D I F F E R E N T I AT E D S T R AT E G I E S G L O S S A R Y

Alternate assessments – After learning experiences are completed
using the same content or process, the student may have a choice of
products to show what has been learned. This differentiation creates
possibilities for students who excel in different modalities over others
(verbal versus visual).
Anchor options – Students are expected to understand and know how
to complete such activities with no teacher participation so that
teachers can work with small groups or individuals. Teachers often
spend time early in the school year describing such activities for
independence throughout the year. An example of an anchor activity
would be using a geoboard and following directions on an activity card.
Choice boards – Work assignments are written on cards that are
placed in hanging pockets. By asking students to select a card from a
particular row of pockets, the teacher targets work toward student
needs yet allows student choice.
Choice of books – Different textbooks or novels (often at different
levels) used for content study or for literature circles.
Compacting – This strategy begins with a student assessment to
determine level of knowledge or skill already attained (i.e. pretest).
Students who demonstrate proficiency before the unit even begins
work at a higher level in flexible groups.
Entry points – Introducing students to a topic through different
avenues, which might be narratives, quantitative or logical problems,
aesthetic (sensory) experiences, or experiential (hands-on) activities.
Explorations by interest – Based on individual interests, students
can do research to find out more about a particular area/idea.
Flexible grouping – Students are put in groups that do not remain
the same and the composition of the group is determined by interest,
skills, learning style, compacting.
Flexible seating – Students are seated in arrangements that fit the
specific teaching plan and do not remain in the same arrangement
throughout the year.
4MAT – Teachers plan instruction for each of four learning preferences
over the course of several days on a given topic. Some lessons focus

Graphic organizers – A visual representation of organizing thinking and ideas such as a Venn diagram or a word web. and some on synthesis. Interest centers – Areas in a classroom set up with learning experiences directed to a specific interest such as wolves or prairie plants. Group investigation – Students are grouped in pairs or small working groups to develop a plan to solve a problem presented by the teacher. Useful for all students and particularly for those who organize visually. Jigsaw can also have students create different components of an end product. The researcher produces a product to share learning with classmates. . Sharing information gathered puts the pieces together and the students are required to learn from each other. Research is done from questions developed by the student guided by the classroom teacher or differentiation teacher. Games to practice mastery of information and skills – Use games as a way to review and reinforce concepts. Interest groups – A learning group composed of those interested in a specific interest of learning. Homework options – Students are provided with choices about the assignments they complete as homework. Often the plan is completed by the same group and a response about the process is expected. Include questions and tasks that are on a variety of cognitive levels. Independent study or expert journal – Students chooses a topic of interest that s/he is curious and wants to discover new information. Learning contracts – Negotiated agreement between teacher and student that gives students freedom in acquiring skills and understandings considered important by the teacher. some on personal involvement. some on understanding. Jigsaw – Individual students or groups of students are asked to study one component of learning (plants and animals of a biome) while other students or groups study another component (physical characteristics of a biome). Each learner has a chance to approach the topic through preferred modes and to strengthen weaker areas.on mastery.

Groups can be heterogeneous and homogeneous. Let’s make a deal project – A product that includes standards and the option to alter one or more requirements with teacher approval of the “deal. The investigations “orbit” or revolve around some facet of the curriculum.Lectures coupled with graphic organizers – The teacher provides students with organizers on which students can take notes or which they can use to follow along with a lecture.) Multiple levels of questions – Teachers can use the level of thinking and the verbs that match those levels to advance the thinking of student response. Orbitals – Independent investigations generally lasting 3-6 weeks.” Literature circles – Flexible grouping of students who engage in different studies of a piece of literature. musical. interpersonal. Mini workshop to re-teach or extend skills – A short. Stations – Areas in a classroom set up with learning experiences that are steps in a progression of learning an area of content or a skill. etc. Beginning and ending points for students can vary for differentiation. Student agendas within a classroom may vary. Student-Teacher goal setting – The teacher and student work together to develop individual learning goals for the student. Multiple intelligences options – Students select activities or are assigned an activity that is designed for learning a specific area of content through their strong intelligence (verbal-linguistic. specific lesson with a student group who is focused on one area of interest or who needs review and repetition of a specific skill. Options for varied modes of expression – Allow students to express or present the information they have learned in a variety of ways. Personal agendas – A personal to-do list of tasks the teacher wants each student to accomplish in a given day/lesson/unit. Recorded materials – Instructions and general information are put on a cassette tap that students can play and replay. .

Varying scaffolding on the same organizer – Provide graphic organizers that require students to complete various amounts of information. Some will be more filled out (by the teacher) than others. Varying organizers – Use organizers that have varied levels of complexity. Tiered lesson/assignment/product/center – The content and objective are the same but the process and/or the products are varied according to level of skill attained. Varied supplementary activities – Provide a variety of extra activities for students to use to supplement the main lesson.Think-pair-share – Students are working in pairs. then asked to share their answers with each other. . Think-Tac-Toe – A choice board for students to complete learning experiences. asked to think about a question for a specific amount of time.