Saturday, September 18


Strategies For Differentiating Instruction

To implement a differentiated curriculum, teachers need to use a variety of strategies with the highly able students. In-servicing is provided teachers on the following strategies:

  •  Flexible Grouping: Group students in a variety of ways depending on the classroom activity with desired learning outcomes.
  • Curriculum Compacting: Process where students who already  know the material to be studied are allowed to document their skill mastery and ‘test out’ of the regular classroom work. They are then allowed to work on an alternate activity.
  • Independent Study: Process for in-depth study of an area of  interest. Teacher has checkpoints and rules for this study and  monitors it or gives some other adult the responsibility for  monitoring it.
  • Resident Experts: Some students are resident experts in an area of particular interest and are given class time to study this area in depth. These resident experts within the school can be called on to go to other classes and share their expertise.
  • Learning Contracts: Agreements between student and teacher,  which allow the student to work on tasks at an agreed upon time.  Activities typically involve student choices.
  • Seminars: Short classes in areas of interest not part of  the curriculum, taught by teachers, parents, community volunteers, paraprofessionals, and/or other instructional personnel.
  • Mentorship: Adult from the community or an older student, who works on an ongoing basis with an individual student in an area of  interest.
  • Anchoring Activities: Ongoing relevant tasks that students  automatically move to when they have completed classroom assignments.
  • Technology: Use of a variety of technological tools for acceleration, enrichment and/or extensions.
  • Learning Stations: Involves setting up different spots in the classroom where students work on various tasks simultaneously. These stations invite flexible grouping because not all students need to go to all stations all the time.


 Adapted from a workshop by Carolyn Coil, Pieces of Learning, 1-800-729-5137.