The reality of modern teaching is that within your class there will be a range of learning needs. Differentiating the lesson to make it accessible to all students is key to positive student engagement and success. It also saves you some serious stress having to manage behaviour! The other reality is that your time is a rare and valuable commodity, and we need to be savvy on our differentiation styles to save as much of it as we can. We are going to look at 2 main areas; ‘Differentiating by Task’ and ‘Differentiating by Outcome’.
#1 Differentiation by Task
‘Differentiation by Task’ requires you to plan the same lesson with tasks that will target an individuals needs. It may be a different task to the one that other students are expected to do. Examples can include: ●Group Work Targeting an individual who needs help by pairing them with a student who does well in that area. ●Use of ICT Having a student type their answers instead of writing them. ●Different Questions Having that student use a separate question sheet with slightly different question on it. An effective way of ‘Differentiating by Task’ that is perhaps less obvious to the rest of the class is through ‘scaffolding’. Like a building scaffold, it is used to help create the foundations of the building and is removed in pieces. For example, here is a basic scaffold for a task about space:
Repetition and removal of words can help challenge all students in the class, and can be tiered (removing more or less words) as required. This is brilliant for revision at all ages.
Another similar example to differentiate for reading comprehension, are the two different structures offered in the Reading Mystery  Once Upon a Crime Series. In the preview from Which Witch? There are missing letters to answer the comprehension questions in the first structure. In the 'BEdition' structure, students are required to answer the comprehension questions in full. Optional Word Banks are provided for students who may struggle with the homophone vocabulary section.
#2 Differentiation by Outcome
It is not always appropriate to change up every task. You may choose to ‘Differentiate by Outcome’. This is where you mark the student against scaling criteria rather than a set grade A, grade B. This benefits students who may need the extra help but who don’t want to be singled out. Key to ‘Differentiation by Outcome’ is having a marking rubric; a scaled marking scheme where students are graded not just on doing a task but by how well they do a task. For example, the rubric below would mark a students use of language: 1 point Student is able to write a sentence about Icebergs 2 points Student is able to write a sentence about Icebergs, using adjectives. 3 points Student is able to write 2 sentences about Icebergs, using adjectives. There is value in letting your students see the criteria expected of them. Below is an example of a ‘cover sheet’ for a History lesson. Rather than use a traditional end of unit test, which may have been inaccessible for some learners, the teacher has set a ‘leaflet assessment’. The leaflet will examine the exact same information a traditional test would but appears much less imposing to a student who struggles with set questions. The cover sheet here shows what is expected of the student and has a guideline to the success criteria; a checklist of what the student should be doing.
Students will approach this in different ways. Some will be very literal, 2 facts about each of these and that is that. Others will go to town on telling you absolutely everything they know. Both of these styles are fine, and it can be marked as a scale of ‘how good it is’ rather than a ‘right or wrong’.
You can also easily (and without students knowing) differentiate your math outcomes with math mysteries. I offer a lot of math mystery titles in different grade levels. This enables students to be working on the same case file activity, but allows you to change the math outcomes individual students are working on. For example, if you need to make the math mystery easier for Student A than Student B (or want them targeting different math outcomes), you may choose to give them a lower grade edition than Student B. Same if you want to give Student C a more challenging version (or higher than current grade level math outcomes), you may wish to give them a higher grade level edition. I'll write more about differentiating with math mysteries In my next post. I'll also show you how you can mix and match clues across the grade levels to differentiate math outcomes if needed. In the meantime, you might want to grab a free math mystery in set of grade editions to test out. FREE Spiral Review Math Mystery: Case of the Super bad Superhero  1st Grade Edition
$0.00
FREE Spiral Review Math Mystery: the Case of the Super Bad Superhero 1st Grade Edition. This math activity is a fun way to review and practice mathematical skills in the classroom or at home. Ideal for spiral review, consolidation, math centers, homework, enrichment, earlyfinisher or the subtub. EASY PREP, print and solve! Students must complete math worksheets to unlock clues. Then, use their powers of deduction to narrow down the list of possibilities to solve the mystery case! FREE Math Mystery: Case of the Super Bad Superhero  2nd Grade Edition
$0.00
FREE Math Mystery: the Case of the Super Bad Superhero This math activity is a fun way to review and practice mathematical skills in the classroom or at home. Ideal for spiral review, consolidation, math centers, homework, enrichment, earlyfinisher or the subtub. EASY PREP, print and solve! Students must complete math worksheets to unlock clues. Then, use their powers of deduction to narrow down the list of possibilities to solve the mystery case! FREE Math Mystery: Case of the Super Bad Superhero  3rd Grade Edition
$0.00
FREE Math Mystery: the Case of the Super Bad Superhero. This math activity is a fun way to review and practice mathematical skills in the classroom or at home. Ideal for spiral review, consolidation, math centers, homework, enrichment, earlyfinisher or the subtub. EASY PREP, print and solve! Students must complete math worksheets to unlock clues. Then, use their powers of deduction to narrow down the list of possibilities to solve the mystery case! Free Math Mystery: Case of the Super Bad Superhero  4th Grade Edition
$0.00
Free Math Mystery: the Case of the Super Bad Superhero. This math activity is a fun way to review and practice mathematical skills in the classroom or at home. Ideal for spiral review, consolidation, math centers, homework, enrichment, earlyfinisher or the subtub. EASY PREP, print and solve! Students must complete math worksheets to unlock clues. Then, use their powers of deduction to narrow down the list of possibilities to solve the mystery case! Free Math Mystery: Case of the Super Bad Superhero  5th Grade Edition
$0.00
Free Math Mystery: the Case of the Super Bad Superhero. This math activity is a fun way to review and practice mathematical skills in the classroom or at home. Ideal for spiral review, consolidation, math centers, homework, enrichment, earlyfinisher or the subtub. EASY PREP, print and solve! Students must complete math worksheets to unlock clues. Then, use their powers of deduction to narrow down the list of possibilities to solve the mystery case! Free Math Mystery: Case of the Super Bad Superhero  6th Grade Edition
$0.00
Free Math Mystery: the Case of the Super and Superhero. This math activity is a fun way to review and practice mathematical skills in the classroom or at home. Ideal for spiral review, consolidation, math centers, homework, enrichment, earlyfinisher or the subtub. EASY PREP, print and solve! Students must complete math worksheets to unlock clues. Then, use their powers of deduction to narrow down the list of possibilities to solve the mystery case! The Case of the Super Bad Superhero Math Mystery  Kindergarten Edition
$0.00
A Fun Math Review Activity. This FREE Math Mystery will engage and motivate your students during math time. 5'Ws Structured Mystery  In Case of The Super Bad Superhero, students must use their math skills to discover five important clues about the case: who, where, when, what and why. Students will need to cut out the picture answer on their clue sheet and paste to their Mystery Case file until all five have been completed.
However you choose to differentiate in your classroom, we applaud your commitment to differentiation. It is so important that our students feel wanted in our class and your commitment shows you care about everyone’s progress, which we think is awesome!
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2/26/2020 11:06:55 am
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AuthorA 21st century School Teacher, Mother, and Wife. This website uses marketing and tracking technologies. Opting out of this will opt you out of all cookies, except for those needed to run the website. Note that some products may not work as well without tracking cookies. Opt Out of Cookies 
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