Instructional Strategies for Differentiating for Rate & Level
- Acceleration- based on the demonstrated need of the student, the pace of the instruction is increased or instruction at the next level is given. Keep in mind, this may increase facts and skills but not support critical thinking.
- Cluster Grouping- a purposeful placement of a student with other like students who have similar needs for learning.
- Compacting- requires pre-assessing of students to show mastery of skills and concepts. The teacher then replaces the current scope and sequence of the curriculum in compacted or shorter chunks.
- Flexible Grouping- students are grouped according to pre-assessment data based on specific needs in that area of the curriculum. Groups are formed and reformed based on readiness, style of learning, and/or interests.
- Independent Study/Project- used as “replacement” unit when a student already has the skills and knowledge of the current curriculum. Allows the student to work on an ongoing assignment that can be worked on independently throughout a unit, or certain amount of time. Students are held accountable to specific goals and outcomes.
- Tiered Assignments- activities that allow students to focus on the same essential understanding and skills but is planned at different complex, abstract, and open-ended levels. ● Enrichment- building on the current curriculum with different examples and materials that are related and broad enough to develop complex ideas. Often enrichment activities are offered outside of the classroom and/or regular school day.
- Quality Questioning- Deliberate and thoughtful design of questions to elicit a deeper level of student engagement and critical thinking. Encourages students to explore both how to think and what to think about. The goal is to scaffold students’ thinking about the question posed AND their responses to it. This approach is radically different from the traditional approach to answering, in which they attempt to guess the teacher’s answers to classroom questions. Open-ended focus questions at the beginning of a lesson are an effective way to engage the students, provide for multiple perspectives and create relevancy.
- Higher Level/Critical Thinking- designed activities that require thinking beyond the literal level. To challenge students to apply, analyze, evaluate, and synthesize knowledge, skills, and concepts. Includes deliberate questions that require students to think critically.
- Graphic Organizers- teacher priveds or student creates a mental map that represents key skills such as sequencing, compare-contrast, and classifying. Students are actively involved in the thinking process. We often hear this named “metacognition.” These organizers are not products unto themselves, but encourage deeper meaning and thinking.
PPS TAG updated 11/2018