7 Bright Ideas for Differentiation

You can differentiate many parts of your teaching. You can differentiate what you teach by varying the the way the content and how it is delivered,  the processes you use to teach it, and you can differentiate the outcome or the product that you require the students to produce.
 Today I want to focus on differentiating how the content is accessed. How can we vary  access to meet the needs of our students with many different learning styles?
Varying the content can mean modifying how the student(s) will gain access to the subject matter.

 Vary the Modality of presentation   

Will you teach the material auditorily or will the presentation of the materials be primarily visual?  Everyone has a different learning style; whether its visual, auditory or kinesthetic/tactile.

7  bright  ideas to differentiate content and how it is accessed.


  1. Vary the presentation
    Some students best gain information when it's presented auditorily. Use a language master (tutorette), tape recorder, iPad, iPhone, CD player, to record the information you want presented. This way students can listen to the materials multiple times. In this picture the card is inverted so the the audio tape can be seen. This is the portion normally put through the slot of the machine.
  2. Chunk-it! Present vocabulary/spelling words on the readability of the student. Vary the number of words the student has to master. Give the student only a portion of the words. Then when those are mastered, proceed with the next chunk or the remainder of the words. For example: if your lists are normally comprised of 10 words, try giving 5 then the remaining 5. Work out the combination that works best for the group you are working with.

  3. Interactive Presentations
     Include computers and interactive white boards such as Smartboards or Promethean Boards in your presentations.

  4. Hands-on Activities
    Use hands-on activities for students to master the content. Have them draw, build a model, or do an experiment. Have them show you what they know.Use clay to practice vocabulary/spelling words. Have them trace the words with their fingers.

    Clay spelling words
  5. Reading Buddies
    Using reading buddies Have the students read the content to each other and then report to the group, to you or to the entire class what they have read.

  6. Flexible Small Groups
    Meeting with small groups to re-teach an idea or skill for struggling learners, or to extend the thinking or skills of advanced learners. Don't leave your groups the same, always be looking for groups in which student will learn best. Different concepts, different learning levels, different groups. Multiplication and addition groups won't necessarily be the same.

  7. Task Cards
    Use task cards geared at different levels. Task cards are a great way to differentiate among your students. I often color code my task cards or give them a code to indicate the group they belong to. This makes it easy to clean up and easy to dispense to groups. Card 1 has a zigzag border to indicate the group it belongs to.
    Task Card #2 has a polka-dot border to indicate its group.
Task Card Picture #1 -  Lower Case to Upper Case Card

Task Card Picture #2 - Upper Case to Lower Case Card
 These are just a few ways to differentiate the presentation of content. These are just a couple of the ones that I love and utilize on a daily basis in my classroom.

What are some of your favorite ways YOU DIFFERENTIATE  how you present materials? Leave a comment and share what YOU DO!!!


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