Differentiation

Our classes consist of students who come to us with a wide range of skills, understandings and abilities. some of our students are below standard whilst others may be at or even above the expected standard. Providing a curriculum that meets the needs of each individual does not have to be difficult.

Note: This is not about accommodation or modification.

Providing differentiation in your curriculum can be as simple as providing students with a choice on how to engage with a task. An activity that might traditionally be presented as a poster could allow students to select from several options including a poster, digital infographic, drama, podcast, or virtual world. Below are some suggestions for differentiation in the classroom.

Choices for presentation (some ideas):

  • poster (traditional)
  • poster (digital). Uses software such as PowerPoint to create the poster. This can be printed in various sizes.
  • infographic. Uses graphics to present data in ways that are engaging and clear. (see Vengage's examples)
  • drama. Student can write and present a dramatic piece, perhaps from the point of view of someone involved in the topic.
  • poetry. Whether doggerel, an acrostic or free verse.
  • song. Student can compose music and lyrics or set words to an established tune.
  • podcast / vodcast. Podcasts have become an incredibly popular medium for presenting information.
  • virtual world. Using Minecraft or other virtual world program, students can present in a 3-dimensional, virtual setting.
  • comic strip. Using software such as Comic Life, students create a comic strip that presents their findings.
  • blog. Student presents in the form of a blog, perhaps documenting the process as well.
  • web site. Either created from scratch or using a site like Wix.
  • build a diorama. 
  • see more

Choices for research (some ideas):

  • interview experts or people who are involved in the topic.
  • carry out a survey. Office 365 Forms is an excellent tool for surveys.
  • use online resources and evaluate the trustworthiness of each site used.
  • carry out original research. This might be an archaelogical dig or a science experiment for example.
  • use first-hand data. Sites like Australia's National Archive are an excellent source of original documents.
  • capture / record data using:
    • camera / device
    • phone (audio / video / images)
    • screen capture. Record video or still images from online resources such as remote sensing cameras.
    • written notes

Resources:

There are many books ini the Teacher Professional Library on how to differentiate lessons in many subject areas.