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Robust Differentiation. Cecil County Public Schools Mission Statement.

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cecil county public schools mission statement
Cecil County Public Schools Mission Statement
  • Our Mission is to provide an excellent Pre-Kindergarten through graduation learning experience that enables all students to demonstrate the skills, knowledge, and attitudes required for lifelong learning and productive citizenship in an ever-changing global society.

Challenge Program Mission Statement

  • The mission of the challenge program is to identify students with exceptional creative talents and intellectual abilities and to nurture their unique potential, through the collaboration of all stakeholders.

“Continuous Improvement: Everyone, Every Way, Every Day”

national association for gifted children definition of gifted http www nagc org program design
National Association for Gifted ChildrenDefinition of “Gifted”http://www.nagc.orgProgram Design

Students, children, or youth who give evidence of high achievement capability in areas such as intellectual, creative, artistic, or leadership capacity, or in specific academic fields, and who need services and activities not ordinarily provided by the school in order to fully develop those capabilities

National Association for Gifted ChildrenPre-K - Grade 12 Program Standardshttp://www.nagc.orgProgram Design

The development of appropriate gifted education programming requires comprehensive services based on sound philosophical, theoretical, and empirical support.

Guiding Principle #4

Gifted education programming services must be an integral part of the general education school day.

Exemplary Standard

Gifted services must be designed to supplement and build on the basic academic skills and knowledge learned in regular classrooms at all grade levels to ensure continuity as students progress through the program.

how will ccps become exemplary
How will CCPS become exemplary?
  • By embedding the tiered lesson into the Core Curriculum so that an Ascending Intellectual Demand (AID) is an expectation for all.
  • Through developing and understanding the differentiation practices that lead to a focused depth or robustness.
  • By collaborating as a resource team.
concept based instruction
Found across multiple disciplines

Enduring Understandings



Good vs. Evil

Language of the discipline

Found in VSC


What we want students to:



Be able to do

Concept Based Instruction

Concepts in the Core Curriculum can be

divided into two categories:




The FRAME Routine

Key Topic: Planning to

analyze Characterization of a narrative text

is about…

What teachers in grade ____________ want every student to KNOW, UNDERSTAND, and BE ABLE TO DO in relation to understanding characterization in a narrative text with a villain and hero.

Main idea

Main idea

Main idea



Be able to Do

Essential details

Essential details

Essential details

Character traits are based on what the character says, does and thinks.

Identify the traits of a villain and a hero.

Characters have traits

Character traits are based on what other characters or the narrator says.

Character traits can be positive or negative

Provide text examples to support these traits.

A villain is a character who works against others.

Explain how the character’s traits make him/her a villain or hero.

Characters can be villains

Explain how the character may demonstrate “uncharacteristic traits for a reason.

A hero is a character who helps others accomplish goals.

Characters can be heroes

So What? (What’s important to understand about this?)

Effectively teaching character trait analysis can help students understand the roles that heroes and villains play within a story which will enhance comprehension.

language arts sample tier
Language ArtsSample Tier

Example of Differentiation in Instruction

Objective: Analyze the characterization of a narrative text


What redeeming qualities does the villain of the story/book exhibit?

What is the “shadow side” of the hero character in the book/story?

Describe these in a format of your choice.


Identify characteristics of the hero and villain and provide examples

from the book/story to support your ideas. Summarize what makes

each character either a hero or a villain.


Chart characteristics of a villain and a hero from a story/book.

“Schools are like airport hubs; student passengers arrive from many different backgrounds for widely divergent destinations. Their particular takeoffs into adulthood will demand different flight plans.”

- Mel Levine

robust differentiation defined



Learning Style




Robust DifferentiationDefined

Robust Differentiation considers

six variables and is concept-driven.

robust differentiation1
Robust Differentiation
  • Begins by holding a strong curriculum in one hand and the students in the other
  • Develops Ascending Intellectual Demand for all students
  • Involves all students working with the conceptual base of the discipline and moving toward expertise
differentiation in the classroom
Differentiation in the Classroom
  • What does it look like?
    • Starts with concept based instruction in a whole group setting
    • Followed by small group instruction based on student readiness and learning styles
      • Math Flex Groups
      • Guided Reading
    • Students returning to the large group and sharing
    • High end assessments
tool to tier equalizer
Tool to TierEqualizer

“Like the equalizer buttons on audio equipment, it’s possible for the teacher to design lessons by “moving the buttons” on this guide to different positions for the needs of varied students.

- Carol Ann Tomlinson

the equalizer
The Equalizer




Single Facet

Small Leap

More Structured

Clearly Defined Problems

Less Independence





Multiple Facets

Great Leap

More Open

Fuzzy Problems

Greater Independence


math flex groups sample tier


N + 3

Math Flex GroupsSample Tier

Example of Differentiation in Instruction

Objective: Identify, write, solve, and apply equations and inequalities: find the unknown in an equation with one operation

Class Activity

Use a graphic representation of a balance pan to represent equations with one operation, using addition and whole numbers (0-81)

For example: 8 = N + 3; N = 5


Use decimals, rather than whole numbers in the equations


Fill in the missing numbers for the equations


Use an actual balance pan and real manipulatives to balance the equation

guided reading sample tier
Guided ReadingSample Tier

Example of Differentiation in Instruction

Objective:Identify and explain relationships between and among characters, settings and events




Students will explain how the characters and events would change if the setting were different.

Students will rewrite a scene from the story putting the characters in a different setting.

Challenge-level guided reading book


Students will write an explanation about why the author chose that particular setting for the story.

Students will explain how the setting impacts the characters.

On-level guided reading book


Students will write a description of the relationship between the character(s) and the setting.

Students will identify the characters and the setting of the story.

Below-level guided reading book


collaborate and support
Collaborate and Support

Collaborate with teachers by

  • Planning
  • Co-teaching
  • Providing resources

To support

Robust Differentiation considering the six variables of

  • Content
  • Process
  • Product
  • Student Readiness
  • Student Interest
  • Student Learning Style
Coming together is a beginning;

Keeping together is progress;

Working together is success.

- Henry Ford