Here are 15 strategies, methods, and activities for differentiation in the classroom that might help:
1. Learning Stations
One great solution to the puzzle of how to differentiate in the classroom is to create learning stations. You can either ask the class to rotate around the room or allow them to choose whichever station they would like to learn at.
2. Student Interviews
The first step when considering how to differentiate in the classroom is to get to know the students in your classroom. One way to do this is to interview your students about their favorite styles of learning, how confident they feel in certain tasks and topics, and what they like doing in their spare time.
3. Parent Interview
Getting to know your class is a good start, but sometimes children can be shy and won’t tell you when they’re struggling. This is why it’s a good idea to speak with their parents too.
4. Exploring the Five Senses
Not every child is a natural-born writer or painter. Children learn in different ways based on the five senses. This is especially important for students with SEND needs, who might respond better to visual or audio stimuli.
5. Task Cards
You could create different task cards for students with different abilities. You could share them out in mixed groups, so that high achieving students can help out those who need some help, or divide the class into groups based on ability and tailor the cards to each table.
6. Two Stars and a Wish
Two stars and a wish is already a popular method for marking students’ work. But what if you could flip this on its head and use it to discover how to differentiate in the classroom according to students’ preferences?
7. Think Pair Share
First, ask students individually to think about a question or topic. Then, ask them to pair up and discuss their findings. Finally, the pairs can share their thoughts with the class.
8. Goal Setting
Goal setting is a key strategy for differentiation in teaching. Asking your students to regularly think about their goals is a useful way of understanding what kinds of tasks they might be interested in.
9. Free Study
Rather than always working out how to differentiate in the classroom by yourself, why not also give your children some freedom to find their own preferred methods of study?
10. Group by Learning Style
There are two main ways to group your class using DI. The first method is to group the class by learning style. For example, students who are good at practical tasks could sit at one table and another group that is good at writing could sit elsewhere.
11. Mixed Groups
The other popular way of grouping your class is based on mixed ability. This way, high-achieving students can help out those who are struggling. This means that everyone in the group will be able to do the task with teamwork and good communication. No student will be left behind!
12. Open-Ended Tasks
This is a great strategy to help give your students more control over their learning. This isn’t as extreme as a free study but follows a similar principle.
13. Tiered Resources
One of the difficulties of differentiation in the classroom is that it requires teachers to make even more resources. Time is already stretched for teachers, so making more resources isn’t always an option.
14. Differentiated EdTech
There are plenty of apps, games, and websites that provide edtech which adapts to the needs of individual students.
15. Varying Marking And Assessment Styles
Obviously, exam boards aren’t going to tailor exams to every single student. However, as part of your ongoing assessment throughout the year, you can try out different modes of assessment for different students.
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Strategies for Differentiation in the Classroom That Actually Work
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