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Differentiated Instruction. Tracy Quattrone Hamilton County Educational Service Center January 2008. Differentiated Instruction. Responding to All Students’ Needs. Programming for Talent Development: “Levels of Service”.

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differentiated instruction

Differentiated Instruction

Tracy Quattrone

Hamilton County Educational Service Center

January 2008

differentiated instruction1
Differentiated Instruction

Responding to All Students’ Needs


Programming for Talent Development:

“Levels of Service”

I: Services for ALL students in the classroom, building, district – General Differentiation

(Ohio Content Standards, Thinking Skills, Learning Styles, Group Projects…)

II: Service for MANY students – General Differentiation

(projects and groupings based on interest and emerging talents, activities and groupings targeting readiness, advanced classes…)

III. SOME students-need alternative opportunities – Systematic Differentiation based on learner need

(ELO Resource Room and Math for a Grade options…)

IV: A FEW students- benefit from services that are highly individualized

(Activities planned through careful, detailed assessment of student’s unique characteristics, acceleration, self-contained classes)

(Grade and/or subject Acceleration…)

Adapted from Center for Creative Learning 1997

understanding differentiation
Understanding Differentiation
  • Differentiation is a philosophy which includes pre-planning as well as a set of instructional strategies.
  • Differentiation is not always visible, but is a way of thinking about instruction.
  • Differentiated lessons have rigorous expectations for all.
  • Differentiation offers time for choice, however the teacher guides students in making those choices.
  • Differentiation means providing appropriate scaffolding to help all learners reach common learning goals.
  • Differentiated lesson planning takes professional understanding and often a change in beliefs which may result in more planning time for teachers.
  • Differentiation is different and thus not “fair”.

Differentiation of Instruction

From works by

Carol Ann Tomlinson

Is a teacher’s response to learners’ needs

Guided by general principles of differentiation

such as



Ongoing Assessment

And Adjustment



Teachers can differentiate




According to Student’s



Learning Profile

Through a range of instructional and management strategies


As a parent you may notice that thoughtful Differentiation can be delivered through instructional and management strategies such as:

Questioning Strategies

Menu Boards

Tiered Assignments

Reading Groups

Flexible Grouping

Anchor Activities

Classroom Community and Environment

bloom s taxonomy
Bloom’s Taxonomy








Justify which setting best furthers the plot or theme in a critical essay.


Devise alternative settings and describe how they might affect the plot or ending. (essay, drama, or chart)


Compare and contrast the impact of point of view on character development in first and in third person stories.

Share your findings in an essay or chart.

Reading Assignment Tiered by ChallengeExamine the dimensions of setting, character, plot, mood/tone/point of view, theme.
  • Define the elements and place on a chart.
  • Describe how the author addresses each dimension in the short story.
  • Share your work in a journal or self-selected product.
Anchor Activitiesare ongoing assignments that students can work on independently throughout a unit, a grading period or longer.

Enrichment Folders


Independent Studies

Technology Programs and Exploration


Addressing Fairness

in the Classroom Community

“Not that everyone gets the same, rather,

everyone gets what he/she needs.”

“In order to be fair, we must

treat them differently.”

visioning for differentiation
Visioning… for Differentiation

Understands that implementation is a multi-year approach and has many implementation facets.

Provides consistency of direction and sustainability of action over a long period of time.

Focuses on classroom practices that are responsive.

Connects to current initiatives and compliments professional learning.

Assesses, meets and trains teachers where they feel comfortable (zone of proximal development).

Sparks the interest and excitement of stakeholders.

(Leadership for Differentiating Schools and Classrooms)

forest hills
Forest Hills
  • Past professional learning that included specific differentiation strategies
  • Current Technology and T.A.B.L.E.T. Initiative provides avenues in which to implement differentiation
  • Current Understanding by Design Initiative provides a framework for differentiation to fit authentically
  • Current analysis of student data provides a rationale and need for differentiated instruction
  • Future Curriculum Reviews allow for strategies to be embedded as well as targeted training to occur
differentiated schools

Targeted Professional Learning

Varied Instruction Based on Student Need

High Quality Curriculum

Flexible Grouping

Differentiated Schools


Community Building

Teachers as leaders

On Going Assessment

Collaboration and Sharing of Ideas, Resources and Materials

what can parents do
What can parents do:
  • Ask questions
  • Support rigorous learning at home
  • Understand you may not see differentiation every day
  • Realize differentiation could look different depending on the topic of study
  • Provide avenues for deeper exploration
  • Discuss fairness with your child
  • Promote effort and not just grades
differentiation resources
Differentiation Resources
  • Carol Ann Tomlinson
  • Bertie Kingore
  • Carolyn Coil
  • Diane Heacox
  • Susan Winebrenner
  • Sheryn Spencer Northey
  • Joan Smutny