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Differentiated Instruction


http://www.doe.in.gov/exceptional/gt/tiered_curriculum/welcome.html-Examples of different assignments




Differentiated Instruction is.......

...a research based collection of the most effective practices in teaching and learning, changes in the pace, level or kind of changes in the pace, level or kind of instruction in response to the learner's needs, styles, or interests. These practices continue to evolve as educational research provides new insights into student learning success.


General Guidelines

  • Clarify key concepts and generalizations.

  • Use assessment as a teaching tool to extend versus merely measure instruction.

  • Emphasize critical and creative thinking.

  • Engaging all learners is essential. Vary tasks within instruction as well as across students.

  • Provide a balance between teacher assigned and student selected tasks.


Tiered Assignments             Scaffolding        


What  Does This Mean for the Teacher?

In the differentiated classroom...

  • Assessment is an ongoing, diagnostic activity that guides instruction. (learning tasks are planned and adjusted based on assessment data.)

  • Teacher is primarily a coordinator of time, space, and activities. The aim is to help learners become self-reliant.

  • Students and teachers collaborate in setting class and individual goals.

  • Students work in a variety of group configurations as well as independently. Flexible grouping is evident.

  • Time is used flexibly, varied based on student needs

  •  Students have choices. These choices can include (but are not limited to) topics they want to study, ways they want to work, and how they want to demonstrate learning.

  • A variety of instructional strategies are used.

  • Assessment occurs in a variety of ways.

Managing the Differentiated Classroom

  • Have overall good classroom management by establishing clear procedures and routines.

  • Teach procedures from four different categories


Movement- Entrance into and exit from classroom at the beginning and end of class. Exit and return to room during class (office, nurse, counselor, bathroom)


Instruction-Time to get help from the teacher

Partner, small group, and center work

Completed work




Interruptions-Crisis or disaster

Entire class ( announcements, visitor, guest)

Tardy or absent

  •       Communicate well with parents the need for differentiation to best meet the needs of all students in the classroom, emphasizing the fact that "Fair is not the same".

  • Gradually increase the amount of differentiation in your classroom to a reasonable degree. With each new strategy, teach the procedure without the content before using the new strategy or activity to teach content                                                                                                                   

     Successful Connections, Kim Geddie                                                                  

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