Differentiated Instruction


Brain theory Jeff hawkins

Did you know? 2.0

Did you know III

Pay Attention

A Vision of K-12 Students Today

Key questions to be answered today.

What is differentiation?
How does it look in the classroom?
What technology tools are appropriate for differentiating lessons in the classroom?
How do we create technology-based activities that allow you to differentiate your curriculum?


Conduct research about differentiated instruction then record your research and the results of your group discussion on the appropriate wiki below.

The wikipedia article about Differentiated Instruction

A presentation discussing differentiation and technology

Differentiation resources

Do you agree with this teachers concept for differentiating?

Marc Prensky brain research presentation

Mind Map

View Mind Map at mind42.com >>

Use the wikis below to record your research and discussion information about differentiation. Work together as a group only one person should be editing your wiki at a time. The tables are numbered, please use the wiki page that has the same number as your table.

Table 1

Table 2

Table 3

Table 4

Table 5

Table 6

Table 7

Table 8

Table 9

Table 10

Types of activities that provide an opportunity for differentiated learning.
Constitutional studies
Online visual programming
Teach Jeff Spanish

Marc Prensky, Do They really Think Differently.

Internet Collaboration

The Internet is evolving into what is referred to as the web 2.0. Some refer to it as the read/write web. It is a more interactive Internet. Blogs and Wikis with their forum-like features and interactivity capabilities are at the heart of this transformation. This really is not new, in fact the Internet began as a series of message boards; and message boards and discussion boards have been a part of the Internet throughout its existence. The technology available now has made it easier for Internet users to create, manage, and participate in these interactive types of web pages. The ease of use, interconnectivity, and RSS syndication features of these web pages has allowed people to create social communities online. While this concept is not new, current technology has made it easier and more efficient to connect with people via the Internet.

Blogs are web logs or journals. They are set up for an individual to post journal entries as often as possible. The person's friends can read their journal entries and respond by leaving comments, or writing a response on their own blog and linking to the first one creating a trackback. Because of this, blogs became a tool for developing online communities. This makes a blog a powerful tool for teachers.

The ability for students to leave comments can make a blog a great structure for discussions like literature circles or revising and evaluating writing.
A blog can also be used for students to detail their progress through a project or experiment.

A common use of a blog is a Literature Circle. Although the individual teacher can vary the structure of the blog’s design (Discussion Forum or Author Involvement), the concept remains the same: students are actively interacting with others to widen their knowledge base on a particular literary work. Here are some examples of how a Literature Circle could function:

1. Discussion Forum
This is an example of a books study and discussion forum where some students participated with us our instructional technology team The World is Flat Book Study.

2. Author Involvement
Since Judy Blume has a blog of her own (http://judyblume.com/cgi-bin/dagongb/guestbook.html.php ), it is not inconceivable that she would welcome an opportunity to interact with your students.
Where in ...

A blog like the project below can be used with a geography unit.

Natural Resources

This blog can be used for this activity from the 3rd grade Social Studies curriculum guide.


Another example is this effort from DP109.

A blog is a very easy way to place information on the Internet. The interface, called a wysiwyg looks like a word processor and saves directly to the web page. The information is also organized in an easy to read structure.
A post is an easy way to store links for Internet research, scavenger hunts or even webquests.
The ability for students to leave comments can make a blog a great structure for discussions like literature circles, revising or evaluating writing.
Students can debate issues in a discussion forum or blog.
A blog can also be used for students to detail their progress through a project or experiment.

Video Conferencing

Another common tool for distance learning and collaboration is instructional videoconferencing (IVC). MISD has an IVC system on each of its campuses, so availability is not an issue. Let’s look at a few examples of how the IVC system could be used in conjunction with the ELA curriculum.

1. In the Third Grade ELA curriculum (2nd 9 weeks), one of the foci is on “Cultures, Analyzing Characters.” This provides ample grounds for utilizing IVC to bring your students together with a class from another part of the country/world. Any work that you choose could be the subject of the IVC session(s). Once you have decided upon a work and delineated the goal of the collaboration, the MISD Educational Technology Department would find a partner for you. It is best to allow at least two weeks lead time to secure a partner (a month is better).

Here is how it could proceed: You select a novel/story with an outcome project based on character analysis and cultural differences – the project could be a PowerPoint presentation, an oral presentation, or a poster with accompanying oral description. Then, you would inform the MISD EdTech Department who would then find a partner school. Once your partner is selected, you would proceed through your unit and prepare your students for the culminating IVC session(s) where they would share their project with another class. During the entire process, you will need to be in contact with your partnering teacher to insure that your outcomes are compatible and that time is used effectively (the EdTech Department can assist with this).

It is recommended that, during the course of the selected project, the students on each end collaborate with one another through e-mail, blogs, wikis, or good old snail mail. You could organize the collaborating students in individual pairs or groups, but it is important that you, as the teacher, keep control of the communications to avoid any missteps. The culminating IVC session would consist or students sharing their projects back and forth.

2. Another possible IVC session(s) could focus on the analysis of poetry, its elements, or dramatic interpretation of a poem. Here is a template that you could use for a poetry slam: http://mail.magnoliaisd.org/~cbrown/poetry.pdf. As you can see, this could also be modified for other genre of literature as well as any other aspect of a particular work (character analysis or cultural differences, to name two). This type of IVC session provides many opportunities for writing, speaking, presentation, and project construction.

An IVC session(s) is a powerful tool that your students can use to explore your assignment as well as the way others see the same topic with a different flair.


Wikis are slightly different from a blog. A wiki may or may not allow users to leave comments. They are not organized in as strict a structure as blogs. They are as easy to publish as a blog because they generally have a wysiwyg also. Wikis have a more interactive ability. Another user can actually edit the document.
Use a wiki for groups to work together on a project. Group members can work together to add research data, type a project, or prepare a report from any computer that has Internet access.
Wikis can be used for translating a foreign language, practicing sentence editing or proofreading. The following resources are provided should you want to conduct further research.

A 3rd grade class in our district and another 3rd grade class in Avon, Ohio are working on writing a chapter book together. They set it up for the students in Magnolia to write the first chapter and then the Avon students write the second chapter, and so on.

Some students used wikipedia for a project to tell about the Pitot House in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Some community members picked up the project and made it a part of their project to promote New Orleans.

In the Flat Classroom Project a class in Georgia and a class in Bangladesh participated in a book study of Thomas Friedman's book The World is Flat.
Each student was paired with a student at the far site to write a "paper" exploring some of the topics in the book. The "papers" were wikis.

An interesting project using a wiki is the Nutmeg project. This project allowed students to write guides to the books that had been nominated for the Conneticut Nutmeg Children's Book Award. Their goal for the project is displayed below.

This same idea could be conducted in Magnolia with the Bluebonnet Book Award.

Multimedia Projects

PowerPoint projects to connect to and transfer content from text.

Digital Stories are easier and sometimes promote deeper exploration and presentation.

Graphic Organizers

Many online graphic organizers or concept mapping sites are collaborative.






Applying Technology

Use the wikis below to tell us about the experience today. Work together as a group only one person should be editing your wiki at a time. The tables are numbered, please use the wiki page that has the same number as your table.

Table 1

Table 2

Table 3

Table 4

Table 5

Online E-Learning Platforms like Moodle

The Process of Creating a Constitution


Students draft their own constitution, then consider the different issues that the framers dealt with and add to the document to take care of issues and till keep the core issue of freedom.


The newspaper clipping generator is an interesting reporting tool that we might explore.

Newspaper Clipping Generator

The newspaper generator only kept about 165 words of my story on the page so more than that may not be able to be read.