Once educators stop dreading differentiation, they can implement simple strategies that let students shape content to their way of thinking

3 reasons why differentiation isn’t difficult


Once educators stop dreading differentiation, they can implement simple strategies that let students shape content to their way of thinking

For starters, they allow students to use what they’re studying to make an impact on the larger world, particularly in the case of project-based learning. Afterwards, they create opportunities for growth and understanding by encouraging students to reflect upon their work.

Hack #2 – IDEAs: IDEAs is another acronym that stands for Innately Differentiated Educational Activities. These are what some educators call “Low Floor, High Ceiling” activities. Even students with a lower level of understanding can participate in them. One example would be a Brain Dump, where students list everything they know about a subject. Another possibility is to encourage your students to come up with alternative explanations or hypotheses to an answer. This challenges them to think more flexibly.

Hack #3 Assessmental health: By engendering a healthy mindset around assessment, we can teach students how to be curious and approach learning as a lifelong journey. One way is by asking a simple question, “What else do you know?” This question gives students a chance to show off their knowledge in a deeply differentiated way. Another way is by challenging students to teach you something. In return for a new, interesting fact, offer your students one point of extra credit on a test.

Moving forward

If you’re interested in learning about these strategies in more detail, be sure to check out this free resource. Differentiation will always be a challenge for educators, but if we give our students the opportunity to explore these concepts and invest in their own learning, there’s no telling what they can discover.

Don’t be overwhelmed by the prospect of differentiation. The simplest strategies can go a long way in making your lessons memorable, meaningful, and fun!  

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