Examples of ways to differentiate instruction
TeachersFirst's Thinking Teachers who write our resource reviews often have suggestions that have worked in their classrooms. Open the reviews to the "more" view to see ideas for using specific resources as tools to differentiate for a variety of learners. Alternatively, use the keyword search tool at the left of this page to search for a curriculum topic and the term "differentiate." For example, search fractions differentiate (with "all the words" selected for the search).
Grades2 to 12
In the ClassroomUse Gooru to differentiate instruction based on students' current performance. Many students are motivated to learn at their own pace using online tools, and Gooru is an option providing lessons in a different format than currently available. If not using Gooru whole -class, it provides many options for helping and enhancing learning for individual students, use for homework, or as a temporary option for providing instruction to home-bound students. Enhance classsroom technology and provide additional support to student learning by asking them to use Dropr, reviewed here, to build a digital portfolio of their learning process. Include images, videos, and written work within the portfolio.
Grades5 to 12
In the ClassroomFeedback on this site is based on the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) scale, learn more about it here. Include this site with your other resources for practicing and teaching writing as you challenge students to improve feedback scores. Take advantage of the different levels to differentiate practice for all students. Ask students to analyze their writing before hitting the feedback button as a self-reflection tool. As students improve writing, use a digital portfolio tool like Seesaw, reviewed here, and upload all revisions. Also, use Seesaw for students to share their thoughts on their writing and individual progress.
Grades7 to 12
In the ClassroomInclude this resource with your other materials for teaching about the periodic table and chemical elements. Customize any of the lessons within TED-ED to meet your lesson objectives. Register for a free account, then follow the steps to duplicate and edit the lesson to meet your needs and share with students. Be sure to share this site with students to use as part of their review and learning activities. Share all of your bookmarked sites with students using a bookmarking tool like SearchTeam, reviewed here. SearchTeam includes tools for collaborating and sharing online resources and provides the ability for you or your students to add notes and comments to shared resources. Include this site and others to provide differentiated learning activities for your students using Symbaloo Learning Paths, reviewed here. In addition to web resources like Periodic Videos, Symbaloo Learning Paths provides options for including quizzes, uploading documents, and more to create an entire unit in one place. Instead of a final assessment using a paper and pencil quiz, ask students to modify their learning by creating explainer videos about elements using My Simpleshow, reviewed here. If you are unsure about how to assess multimedia projects, find many ideas for implementing rubrics for assessment along with examples and online tools at TeachersFirst Rubrics to the Rescue reviewed here.
Grades7 to 12
In the ClassroomBookmark this site to reference throughout the school year. Use the keyword search option to find ideas for specific units or technology tools to use. Use a bookmarking tool like Wakelet, reviewed here, to collect and share information from this blog along with your other resources. As you gather lesson ideas and create your unit, use Symbaloo Learning Paths, reviewed here, to create differentiated lesson activities for your students.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomInclude this site with your other tools for teaching and practicing geography concepts. Be sure to share with students on your webpage or blog for easy access at any time. Apply for the Proof Ninja Educator Program to take advantage of the additional features for monitoring student work. Introduce this site to your students on your interactive whiteboard as you work together to learn geometry concepts. Ask students to show proofs and justifications using the program and take a screenshot of their work. Ask students to include their screenshot within a Google document and share their problem-solving process. This site is an excellent way to differentiate learning for different levels of student understanding. Encourage students to create explainer videos using My Simpleshow, reviewed here, to modify their learning and to share their understanding with their fellow students. Include those videos on your website for all students to review and access.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomBookmark this site to find math problems correlating to your teaching standards or content. This site is perfect for finding materials to differentiate instruction with different student ability levels. Have students share their results and discuss their problem-solving process on your interactive whiteboard. Take screenshots of the different solutions and include on your class website. Another option is to take a picture of student's written solutions, then use ThingLink, reviewed here, to extend student learning by having them add an audio recording describing their mathematical thinking. Share their ThingLink images on your website, or add to your student's digital portfolio on Seesaw, reviewed here, or another portfolio creation site. As students become more proficient in sharing their mathematical thinking and problem-solving activities, consider using their math talks as part of an ongoing podcast using Buzzsprout, reviewed here, as a way to extend student learning and promote math conversations and help students understand that there may be many different ways to arrive at the right answer to a problem. Buzzsprout features free and easy to use tools including the ability to create and schedule podcasts to be released on any date and time you desire.
GradesK to 6
In the ClassroomTake advantage of this free reading program to differentiate reading materials for your students both by ability and interests. Set up your program then share learning goals with your students and parents. Enhance classroom technology use by using the free interactives and printables from Read Write Think, reviewed here, and have students create story maps, book covers, and much more as part of their retelling and summarizing activities. Create shared class activities using a video response tool like FlipGrid, reviewed here, to modify classroom technology use by asking students to share short book talks about their favorite books read on the site. Take learning even further by creating ongoing podcasts discussing favorite books and characters using Buzzsprout, reviewed here. Buzzsprout makes it easy to create and share podcasts by offering scheduling options to meet your needs.
Grades2 to 12
In the ClassroomUse oodlu to differentiate learning in your classroom. Assign questions sets to different groups of learners according to their specific needs. Be sure to show students how to log in and access questions, then include a link to the site on your class webpage for students to play at home. At the end of your learning unit, augment the lessons by asking students to plan a multimedia presentation using a tool like SuperNotecard, reviewed here, where you can turn your notes into a storyboard! Include modification by using the Storyboard to create a multimedia presentation tool like Sway, reviewed here, to share their learning using. Have students include text, images, videos, and a link to oodlu learning games in the Sway.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomInstall InsertLearning for use with online newspapers, magazines, and primary sources. Create quizzes to share with students through Google Classroom. Differentiate learning by using this browser extension to create different prompts for groups of students. Use InsertLearning to help ESL/ELL and special education students understand difficult material by highlighting and defining vocabulary found in websites. Take advantage of the instant feedback received from student responses to provide interventions on the spot. Use InsertLearning in a blended classroom as a flipped learning experience or as an introduction to any new unit.
Grades5 to 12
In the ClassroomIntroduce SummarizeThis to students working on research projects as a way to quickly determine the content and viability of using websites. Use to differentiate instruction with students. Use with learning support students as a resource to make content more accessible. Use the summaries when teaching how to summarize in an ELA class. Compare the summary you create as a class or in small groups with the "automated" one. Are there subtleties or important distinctions that this tool misses? As a challenge for your more critical thinkers, have them try to figure out what signals the tool uses to create its summary.
Grades6 to 9
In the ClassroomJoin MySciLife to bring excitement and energy to your science classroom. As you complete activities in the platform, use a concept mapping site like MindMup, reviewed here, to replace paper/pencil version of a concept map. Alter students' learning by asking them to create and share infographics based on their research and sharing of ideas. Canva, reviewed here, is an easy to use site for creating infographics using pre-made templates or from scratch. Take student learning to a whole new level by redefining it and having them create a game-based learning activity for their peers using Symbaloo Learning Paths, reviewed here. Symbaloo Learning Paths offers many options for creating differentiated learning using video, quizzes, and more.
Grades4 to 8
In the ClassroomUse Exam Elf to reinforce and practice math concepts to prepare for standardized testing. Create an account to differentiate math practice to meet varying student needs. Use the data provided in the teacher dashboard to guide math instruction.
Grades6 to 8
tag(s): data (155), equations (156), exponents (44), factoring (32), factors (40), fractions (231), geometric shapes (168), measurement (179), percent (79), probability (136), pythagorean theorem (34), ratios (66), transformations (19), volume (52)
In the ClassroomInclude this site to supplement your current grade 6-8 math curriculum. Use the resources to differentiate instruction for gifted students in lower grades or as remediation for struggling students in older grades. Be sure to take advantage of the family materials providing explanations of math content and strategies for problem-solving. Use the student materials for differentiating instruction or as homework. Have students share their math explanations and strategies with video explanations using a tool like FlipGrid, reviewed here. FlipGrid provides a tool for video responses to a question along with comments from peers. Take student learning a step further and ask them to create and share their own math problems along with suggestions for learning. Use a tool like Sway, reviewed here. Sway is a presentation tool that offers multimedia options including text, video, and images.
Grades9 to 12
In the ClassroomUse Moonshot Learning case studies across the curriculum and to differentiate instruction based on student interest. Many of these case studies are perfect for extension activities and for use with Gifted students. After completing activities found on this site have students create a multimedia presentation using Genial.ly, reviewed here. Genial.ly allows you to add polls, audio, videos, embeds, web links, PowerPoint, PDfs, and more.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomView this chat to learn more about differentiation and tools to help you engage and differentiate for the various levels and interests in your class.
Grades3 to 5
In the ClassroomShare the resources with students for additional practice, remediation, enrichment, or advancement. Display resources on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Use these tools in your BYOD classroom to differentiate for math class.
GradesK to 8
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In the ClassroomDiscover the many ready-to-go, free resources on this site to find spelling lists and activities. This site makes it easy to differentiate instruction and personalize lists for students based on ability. If your students are struggling, begin with an easier list to build confidence. If your students aren't being challenged enough, try lists above grade level to build spelling skills.
GradesK to 8
In the ClassroomAll subject area teachers can benefit from making Answerables your digital library available from anywhere and anytime for you and your students. Store and organize links to websites, videos, and more for your students. Use PODS on this site to differentiate learning for students. Share student's digital work in this secure environment with parents and peers.
Parent permission advised before posting student work created using this tool
Requires registration/log-in (WITH email)
Premium version (not free) includes additional features or storage
Multiple users can collaborate on the same project
Includes teacher tools for registering and/or monitoring students
Requires download/installation of software