• Differentiating instruction is doing what is fair and developmentally appropriate for students.  It's a collection of best practices strategically employed to maximize students'  learning at every turn, including giving them the tools to handle anything that is undifferentiated.  It requires us to do different things for different students some, or a lot, of the time.

    Rick Wormeli

    There are many ways to differentiate in the classroom.  Some strategies take just a tweak to an original lesson plan, some take more time.
    Try these websites to summarize online articles or files that you upload.
    http://freesummarizer.com/  This site will send you a PDF of the summary directly to you email!
    http://textcompactor.com/  This site allows you to determine how much of the original article you would like to keep. 
    One way to differentiate is by differentiating the questions that you, the teacher ask, or by allowing students to ask their own questions.  The QMatrix, allows for differentiation because the question stems are categorized into levels using Bloom's taxonomy.  
    If you are reading an article that may be difficult for some students, use the QMatrix to help guide them.  The level of difficulty is from left to right (with the right side of the matrix containing higher-level questions) and from top to bottom (the bottom contains higher-level questions).  You can group students and cut up the QMatrix to differentiate.
    Like most classes, you may have students that have a range of ability.  One way to differentiate is have students work with you in smaller groups.  The challenge becomes what do students work on while you are working with just one part of the class?  Using anchor activities can help alleviate this concern.  An anchor activities is a long-term project that all students will complete during a unit.  This can become 'go to'  work for all students when they finish earlier than other students or when you need to work with a subset of your class.
    Providing choice can be an automatic differentiation tool.  By allowing students different ways to demonstrate knowledge, you are giving students the opportunity to learn in a way that is most appropriate for their individual learning styles.  There are a variety of ways that you can create choices and many have to do with the products that students hand in. 
    Choice Boards  - Show students all the different ways to demonstrate knowledge.  Students choose a designated amount of products to hand in.  It could be one...it could be many.  That is totally up to the teacher.
    Menu - The choice is built in by allowing students to choose from specific sections.  Many teachers use appetizers, entrees, and desserts to build in the choice. For example, students are asked to choose ways to demonstrate their knowledge by choosing 'two appetizers', 'one entree' and 'one dessert.'  Usually, the appetizers and desserts are less involved than the entrees.
    Tic-Tac-Toe Boards - Students are asked to products in tic-tac-toe fashion.  They choose 3 in a row to demonstrate their knowledge.
    One last differentiation tool is using tiered assignments.  This gets to the heart of differentiation by ability level.  Tiering means that students are working with the same content, but at different levels.  One way to do this is by having students read different articles written at different levels, but all focusing on the same topic.  Another way is to create documents that ask different questions of students, but again on the same topic.  
    document to download

Differentiation Examples