John Dewey


KNOW (facts, vocabulary, dates, rules, people, etc.)

ecosystem, elements of culture (housing/shelter,

customs, values, geography)

UNDERSTAND (complete sentence, statement of truth

or insight - want students to understand that . . .)

DO(basic skills, thinking skills, social skills, skills of the

discipline, planning skills---verbs)

Compare and contrast Draw conclusions

Work collaboratively Develop a timeline

Use maps as data Compare and contrast

Write a unified paragraph

Examine varied perspectives

Tomlinson • 02


Ongoing Assessment:

The Key to A

Differentiated Classroom


“Assessment is today’s means of

understanding how to modify

tomorrow’s instruction.”

Carol Tomlinson







  • Areas of Strength
  • and Weakness
  • Work Preferences
  • Self Awareness
  • Interest Surveys
  • Interest Centers
  • Self-Selection






“Assessment should always have

more to do with helping students

grow than with cataloging their


Carol Tomlinson


When Do You Assess?

Most teachers assess students at the

end of an instructional unit or sequence.

When assessment and instruction are

interwoven, both the students and the

teacher benefit. The next slide suggests

a diagnostic continuum for

ongoing assessment.

on going assessment a diagnostic continuum
On-going Assessment:A Diagnostic Continuum


(Finding Out)

Formative Assessment

(Keeping Track & Checking -up)

Summative Assessment

(Making sure)


Formative Assessment

(Keeping Track & Checking -up)

Summative Assessment

(Making sure)


(Finding Out)

On-going Assessment:A Diagnostic Continuum

Feedback and Goal Setting


Graphing for Greatness







Conference Exit Card

Peer evaluation Portfolio Check

3-minute pause Quiz

Observation Journal Entry

Talkaround Self-evaluation


Unit Test

Performance Task



Portfolio Review

preassessment is
Preassessment Is...
  • Any method, strategy or process used to determine a
  • student’s current level of readiness or interest in order to
  • plan for appropriate instruction.
  • Preassessment:
  • provides data that can determine options for students to
  • to take in information, construct meaning, and to
  • demonstrate understanding of new information
  • helps teachers anticipate differences before planning
  • challenging and respectful learning experiences
  • allows teachers to meet students where they are
formative assessment is
Formative Assessment Is...
  • A process of accumulating information about a student’s
  • progress to help make instructional decisions that will
  • improve his/her understandings and achievement levels.
  • Formative Assessment:
  • depicts student’s life as a learner
  • used to make instructional adjustments
  • alerts the teacher about student misconceptions
  • “early warning signal”
  • allows students to build on previous experiences
  • provides regular feedback
  • provides evidence of progress
  • aligns with instructional/curricular outcomes
summative assessment is
Summative Assessment Is...
  • A means to determine a student’s mastery and
  • understanding of information, skills, concepts, or
  • processes.
  • Summative Assessment:
  • should reflect formative assessments that precede it
  • should match material taught
  • may determine student’s exit achievement
  • may be tied to a final decision, grade or report
  • should align with instructional/curricular outcomes
  • may be a form of alternative assessment
student traits
Student Traits

There are four student traits that teachers must often address to ensure effective and efficient learning. Those are readiness, interest, learning profile, and affect.

student traits1
Student Traits

Readiness refers to a student’s knowledge, understanding, and skill related to a particular sequence of learning. Only when a student works at a level of difficulty that is both challenging and attainable for that student does learning take place.

Tomlinson, 2003

student traits2
Student Traits

Interest refers to those topics or pursuits that evoke curiosity and passion in a learner. Thus, highly effective teachers attend both to developing interests and as yet undiscovered interests in their students.

Tomlinson, 2003

student traits3
Student Traits

Learning profile refers to how students learn best. Those include learning style, intelligence preference, culture and gender. If classrooms can offer and support different modes of learning, it is likely that more students will learn effectively and efficiently.

Tomlinson, 2003

student traits4
Student Traits

Affect has to do with how students feel about themselves, their work, and the classroom as a whole. Student affect is the gateway to helping each student become more fully engaged and successful in learning.

Tomlinson, 2003

learner profile card
Learner Profile Card

Gender Stripe

Auditory, Visual, Kinesthetic

Analytical, Creative, Practical

Student’s Interests

Multiple Intelligence Preference

Favorite Subject

NOTE: Put the student’s name on the back of the card so decisions can initially be made without knowing the particular student.


Intelligence Preference

Human brains are “wired” differently in different individuals. Although all normally functioning people use all parts of their brains, each of us is “wired” to be better in some areas than in others (Gardner, Sternberg).

Differentiation based on a student’s intelligence preference generally suggests allowing the student to work in a preferred mode to develop that capacity further.

Sometimes teachers also ask students to extend their preferred modes of working, or they opt to use a student’s preferred areas to support growth in less comfortable areas.

sternberg s three intelligences
Sternberg’s Three Intelligences




  • We all have some of each of these intelligences, but are usually stronger in one or two areas than in others.
  • We should strive to develop as fully each of these intelligences in students…
  • …but also recognize where students’ strengths lie and teach through those intelligences as often as possible, particularly when introducing new ideas.

Anchor Activities

A task to which a student automatically moves

when an assigned task is finished,


Important—related to key knowledge, understanding,

and skill,

Interesting—appeals to student curiosity, interest,

learning preference,

Allow Choice—students can select from a range of


Clear Routines and Expectations—students know

what they are to do, how to do it, how to

keep records, etc.

Seldom Graded—teachers should examine the work

as they move around the room. Students may

turn in work for feedback. Students may get

a grade for working effectively, but seldom for

the work itself. The motivation is interest

and/or improved achievement.

rapid robin

The “Dreaded Early Finisher”

i m not finished freddie
“I’m Not Finished” Freddie

“It takes him

an hour-and-a-half

to watch 60 Minutes.”

one premise in a differentiated classroom
One premise in a differentiated classroom:

“ In this class we are never finished---

Learning is a

process that

never ends.”


Anchor Activities

  • Anchor activitiesare ongoing assignments that students can work on independently throughout a unit of study or longer.
the purpose of an anchor activity is to
The Purpose of an Anchor Activity is to:

Provide meaningful work for students when they finish an assignment or project, when they first enter the class or when they are “stumped”.

Provide ongoing tasks that tie to the content and instruction.

Free up the classroom teacher to work with other groups of students or individuals.

using anchor activities to create groups
Using Anchor Activities to Create Groups


Teach the whole class to work independently and

quietly on the anchor activity.



Half the class works

on anchor activity.

Other half works on

a different activity.


1/3 works with



1/3 works on

anchor activity.

1/3 works on a

different activity.

anchor activities

Can be:

used in any subject

whole class assignments

small group or individual assignments

tiered to meet the needs of different readiness levels

Interdisciplinary for use across content areas or teams

anchor activities1

Work best:

  • when expectations are clear and the tasks are taught and practiced prior to use.
  • when students are held accountable for on task behavior and/or task completion.

Planning for Anchor Activities

Subject/Content Area:

Name and description of anchor activity:

How will activity be introduced to students?

How will the activity be managed and monitored?

- Points - Percentage of Final Grade

- Rubric - Portfolio Check

- Checklist - Teacher/Student Conference

- Random Check - Peer Review

- On Task Behaviors - Other _______________

some anchor activities
Some Anchor Activities
  • “Brain Busters”
  • Learning Packets
  • Activity Box
  • Learning/Interest Centers
  • Vocabulary Work
  • Accelerated Reader
  • Investigations
  • MSPAP or CRT Practice Activities
  • Magazine Articles with Generic Questions or Activities
  • Listening Stations
  • Research Questions or Projects
  • Commercial Kits and Materials
  • Journals or Learning Logs
  • Silent Reading (Content Related?)

Examples of Possible Anchor Activities

Skills practice at the computer

Reading from supplementary material

Completing math applications

Working on final products

Free reading

Journal writing

Analyzing cases (or writing them)

Vocabulary extension

Learning about the people behind ideas

Learning about key ideas at work in the world

Independent Studies


Current events reading

Designing or completing “virtual” science experiments

Developing or completing relevant organizers

An idea for an improvement, invention, innovation


Generally, homework is not an acceptable anchor activity—and anchor

activities are typically completed individually.


Beginning Anchor Activities…

  • Teach one key anchor activity to the whole class very carefully.
  • Later, it can serve as a point of departure for other anchors.
  • Explain the rationale.
  • Let students know you intend the activities to be helpful
  • and/or interesting to them.
  • Help them understand why it’s important for them to work
  • productively.
  • Make sure directions are clear and accessible, materials readily
  • available, and working conditions support success.
  • Think about starting with one or two anchor options and expanding the
  • options as students become proficient with the first ones.
  • Monitor student effectiveness with anchors and analyze the way they
  • are working with your students.
  • Encourage your students to propose anchor options.
  • Remember that anchor activities need to stem from and be part of
    • building a positive community of learners.
directions complete the chart to show what you know about write as much as you can
Directions: Complete the chart to show what you know about ________________ Write as much as you can.


Description of the Strategy

Steps in Developing It

Useful For

Place to Use It in the Curriculum

Tomlinson - 02



    • Learning menus outline a variety of
    • instructional options targeted toward
    • important learning goals.
    • Students are able to select the choices
    • which most appeal to them.
    • The teacher directs the menu process,
    • but the student is given control over
    • his/her choice of options, order of
    • completion, etc.

Kinds of Menus

  • 􀁺 MENU: Main Dishes, Side Dishes, and
  • Desserts (for younger learners).
  • 􀁺 THINK TAC TOE: Complete a row,
  • column or diagonal line of activities.
  • All three options can be differentiated
  • according to interest, learning profile, or
  • readiness (see enclosed examples).


  • Something I can always be working on.
  • These are assignments that will reinforce concepts.
  • Vocabulary Words/Definitions
  • Word Searches
  • Idea Maps
  • Matching Worksheets
  • Label the Microorganism/Cell
  • Main Course
  • Required
  • These labs must be completed and turned in for credit.
  • Enormous E
  • Focus on Scopes
  • Pond Water Culture
  • Your Choice
  • Chapter 8 Test



Appetizers:Can always work on


Main Course:Required


  • Soups/Salads
  • Homework Assignments
  • All homework must be completed and turned in for a grade.
  • Transparency #13
  • Transparency #16
  • Study Guide 8.1
  • Study Guide 8.2
  • Study Guide 8.3
  • Desserts
  • Things I can do to challenge myself.
  • These are not required unless you have been given specific instructions.
  • Movie Notes
  • Make a Slide
  • Guess the Disease
  • Write a Letter
  • Microbe Mysteries

Created by Meri-Lyn StarkElementary Science Coordinator Park City School District


Diner Menu – Photosynthesis

  • Appetizer (Everyone Shares)
  • Write the chemical equation for photosynthesis.
  • Entrée (Select One)
  • Draw a picture that shows what happens during photosynthesis.
  • Write two paragraphs about what happens during photosynthesis.
  • Create a rap that explains what happens during photosynthesis.
  • Side Dishes (Select at Least Two)
  • Define respiration, in writing.
  • Compare photosynthesis to respiration using a Venn Diagram.
  • Write a journal entry from the point of view of a green plant.
  • With a partner, create and perform a skit that shows the differences between photosynthesis and respiration.
  • Dessert (Optional)
  • Create a test to assess the teacher’s knowledge of photosynthesis.


Book Report

directions complete the chart to show what you know about write as much as you can1
Directions: Complete the chart to show what you know about ________________ Write as much as you can.


Description of the Strategy

Steps in Developing It

Useful For

Place to Use It in the Curriculum

Tomlinson - 02

what is cubing
What is Cubing
  • Cubing is an instructional strategy that asks students to consider a concept from a variety of different perspectives.
  • The cubes are six-sided figures that have a different activity on each side of the cube.
  • A student rolls the cube and does the activity that comes up.

Connect It

Illustrate It

  • Describe ItLook at the subject closely (perhaps with your senses in mind).
  • Compare ItWhat is it similar to? What is it different from?
  • Associate ItWhat does it make you think of? What comes to your mind when you think of it? Perhaps people? Places? Things? Feelings? Let your mind go and see what feelings you have for the subject.
  • Analyze ItTell how it is made. If you can’t really know, use your imagination.
  • Apply ItTell what you can do with it. How can it be used?
  • Argue for It or Against ItTake a stand. Use any kind of reasoning you want—logical, silly, anywhere in between.

Change It

Evaluate It

Solve It

Rearrange It

Question It

Satirize It

Cartoon It








Start by deciding which part of your unit lends itself to optional activities. Decide which concepts in this unit can you create a cube for. Is it possible for you to make 3 cubes for 3 different interests, levels, or topics?

First Step: (use one of the cubes)

Write 6 questions that ask for information on the selected unit.

Use your 6 levels of Bloom, intelligence levels, or any of the cubing statements to design questions.

Make questions that use these levels that probe the specifics of your unit.

Keep one question opinion based-no right or wrong.

Second Step: (use other cubes)

Use the first cube as your “average” cube, create 2 more using one as a lower level and one as a higher level.

Remember all cubes need to cover the same type of questions, just geared to the level, don’t water down or make too busy!

Label your cubes so you know which level of readiness you are addressing.

Hand your partner the cubes and ask if they can tell high, medium, or low. If they can’t tell, adjust slightly.

Third Step:

Always remember to have an easy problem on each cube and a hard one regardless the levels.

Color code the cubes for easy identification and also if students change cubes for questions.

Decide on the rules: Will the students be asked to do all 6 sides? Roll and do any 4 sides? Do any two questions on each of the 3 cubes?

Places to get questions:

Old quizzes, worksheets, textbook-study problems, students generated.

Creating a Cubing Exercise

Compare one of the

story characters to

yourself. How are

you alike and how

are you different?

ideas for kinesthetic cube
Ideas for Kinesthetic Cube
  • Arrange _________into a 3-D collage to show_________
  • Make a body sculpture to show__________________
  • Create a dance to show_______________________
  • Do a mime to help us understand_________________
  • Present an interior monologue with dramatic movement that________________________
  • Build/construct a representation of________________
  • Make a living mobile that shows and balances the elements of __________________
  • Create authentic sound effects to accompany a reading of ________________
  • Show the principle of _____________with a rhythm pattern you create. Explain to us how that works.
ideas for cubing in math
Ideas for Cubing in Math…
  • Describe how you would solve_____________
  • Analyze how this problem helps us use

mathematical thinking and problem solving.

  • Compare this problem to one on p._____
  • Contrast it too.
  • Demonstrate how a professional (or just a regular

person) could apply this kind of problem to their work

or life.

  • Change one or more numbers (elements, signs) in

the problem. Give a rule for what that change does.

  • Create an interesting and challenging word

problem from the number problem. (Show us how to

solve it too)

  • Diagram or Illustrate the solution to the problem.

Interpret the visual so we understand.

cubing fractions
Cubing Fractions
  • Each student at a table rolls two dice a designated number of times. The 1st dice/cube tells students what to do with a fraction.
  • Order/compare all the fractions from the smallest number to the largest.
  • Add 2 rolled fractions together.
  • Subtract 2 rolled fractions.
  • Divide 2 rolled fractions.
  • Multiply 2 rolled fractions.
  • Model 2 rolled fractions using circles or bars of paper.
  • The 2nd cube/dice contains the fraction which can vary in complexity based on studentnumber readiness.

Lynne Beauprey, Illinois

the cube
The Cube

First graders have been studying weather. They visit the Review Center at various times throughout the week as a way to review what they have learned about weather.

Draw it Associate it

Divide your paper into 4 sections. Choose one type of weather.

Label each section with a season and Create a web with this weather in the

draw what the playground might look like. Center. Write words in the bubble

connecting to the center that describe

Compare it how you feel when you see it.

Choose 2 seasons. Use a Venn diagram

to compare them. Describe it

Work with a partner.

Draw a card from the jar.

Explain it Describe the weather type on the card

Talk with a partner about your favorite so your partner can guess.

type of weather.

Analyze it

Work with a partner.

Read a book about rain.

Talk about why we need rain.

Jessica Ramsey/2004Adapted slightly from:


Third Grade Unit: Cubing Example

Adapted by Joy Peters, Nebraska

Compare your favorite picture in the story to a similar activity in your life. You may use words and/or pictures.

Describe your favorite picture in the

Story Family Pictures. Tell why you

picked that one.

List words that describe your feelings about the Mexican as you look at each picture in the story.

Using a Venn

Diagram, chart your favorite things and compare them to the favorite things you found in the story. Find common areas that you and the story share.

Justify why it is important to meet people who speak a different language and have a different culture.

Analyze the favorite things in the story by understanding

why these might be traditions in the culture. If you were a researcher asked about the important things in the Mexican culture, what would you say?

Red Cube

Using Family

Pictures by Carmen

Lomas Garza


Third Grade Unit: Cubing Example

Adapted by Joy Peters, Nebraska

Compare, using the compare and contrast graphic organizer and look at areas of food, shelter, traditions, family life, and recreational activities.

Describe the Mexican culture using

at least three sentences with three

describing words in each sentence.

Choreograph a dance or mime to represent the three main ideas that you learned about the Mexican culture.

Find and critique another story at the reading center. Compare it to Family Pictures and discuss what elements you liked and did not like of either story.

Pretend that you are a child from Mexico. Tell me about your day. What would your chores be? What would you eat? How would you spend your free time? Tell me why?

Create your own family album by drawing at least five special activities your family shares.

Orange Cube

cubing with charlotte s web
Basic Cube

Draw Charlotte as you think she looks.

Use a Venn diagram and compare Charlotte and Fern.

Use a comic strip to tell what happened in this chapter.

Shut your eyes and describe the barn. Jot down your ideas.

Predict what will happen in the next chapter using symbols.

In your opinion, why is Charlotte a good friend?

Abstract Cube

Use a graphics program on the computer and create a character web for Wilbur.

Use symbols on a Venn diagram to compare Wilbur and Charlotte.

Draw the farm and label the items, people, and buildings.

Use a storyboard to show the progress of the plot to this point.

What is the message that you think the writer wants people to remember? Draw a symbol that illustrates your ideas.

When you think of the title, do you agree or disagree that it is a good choice? Why or why not?

Cubing with Charlotte’s Web
directions complete the chart to show what you know about write as much as you can2
Directions: Complete the chart to show what you know about ________________ Write as much as you can.


Description of the Strategy

Steps in Developing It

Useful For

Place to Use It in the Curriculum

Tomlinson - 02



An Instructional Strategy for Differentiation by

Readiness, Interest or Learning Style

Kay Brimijoin, 1999

  • After a conceptual unit has been presented and students are familiar with the ideas and associated skills, “Think DOTS” is an excellent activity for students to construct meaning for themselves about the concept they are studying. The instructor first defines readiness levels, interests or learning styles in the class, using on-going assessment.
  • Each student is given a set of activity cards on a ring, a die, and an activity sheet. Each student rolls the die and completes the activity on the card that corresponds to the dots thrown on the die. Each student then completes the activity on the activity sheet.
  • Materials:
  • 1.8 ½ x 11 inch paper
  • 2.Hole punch
  • 3.Metal or plastic rings
  • 4.Dice
  • 5. Scissors
  • 6. Markers or dots
  • 7. Laminating materials
thinkdots pg 2
ThinkDOTs pg. 2


1.   For each readiness level, six activities should be created.

2.On an 8 ½ x 11 inch page divided into six sections (this can be done easily on the computer by creating a 2 x 3 cell table and saving it as a template), the activities should be written or typed in each section.

3.On the back of each page, dots corresponding to the dots on the faces of a die should be either drawn or affixed (you can use Avery adhesive dots) on each of the six sections of the page.

4.The pages should be laminated for durability.

5.Then each page should be cut into the six sections.

6.Use a hole punch to make holes in one corner or in the top of each activity card.

7.Use a metal or plastic ring to hold each set of six cards together (you can get 100 metal rings from Office Suppliers in Roanoke for $9.00)

8.Create an Activity Sheet to correspond to the lesson for easy recording and management.

thinkdots pg 3
ThinkDOTs pg. 3


1.Use colored paper and/or colored dots to indicate different readiness levels, interests or learning styles.

2.Have students work in pairs.

3.Let students choose which activities – for example: roll the die and choose any three; create complex activities and have students choose just one to work on over a number of days.

4.After students have worked on activity cards individually, have them come together in groups by levels, interest or learning style to synthesize 

thinkdots pg 4
ThinkDOTs pg. 4


  • 1.Use “ThinkDOTS” to lead students into deeper exploration of a concept.
  • 2.Use “ThinkDOTS” for review before assessment.
  • 3.Use “ThinkDOTS” as an assessment.
think dots grade 2 math
Think Dots:Grade 2 Math
  • What students should know
    • Count by fives
    • Count up to sixty
    • Tell time to the half hour
    • 4 quarters is equal $1.00
    • 3 fives makes fifteen
    • There is quarter after and a quarter till
    • Clock is divided into 4 parts and is similar to 4 quarters

equaling $1.00

  • What students should understand
    • Time helps people plan their lives better.
    • Time helps people communicate.
  • What students should be able to do
    • Tell time to the quarter hour
think dots grade 2 math1
Think Dots:Grade 2 Math

Students will tell and write time to the quarter hour, using analog and digital clock.

Think Dots Version 1: Time

The Think Dots could be used the following ways:

Anchor Activity, Pre-assessment, Review, Post-assessment

Dawn LoCassale

think dots grade 2 math2
Think Dots:Grade 2 Math

Students will tell and write time to the quarter hour, using analog and digital clock.

Think Dots Version 2: Time

The Think Dots could be used the following ways:

Anchor Activity, Pre-assessment, Review, Post-assessment

Dawn LoCassale

generic thinkdots for high school literature concept prejudice
“Generic” ThinkDOTS for High School Literature – Concept : Prejudice


  • Discuss how prejudice and discrimination are not only harmful to the victim, but also to those who practice them.


  • Imagine a group of people that could be scapegoats. List and describe stereotypes of this group and the treatments they received because of them.


  • Read the article. What could be reasons for the persecution? How can you justify and minds of those responsible?


  • Photographs tell stories. Write a caption for the photo and explain why you chose it.


  • Certain characteristics are blamed on genetics. Do genetics impact the characteristics of your group? Explain the reasoning behind your answer. Use your science knowledge.


  • Your group was persecuted. Identify a group who has been persecuted in more recent years. Compare the two and give reasons why.
generic thinkdots for high school literature concept prejudice1
“Generic” ThinkDOTS for High School Literature – Concept : Prejudice


  • Is it possible to grow to adulthood without harboring some prejudice? Why or why not?


  • What is scapegoating? Explore the word’s etymology and hypothesize about its present day meaning. How was your group scapegoated?


  • Read the article. What is genocide? Did the people in your article face genocide? Why?


  • Look at the clothing, hair, setting, body language, and objects to help determine social, economic, country of origin and so on. Can you see the emotions in the people? How? Do you think they are related?


  • Do genetics cause brown hair? How? List one way genetics affects your group (in your opinion). If genetics don’t affect your group explain why.


  • Identify stereotypes your group faced. Pick a clique in the school and discuss the traits of that group. Are they stereotyped?
generic thinkdots for high school literature concept prejudice2
“Generic” ThinkDOTS for High School Literature – Concept : Prejudice


  • Discuss the following statement: “Genocide can never be eliminated because it is deeply rooted in human nature.” Do you agree or disagree? Provide evidence from your readings for your position.


  • Identify and discuss the scapegoating that took place in your group. Compare the scapegoating of your group to that of a present day group.


  • Read the article. If you were the person behind the persecution and were asked why you did what you did, what would you say?


  • Compare two photographs taken of similar events. What are the similarities and differences? What might be the significance of these similarities and differences?


  • Did genetics have an impact on the Aryan race? Why? Does it in the group you are studying? Why?


  • Name a group you stereotype and discuss those traits that you stereotype. What were the stereotypes your group had?
directions complete the chart to show what you know about write as much as you can3
Directions: Complete the chart to show what you know about ________________ Write as much as you can.


Description of the Strategy

Steps in Developing It

Useful For

Place to Use It in the Curriculum

Tomlinson - 02



Doug Buehl cited in: Teaching Reading in the Content Areas: If Not Me Then Who BillMeyer & Martin, 1998



  • The ROLE of writer, speaker, artist, historian, etc.
  • An AUDIENCE of fellow writers, students, citizens, characters, etc.
  • How to produce a written, spoken, drawn, acted, etc. FORMAT
  • A deeper level of content within the TOPICstudied.

RAFT is an acronym that stands for

Role of the writer. What is the writer’s role: reporter, observer, eyewitness?

Audience. Who will be reading this writing: the teacher, other students, a parent, people in the community, an editor?

Format. What is the best way to present this writing: in a letter, an article, a report, a poem?

Topic. Who or what is the subject of this writing: a famous mathematician, a prehistoric cave dweller, a reaction to a specific event?

raft activities1
RAFT Activities

Language Arts

& Literature




Format based on the work of Doug Buehl cited in Teaching Reading in the Content Areas: If Not Me Then Who? Billmeyer and Martin, 1998

grade 6 social studies raft
Grade 6Social Studies RAFT

Students will


Names and roles of groups in the feudal class system.


Roles in the feudal system were interdependent. A person’s role in the feudal system will shape his/her perspective on events.

Be Able to Do:


See events through varied perspectives

Share research & perspectives with peers

feudal system raft cont d
Feudal System Raftcont’d

Following the RAFT activity, students will share their research and perspectives in

mixed role groups of approximately five. Groups will have a “discussion agenda”

to guide their conversation. -Kathryn Seaman

self portrait raft high school art
Self Portrait RAFTHigh School Art

Students will


Characteristics of self portrait

Appropriate use of artistic materials

Principles of Design

Definition of artistic expression


Each artist has a personal style

Personal style reflects the individual’s culture, time, and personal experiences.

Use of materials and style are related

Be Able to Do:

Analyze an artist’s personal style and use of materials

Create a facsimile of an artist’s personal style and use of materials


Technology Safety R.A.F.T.


•Select one of the following prompts, The “Role” is the character you will become, and from those perspective that you

will write. The “Audience” is to whom that character will be writing. The “Format” is the form in which the opinion

will be expressed. The “Topic” is just that -- your topic! “Points of Discussion” are those things that you should be sure

to include in your project.

• All products must ...1) Include all necessary “Points of Discussion,” 2) Use a combination of words and pictures,

Communicate the topic clearly and forcefully, and 4) Be of Professional quality - fit for publication for next year’s class.

Role Audience Format Topic Points of Discussion




“Here’s what’s ‘IN’ in



Middle school


Teen magazine’s

Fashion Editor

Eye wear; ear-wear; long hair;

baggy clothes; jewelry; long sleeves

“Instant Replay Out-takes:

Fouls in the Technology Lab”

Running: horseplay; injuries;

anchor activities;


“Wanted: Students Caught

In the Act of Breaking

Clean-up Laws”

Your three primary “clean-up”

in your work area

The Technology

The Public

Wanted Posters

“Undercover in the TMS

Tech Lab: What Materials

Talk About at Night”


Times Democrat


Proper handling of hand tools,

heavy items, materials;




Cover Story

Drill Press: speed, chuck key;long end of Board

Scroll Saw: cut line & fingers; when the blade

binds; hold-down; upper guide adjustment

Both; brush; holding work flat on table

Scroll Saw


Drill Press

“What We Wish Middle

School Students Knew

About  How to Handle Us...”

Each Other

Comic Strip

A “New”

Computer on his 1st day at work

All items on “Technology Computer

Rules” handout

“These Are Your Rights!”

Kristina Doubet - University of Virginia - 2003


Technology Safety R.A.F.T.

Circle the ROLE that you plan to pursue. Decide what materials you’ll need (digital

camera, computer, poster, etc.) Plan your presentation, and clear. It with your teacher before you begin working. You may use your notes to help you.

Directions: As your classmates present their RAFTS, take notes on what

you learn about lab safety from their projects.





RAFT Assignments: Grade 10 English

  • Know: Voice, Tone, Style
  • Understand:
  • Each writer has a voice.
  • Voice is shaped by life experiences
  • & reflects the writer.
  • Voice shapes expression.
  • Voice affects communication.
  • Voice and style are related.
  • Be Able to Do:
  • Describe a writer’s voice and style.
  • Mimic a writer’s voice and style.
  • Create a piece of writing that reflects a writer’s voice & style.

Tom Sawyer’s R.A.F.T.

(Page 1)

  • Overview
  • This RAFT is designed for use by students when they have finished reading the novel, Tom Sawyer, by Mark Twain. The RAFT synthesizes the unit’s exploration of characterization and allows students to “step into the skin” of one of the supporting characters to get a look at the protagonist from his/her perspective. A final jigsaw activity allows students to view Tom form multiple perspectives in order to reinforce the unit’s essential understandings (students share their RAFTs in mixed groups and complete a synthesis writing piece in which they draw conclusions about Tom based on all perspectives aired in the group).
  • Raft Goals
  • Students should KNOW…
      • The definition of characterization
      • The six supporting characters’ relationships with Tom Sawyer
      • Students should UNDERSTAND that…
      • Individuals have their own unique perspectives determined by their experiences and relationships.
      • In order to gain a true understanding of a person or event, multiple perspectives must be considered.
      • Students should BE ABLE TO…
      • Assume the voice of a supporting character
      • Characterize Tom Sawyer using the methods discussed in class
      • Draw conclusions synthesizing multiple and varied perspectives

Tom Sawyer’s R.A.F.T.

(Page 2)

  • Differentiation: This RAFT is differentiated according to readiness and interest.
  • Readiness:
      • The first three strips should be given to more advanced students, as these three options are more conceptual.
        • The roles and topics represent less accessible points of view and are designed for student who are ready to tackle the novel at a more abstract level and/or
        • The formats are designed for students who are reading and writing on or above grade level (and are thus able to handle more complex modes of expression).
      • The second three “strips” offer options that are simpler and more straightforward.
        • The roles and topics represent more accessible views and are designed for students who understand the novel at a more basic level, and/or
        • The formats are accessible for students who are struggling readers/writers.
    • Interest: Each student has three options from which to choose, so he/she can select a “strip” that appeals to them in some way (affinity with a character, interest/talent in the format’s expression, interest in the topic, etc.)
tom sawyer s r a f t
Tom Sawyer’s R.A.F.T.
  • Directions:
  • Select one of the following prompts. The “Role” refers to the character’s perspective that you will assume. The “Audience” refers to whom that character will be addressing his/her opinion; The “Format” refers to the form in which the opinion will be expressed; The “Topic” is just that - your topic!
  • Circle the ROLE that you plan to pursue, and clear it with your teacher before you begin working. Use your text to help you.

Authors: Kristina Doubet, Marla Capper, and Christie Reed - 2003

primary raft example


  • This RAFT is designed to be used by student in a second grade class as they are learning about endangered and extinct animals in science and natural resources in social studies. Students have been studying both topics for a number of days before they do the RAFT. The activity serves as a culmination to this period of study.
  • Know:
  • Basic needs of plants and animals
  • The role of natural resources in lives of people and animals
  • Understand:
  • Our actions affect the balance of life on Earth.
  • Animals become endangered or extinct when natural
  • resources they need are damaged or limited.
  • Natural resources are not unlimited and must be
  • used wisely.
  • Be Able To:
  • Identify causes of problems with misuse of
  • natural resources.
  • Propose a useful solution to the problems.
Primary RAFT Example

Directions: Pick one of theserows to help you showwhat you know and why taking care of natural resources is important to thebalance of life in our world.


AP Statistics RAFT

Characteristics of Discrete and Continuous Random Variables


Definitions of discrete and continuous random variables

What graphs of discrete and continuous random variables look like


Discrete and continuous random variables have distinct, identifiable


Be Able to Do:

Look at a graph and identify whether it represents discrete or continuous

random variables

Interpret a word problem to determine whether it involves discrete or

continuous random variables

Draw a probability histogram of discrete and continuous



Directions for the RAFT ACTIVITY

Students will pick one of four RAFT groups located in the four corners of the

room, with the understanding that the groups must have equal numbers of


Students will work with their groups for 30 minutes to develop their RAFT

assignment. During the last 15 minutes of class, students will meet in

groups of 4 that contain a representative of each of the RAFT strips to present

their work and see the other formats (2-3 minutes each).

The teacher will move around the class and may select one example

of each strip for presentation at the beginning of the next day’s



The RAFT Activity

Kathie Emerson, Timberline High School, Boise, ID


High School Biology RAFT

Know: (See terms below the RAFT)


Plants and animals have a symbiotic relationship with

photosynthesis and respiration.

Photosynthesis and respiration are essential to human life.

Be Able to Do:

Explain the relationship between photosynthesis in plants

and respiration in humans

Explain and connect the equations for photosynthesis and


Explain the nature of human dependence on plants


Important Terms: photosynthesis, respiration, carbon dioxide, sunlight, blue light or green light

(or other colors), sugar, water, mitochondria, chloroplast, stoma (stomata), lactic acid, aerobic

respiration, anaerobic respiration, autotroph, heterotroph, sunny, cloudy, cool, warm, long sunny days,

short days, lungs, light energy, food energy

Annette Hanson, Timberline High School, Boise, Idaho

raft planning sheet
RAFT Planning Sheet




How to Differentiate:

  • Tiered? (See Equalizer)
  • Profile? (Differentiate Format)
  • Interest? (Keep options equivalent in learning)
  • Other?
directions complete the chart to show what you know about write as much as you can4
Directions: Complete the chart to show what you know about ________________ Write as much as you can.


Description of the Strategy

Steps in Developing It

Useful For

Place to Use It in the Curriculum

Tomlinson - 02

procedures for thinking hats analysis
Procedures for Thinking Hats Analysis
  • Explain that the purpose of this activity is to practice analyzing a topic as a class using multiple Thinking Hats.
  • Present the topic to analyze.
  • One by one, go through each Thinking Hat and ask students to call out ideas or suggestions for analysis of the topic using the specific hat.
  • Record student input on the presentation material.
  • Provide feedback throughout.
  • Lead the class in a discussion of the points made from all of the different Thinking Hats.
  • Summarize the results of the activity.
procedures for thinking hats jigsaw
Procedures for Thinking Hats Jigsaw
  • Explain that the purpose of this activity is to practice analyzing a topic in groups using a specific Thinking Hat.
  • Divide students into small groups.
  • Provide each group with the handout of the topic to analyze.
  • Assign each group a Thinking Hat with which to analyze the topic.
  • Have students analyze the topic from the perspective of their assigned Thinking Hat.
  • Have each group present the results of their analysis.
  • Provide feedback.
  • Summarize the results of the activity.
procedures for changing hats
Procedures for Changing Hats
  • Explain that the purpose of this activity is to practice analyzing a topic in groups using multiple Thinking Hats.
  • Divide students into small groups.
  • Provide each group with the handout of the topic to analyze.
  • Assign each group a Thinking Hat with which to analyze the topic.
  • Have students analyze the topic from the perspective of their assigned Thinking Hat within a specific time frame.
  • When time is up, assign each group a new Thinking Hat to analyze the topic within a specific time frame. Continue this until all of the groups have analyzed the topic with all of the Thinking Hats.
  • Have a few groups present their analysis.
  • Provide feedback throughout.
  • Summarize the results of the activity.
directions complete the chart to show what you know about write as much as you can5
Directions: Complete the chart to show what you know about ________________ Write as much as you can.


Description of the Strategy

Steps in Developing It

Useful For

Place to Use It in the Curriculum

Tomlinson - 02

sac promotes
SAC promotes
  • Consensus-building
  • Expansion of content knowledge
  • Expansion of students' world views
  • Motivation (Mead & Scharmann)
sac promotes1
SAC promotes…
  • Sense of learning community
  • Respect for multiple perspectives
  • Acceptance that an individual can use multiple ways of knowing the world
sac does not
  • Present right or wrong
  • Ask students personal beliefs
  • Marginalize unique views
  • Accept all types of knowledge as equivalent
  • Allow Debate
1 assign each pair of students the following tasks
1. Assign each pair of students the following tasks:
  • a.) Learning their position and its supporting arguments and information
  • b.) Researching all information relevant to their position
  • c.) Giving the opposing pair any information found supporting the opposing position
  • d.) Preparing a persuasive presentation to be given to the other pair
  • e.) Preparing a series of persuasive arguments to be used in the discussion with the opposing
  • pair
2 have each pair present its position to the other
2. Have each pair PRESENT ITS POSITION to the other.
  • Presentations should involve more
  • than one medium and persuasively advocate the best case for the position. There is no arguing
  • during this time. Students should listen carefully to the opposing position. Students are told:
  • As a pair, present your position forcefully and persuasively. Listen carefully and learn the
  • opposing position. Take notes, and clarify anything that you do not understand.
3 have students openly discuss the issue by freely exchanging their information and ideas
3. Have students openly DISCUSS THE ISSUE by freely exchanging their information and ideas.
  • For higher-level reasoning and critical thinking to occur, it is necessary to prove and push each other’s statements, clarify rationales, and show why their position is a rationale one.
  • Students refute the claims being made by the opposing pair and rebut the attacks on their own position.
  • Students are to follow the specific rules for constructive controversy.
  • Students should also take careful notes on and carefully study the opposing position. Sometimes a “time out” period needs to be provided so that pairs can caucus and prepare new arguments. Teachers encourage more spirited arguing, take sides when a pair is in trouble, play devils’ advocate, ask one group to observe another group engaging in a spirited argument, and generally stir up the discussions.
4. Have the pairs REVERSE PERSPECTIVES AND POSITIONS by presenting the opposing position as sincerely and forcefully as they can.
  • It helps to have the pairs change chairs. They can use their own notes, but may not see the materials developed by the opposing pair.
5 have the group members drop their advocacy positions and reach a decision by consensus
5. Have the group members drop their advocacy positions and REACH A DECISION BY CONSENSUS.
  • This process will likely require looking at the nuances of both sides and seeking a moderate position between the two extreme positions. The group should prepare a consensus paper, project, or other statement that expresses the collective understanding and opinions of all group members.
directions complete the chart to show what you know about write as much as you can6
Directions: Complete the chart to show what you know about ________________ Write as much as you can.


Description of the Strategy

Steps in Developing It

Useful For

Place to Use It in the Curriculum

Tomlinson - 02

what is the profiler
What is “The Profiler”?
  • A way to assess and provide activities geared toward the different intelligence types/learning styles represented in the classroom
  • A means of providing students with connections to the working world, as well as with roles and/or audiences for their work
  • A tool useful for introducing new material or synthesizing previously learned material
how to create a profiler assignment
How to Create a “Profiler”Assignment
  • The teacher
    • selects the knowledge, skills, and essential understandings that s/he would like students to either 1) begin to explore, or 2) synthesize and demonstrate mastery of.
    • through which students could demonstrate this learning.
    • selects jobs/occupations that are associated with the different learning styles
how to create a profiler assignment1
How to Create a “Profiler” Assignment
  • Examples of intelligence preferences and associated jobs/occupations
    • Visual-Spatial – Artist, Cartoonist, Magazine layout editor
    • Logical-Mathematical – Architect, Engineer, Mathematician
    • Interpersonal – Counselor, Tour Guide, Teacher
    • Musical/Rhythmic – Songwriter, Performing Artist
    • Verbal-Linguistic – Writer, Commentator, Announcer
    • Bodily-Kinesthetic – Actor, Builder
    • Intrapersonal – Poet, Songwriter
    • Naturalistic – Forest Ranger, Botanist
how to create a profiler assignment2
How to Create a “Profiler” Assignment
  • Remember that…
  • … many intelligence preferences overlap
  • with one another, and
  • …most children have more than one
  • preference;…
  • …therefore, it is not necessary to use them all! Simply select those that are most conducive to the demonstration of your learning goals.

The Maturation of Tom Sawyer

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain

This culminating product assignment is designed to examine the character of Tom Sawyer in terms of his

maturation in the novel. Below are multiple approaches to this examination. Students may choose the entry point that is most appealing to them; the teacher will then determine the level that is best suited for each student. Actual student handouts of assignment descriptions/instructions are attached.

directions complete the chart to show what you know about write as much as you can7
Directions: Complete the chart to show what you know about ________________ Write as much as you can.


Description of the Strategy

Steps in Developing It

Useful For

Place to Use It in the Curriculum

Tomlinson - 02



Practical Intelligence

Successful Intelligence

Creative Intelligence

Analytic Intelligence

sternberg s three intelligences1
Sternberg’s Three Intelligences




  • We all have some of each of these intelligences, but are usually stronger in one or two areas than in others.
  • We should strive to develop as fully each of these intelligences in students…
  • …but also recognize where students’ strengths lie and teach through those intelligences as often as possible, particularly when introducing new ideas.
three minds are better than one
Three Minds are Better thanOne…
  • TriMind is a planning tool to use in order to differentiate for different thinking styles.
  • Robert Sternberg’s Triarchic Theory of Intelligence (see included slides) posits that people have strengths in one or more types of intelligences: creative, analytical, or practical. Successful intelligence is the ability to recognize which strengths we possess, and to steer toward careers/activities which require these strengths.
for analytical thinkers

Analytical = Linear – Schoolhouse Smart -- Sequential

  • Show the parts of _____________ and how
    • they work.
  • Explain why _____________ works the way
  • it does.
  • Diagram how _________ affects ________.
  • Identify the key parts of _______________.
  • Present a step-by-step approach to _____.
for practical thinkers
For PRACTICAL Thinkers

Practical = Street Smart – Contextual – Focus on Use

  • Demonstrate how someone uses ________ in their life or work.
  • Show how we could apply ______ to solve this real life problem: _________________.
  • Based on your own experience, explain how _________________ can be used.
  • Here’s a problem at school, ________.
  • Using your knowledge of __________, develop a plan to address the problem
for creative thinkers
For CREATIVE Thinkers

Creative = Innovator – Outside the Box – “What if?” – Improver

  • Find a new way to show _____________.
  • Use unusual materials to explain ___________.
  • Use humor to show ____________________.
  • Explain (show) a new and better way to ______.
  • Make connections between _____ and _____ to help us understand ____________.
  • Become a _____________ and use your “new” perspective to help us think about __________.
i like
Designing new things

Coming up with ideas

Using my imagination

Playing make-believe and pretend games

Thinking of alternative solutions

Noticing things people usually tend to ignore

Thinking in pictures and images

Inventing (new recipes, words, games)

Supposing that things were different

Thinking about what would have happened if certain aspects of the world were different

Composing (new songs, melodies)

Acting and role playing


I Like…

Sternberg & Grigorenko, 2000

i like1
Taking things apart and fixing them

Learning through hands on activities

Making and maintaining friends

Understanding and respecting others

Putting into practice things I learned

Resolving conflicts

Advising my friends on their problems

Convincing someone to do something

Learning by interacting with others

Applying my knowledge

Working and being with others

Adapting to new situations


I Like…

Sternberg & Grigorenko, 2000

i like2
Analyzing characters when I’m reading or listening to a story

Comparing & contrasting points of view

Criticizing my own & others’ work

Thinking clearly & analytically

Evaluating my & others’ points of view

Appealing to logic

Judging my & others’ behavior

Explaining difficult problems to others

Solving logical problems

Making inferences & deriving conclusions

Sorting & classifying

Thinking about things


I Like…

Sternberg & Grigorenko, 2000

tips for teaching triarchically
Tips for Teaching Triarchically
  • Some of the time, teach analytically, helping students learn to analyze, evaluate, compare and contrast, critique, and judge.
  • Some of the time, teach creatively, helping students learn to create, invent, imagine, discover, explore, and suppose.
  • Some of the time, teach practically, helping students learn to apply, use, utilize, contextualize, implement, and put into practice.
  • Some of the time, enable all students to capitalize on their strengths. Most of the time, enable all students to correct or compensate for their weaknesses.
  • Make sure your assessments match your teaching, calling upon analytical, creative, and practical as well as memory skills.
  • Value the diverse patterns of abilities in all students.

TRI-MIND Template

Learning Goals for Activities:

Practical Assignment

Creative Assignment


Analytic Assignment


TRI-MIND Template

Understanding Number

Practical Task:

Find as many things as you can at school and at home that have something to do with 5. Share what you find with us so we can see and understand what you did.

Creative Task:

Write and/or recite a riddle poem about 5 that helps us understand the number in many, unusual, and interesting ways.

Analytic Task:

Make a number chart that shows all ways you can think of to show 5.

directions complete the chart to show what you know about write as much as you can8
Directions: Complete the chart to show what you know about ________________ Write as much as you can.


Description of the Strategy

Steps in Developing It

Useful For

Place to Use It in the Curriculum

Tomlinson - 02

tiered assignments
Tiered Assignments

In a heterogeneous classroom, a teacher uses varied levels of activities to ensure that students explore ideas at a level that builds on their prior knowledge and prompts continued growth. Student groups use varied approaches to exploration of essential ideas.

tiered assignments1
Tiered Assignments

Rationale for Use

  • Blends assessment and instruction
  • Allows students to begin learning where they are
  • Allows students to work with appropriately challenging tasks
  • Allows for reinforcement or extension of concepts and principles based on student readiness
  • Allows modification of working conditions based on learning style
  • Avoids work that is anxiety-production (too hard) or boredom-producing (too easy)
  • Promotes success and is therefore motivating
tiered assignments2
Tiered Assignments

Guidelines for Use

  • Be sure the task is focused on a key concept or generalization essential to the study
  • Use a variety of resource materials at differing levels of complexity and associated with different learning modes
  • Adjust the task by complexity, abstractness, number of steps, concreteness, and independence to ensure appropriate challenge
  • Be certain there are clear criteria for quality and success
what zone am i in
Too Easy

I get it right away…

I already know how…

This is a cinch…

I’m sure to make an A…

I’m coasting…

I feel relaxed…

I’m bored…

No big effort necessary…

What Zone Am I In?
  • On Target
  • I know some things…
  • I have to think…
  • I have to work…
  • I have to persist…
  • I hit some walls…
  • I’m on my toes…
  • I have to re-group…
  • I feel challenged…
  • Effort leads to success…
  • Too Hard
  • I don’t know where to start…
  • I can’t figure it out…
  • I’m spinning my wheels…
  • I’m missing key skills…
  • I feel frustrated…
  • I feel angry
  • This makes no sense…
  • Effort doesn’t pay off…

THIS is the place to be…

THIS is the achievement zone…

tiered assignments3
Tiered Assignments
  • In a differentiated classroom, a teacher uses varied levels of tasks to ensure that students explore ideas and use skills at a level that builds on their prior knowledge and prompts continued growth.
  • While students work at varied degrees of difficulty on their tasks, they all explore the essential ideas and work at high levels of thought.
  • Assessment-based tiering allows students to work in their “Zones of Proximal Development” or in a state of “moderate challenge.”
directions complete the chart to show what you know about write as much as you can9
Directions: Complete the chart to show what you know about ________________ Write as much as you can.


Description of the Strategy

Steps in Developing It

Useful For

Place to Use It in the Curriculum

Tomlinson - 02


Student Learning Contracts

An agreement


teacher and


learning contracts are
Learning Contracts Are:


between teachers &

students that outline:

  • what students will learn
  • how they will learn it
  • the time period for the learning experience
  • how they will be evaluated
  • help students learn to make decisions about their learning
  • help students learn to manage their time
  • may involve the student in curriculum planning
  • can be used to support students with learning difficulties
  • can be used to facilitate learning for other students
  • help the teacher manage group work, individual projects or
  • investigations, learning centers or curriculum compacting
types of contracts
Types of Contracts
  • Structured
  • Partially Structured
  • Mutually Structured
  • Unstructured
contract components
Contract Components
components of contracts
Components of Contracts:

1. Outcome(s) - specify what is to be accomplished, the conditions

under which learning will be demonstrated, and the level of

proficiency required to meet the outcome.

2. Resources - including print, media, and human

3. Learning Alternatives - include reading, writing, viewing, creating,

interviewing, and other activities the student experiences to

accomplish the outcome.

4. Reporting Alternatives and Assessment - should provide evidence

as to whether the outcomes have been accomplished. Conferences,

tests, projects, presentations, real world products, portfolios of

work are examples of reporting alternatives.

contract do s don ts
Contract Do’s & Don’ts


  • explain the role & function of contracts
  • start small (1 or 2 day) contracts
  • negotiate contracts with students whenever possible
  • help set realistic deadlines
  • renegotiate the contract if it isn’t working
  • solicit student feedback on process
  • gradually involve students in contract development
contract do s don ts1
Contract Do’s & Don’ts


  • expect all students to use contracts
  • effectively at the beginning
  • expect all students to like contracts.
  • assume contracts can take the place
  • of regular instruction
  • use contracts without a good management
  • system

Some Thoughts about Learning Contracts:

Contracts provide efficient means of prescribing for students, based on assessed needs, strengths, or interests.

Contracts are usually negotiated between the teacher and the student and sometimes the parent.

Both the teacher and the student(s) share responsibility for the

completion of the terms of the contract.

A contract may require a student to use certain resources or to contact other people in the school or in the community.

A contract may have certain prerequisites as conditions that the

student has to meet before beginning a study or investigation.


Designing a Differentiated Learning Contract

  • A Learning Contract has the following
  • components
  • A Skills Component
    • Focus is on skills-based tasks
    • Assignments are based on pre-assessment of students’ readiness
    • Students work at their own level and pace
  • A content component
    • Focus is on applying, extending, or enriching key content (ideas, understandings)
    • Requires sense making and production
    • Assignment is based on readiness or interest
  • A Time Line
    • Teacher sets completion date and check-in requirements
    • Students select order of work (except for required meetings and homework)
  • 4. The Agreement
    • The teacher agrees to let students have freedom to plan their time
    • Students agree to use the time responsibly
    • Guidelines for working are spelled out
    • Consequences for ineffective use of freedom are delineated
    • Signatures of the teacher, student and parent (if appropriate) are placed on the agreement

Differentiating Instruction: Facilitator’s Guide, ASCD, 1997

directions complete the chart to show what you know about write as much as you can10
Directions: Complete the chart to show what you know about ________________ Write as much as you can.


Description of the Strategy

Steps in Developing It

Useful For

Place to Use It in the Curriculum

Tomlinson - 02



Exit Cards (AKA “Tickets To Leave”) are used to gather information on student readiness levels, interests, and/or learning profiles.

The teacher hands out index cards to students at the end of an

instructional sequence or class period. The teacher asks the students to respond to a pre-determined prompt on their index cards and then turn them in as they leave the classroom or transition to another subject.

The teacher reviews the student responses and separates the cards

into instructional groups based on preset criteria.



Group 2

Students with

some understanding

of concept or skill

Group 1

Students who are

struggling with the

concept or


Group 3

Students who

understand the

concept or skill

Readiness Groups

examples of exit cards
Examples of Exit Cards

Let’s take a look at

some examples---

exit cards

Today you began to

learn about decimal


  • List three things you learned
  • Write at least one question you have about this topic


  • Today you began to
  • learn about hyperbole.
  • List three things you learned.
  • Write at least one question you have about this topic.


We have been learning about The Greenhouse Effect. Explain or depict your understanding of this important environmental issue.

What questions do you have about this topic?



We have begun a study of author’s craft.

List and identify three examples of figurative language used in the novel Morning Girlby Michael Dorris.

exit cards1

On your Exit Card---

Explain the difference

between prime and

composite numbers.

You may wish to give

some examples of each

as part of your




On your exit card---

Explain the difference

between simile and

metaphor. Give some

examples of each as

part of your explanation.

exit cards learning profile
EXIT CARDS - Learning Profile

We used the following

learning strategies in this


3 minute pause



What learning strategy or

strategies seemed to work best

for you?


3-2-1 Summarizer

After reading over my rough draft---

3revisions I can make to improve

my draft.

2resources I can use to help improve

my draft.

1thing Ireally like about my first


directions complete the chart to show what you know about write as much as you can11
Directions: Complete the chart to show what you know about ________________ Write as much as you can.


Description of the Strategy

Steps in Developing It

Useful For

Place to Use It in the Curriculum

Tomlinson - 02


These ideas square with my beliefs:

Three points I want to remember:

These are the ideas that are going around in my head:

Some of the ideas I am leaving here with today are…..

This made me wiggle in my seat:

do as i do

Do as I Do

Modeling Differentiation through Professional Development

  • Introduction
  • Top ten misunderstandings about differentiation
  • Model differentiated staff development activity (by interest)
steps in a differentiated lesson
Steps in a Differentiated Lesson

Identification of Common Learning Goals


Differentiated Activity

Whole-Group Discussion


Further Instruction

differentiate staff development experiences by
Differentiate Staff DevelopmentExperiences By…



Learning Profile

10 common misunderstandings about differentiation
10 Common Misunderstandingsabout Differentiation
  • Differentiation is a set of strategies.
    • DI is an entire teaching philosophy grounded in knowing students and responding to their needs.
  • Differentiation is group work.
    • Differentiation employs thoughtful, purposeful flexible grouping. Sometimes students work alone, sometimes in pairs, sometimes as a whole class, and sometimes in small groups– depending upon demonstrated student need
10 common misunderstandings
10 Common Misunderstandings
  • “I already differentiate.”
    • While many of us may use a strategy associated with differentiation or may differentiate reactively, few have fully, proactively differentiated classrooms– these classrooms develop and grow over time in response to student need.
  • Differentiated lessons have to be creative, “cute,” and fun.
    • While engaging students is an important part of differentiation, it is more important that the lesson be grounded rich curriculum.
10 common misunderstandings about differentiation1
10 Common Misunderstandingsabout Differentiation
  • Differentiation is just the next educational fad.
    • Because differentiation is a philosophy of meeting a broad range of students’ needs, only when students cease being different will the need for differentiation disappear.
  • Providing choice= differentiation.
    • Different activities have to be held together by clear learning goals.
10 common misunderstandings about differentiation2
10 Common Misunderstandingsabout Differentiation
  • Differentiation isn’t fair.
    • Fair does not always mean “the same.” In order for students to reach the same goals, they may need to take different paths to get there.
  • Differentiation means “dumbing down” the curriculum for less advanced learners.
    • Differentiation means providing appropriate scaffolding to help all learners reach common learning goals.
10 common misunderstandings about differentiation3
10 Common Misunderstandingsabout Differentiation
  • Differentiation only works when kids are well-behaved.
    • Creating a responsive classroom can be a great way to improve student behavior, as students’ needs are being met.
  • Preparing a differentiated lesson takes a huge amount of time.
    • Creating any high-quality lesson takes time. As we get our heads wrapped around the process, we become more efficient and develop storehouses of differentiated lessons to adapt.
goals for the lesson
Goals for the Lesson
  • KNOW:
    • Strategies for differentiation (TriMind, Cubing, etc.)
    • Differentiation is NOT simply a set of strategies
    • Differentiation is a teacher’s proactive response to individual student needs.
  • DO:
    • Analyze teaching situations and consider a variety of appropriate teaching strategies for those situations
strategies jigsaw
Strategies Jigsaw

You will choose one of the following strategies on which to become an expert:

  • Anchor Activities
  • Choice Menus/Think Tac Toe
  • Cubing/Think Dots
  • Rafts
  • Six Thinking Hats
  • Structured Academic Controversy
  • The Profiler
  • The Tri-Minder
today s strategies jigsaw
Today’s Strategies Jigsaw
  • Anchor Activities: a storehouse of activities that you create that students work on when they’ve completed other work. A great strategy for dealing with “ragged time.” Can be completed independently, in pairs, or in groups
  • Choice Menus: a type of learning contract that provides a “menu” of activities– some that all students must do, and some that allow students choices. Great for providing students with a sense of control over their own learning.
  • Six Thinking Hats: an approach that encourages students to think about the various ways they think about ideas– through judgment, optimism, metacognition, objectivity, creativity, or emotions. Teaches students about various ways of thinking and encourages them to switch between modes. Encourages students to be aware of and flexible with various modes of thinking.
today s strategies jigsaw1
Today’s Strategies Jigsaw
  • Structured Academic Controversy: A strategy, based on the principles of information gathering, synthesis, and debate, that encourages students to consider all sides of an issue before making a decision. GREAT for gifted students.
  • Cubing/Think Dots: Cubing is an instructional strategy that asks students to consider a concept from a variety of different perspectives.
  • Rafts: …is a creative, fun strategy that encourages writing across the curriculum. Great for all subjects, but ideal for English.
    • a way to encourage students to assume a role,consider their audience, while examining a topic from their chosen perspective, and writing in a particular format
  • The Profiler
  • The Tri-Minder
today s strategies jigsaw2
Today’s Strategies Jigsaw
  • The Profiler: A way to assess and provide activities geared toward the different intelligence types/learning styles represented in the classroom. A means of providing students with connections to the working world, as well as with roles and/or audiences for their work.
  • The Tri-Minder: The idea behind TriMind is that you provide students with assignments, centered around the same learning goals, that are designed for their intelligence strengths. This way, students learn the material more efficiently and successfully.
  • A cooperative learning strategy in which all students become experts on a small piece of a topic and then teach each other.
jigsaw format
Jigsaw Format

Home Group

Home Group




Whole Class Discussion

Individual Understanding Check

strategies jigsaw procedures
Strategies Jigsaw Procedures
  • Read the materials about your strategy in the folder you were provided at your table
  • Together with the people at your table, discuss what the strategy is, how it works, and what you think the pros & cons of the strategy are
  • Create a sample activity using this strategy to take back and share with your home groups
Seven Choices

Learning Centers



Think DOTS

Journal Prompts

Exit Cards

Learning Contracts

At your table…..

Decide who will be responsible for working with others and reviewing the information in your packet for a particular strategy at each station group

Representatives becomes the expert about the strategy and returns to the table to share her/his expertise with the group.

where do i begin start small but start
Where Do I Begin?Start small – but start!

First Steps:




Next Steps





Who will help or support you?












exit card
Exit Card
  • Name:
  • Which strategy/strategies seemed most applicable to your classroom:
  • What questions do you still have about these strategies?
  • What do you think the purpose of an instructional strategy is?

Define “differentiation.”


I hope in your classroom that……

  • Discovery is a given
  • Doing is a way of life
  • All students learn to do better than what they perceive to be their best
  • School is the place to be
  • Learning is the thing to do!

Adapted from: Tomlinson, C.A. (2003). Deciding to teach them all. Educational Leadership,

61 (2), 7-11.

reference and resources
Reference and Resources
  • Differentiation: Simplified, Realistic, and Effective by Bertie Kingore ISBN 0-9716233-3-3
  • Differentiated Instruction: A Hotlist of Web Sites
  • Differentiated Instruction