Differentiated Instruction, Assessment, and Intervention

Differentiated Instruction makes it possible to maximize learning for ALL students. It is a professional and responsive mind-set where the teacher is proactively planning for the needs of diverse learners. Most teachers naturally differentiate to some degree, but in today’s standrads-based world, differentiation is more important than ever. The more differentiated a classroom, the more its students feel successful and motivated, resulting in higher student achievement. Appropriate and timely intervention strategies and opportunities for true formative and summative assessments can help your differentiated classroom succeed.

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    Differentiation Introduction & Overview

    All Students Can Learn: Developing a Mind-Set for Differentiation (K-5)
    Readiness Level: Early Implementation
    Ease your way into differentiation as you explore what differentiation is and what it is not. You will learn the elements of instruction that can be differentiated. Leave feeling affirmed in terms of what you are already doing to meet the different learning needs of your students and prepared with next steps to guide you on your journey into differentiation.

    What Is Differentiated Instruction? An Intro to DI for Administrators (K-5)
    Readiness Level: Early Implementation
    Facilitating teacher change to improve student learning is a critical part of the administrator’s work. Administrators must understand the change they are aiming for!. Because differentiation is not a program or curriculum but a way of thinking about teaching and learning, it can be difficult to really understand it and then communicate what it is to teachers. In this session, administrators will learn what differentiation is and is not as well as ways to communicate that effectively to teachers.

    Back to School Night: An Introduction to DI for Parents (K-5)
    Readiness Level: Early Implementation

    Assessment and Grading

    Once Is Not Enough: Ongoing Assessment in the Differentiated Classroom (K-5)
    Readiness Level: Early to Intermediate Implementation
    Classroom-based ongoing assessment is a critical component of effective differentiation and one of the best ways to increase student achievement. You will leave this session knowing what student differences to assess and how to assess these differences in practical ways. You will also explore how to use assessment results to shape instruction in your classroom.

    Moving the Needle: Giving Effective Feedback to Students (K-5)
    Readiness Level: Intermediate Implementation
    Effective feedback can increase student achievement. But what constitutes effective feedback? In this session, participants will learn what effective feedback is and is not, the five basics of effective feedback, and how to give effective feedback to students, as well as how to determine if feedback is increasing student achievement.

    50 Easy and Effective Pre- and Formative Assessment Strategies (K-5)
    Readiness Level: Early Implementation
    Assessment is not something that happens at the end of the instruction. Assessment is ongoing in the differentiated classroom. This session will look at the meaning of pre and formative assessment and their impact on student achievement. You will leave with 50 easy and effective pre and formative assessment strategies to help you find out where your students are in their learning so that you can differentiate to help them master your content standards.

    Differentiated Strategies for Summative Assessment (K-5)
    Readiness Level: Early to Intermediate Implementation
    Summative assessment occurs at the end of a unit or a chunk of learning. The purpose of summative assessment is to make sure students have mastered the content standards. This session will look at ways to differentiate summative assessment so that all students have second chances and can achieve success.

    Begin at the End: Using Assessment to Plan Instruction (K-5)
    Readiness Level: Intermediate to Full Implementation
    Ongoing assessment is the key to effective differentiation. However, it is what teachers do with the assessment that really affects student learning. In this session you will learn how to use assessment data to plan related instruction so all students can achieve success.

    Grading in the Differentiated Classroom (K-5)
    Readiness Level: Intermediate to Full Implementation
    Grading always presents concerns for teachers, and grading in the differentiated classroom is especially challenging. In this session you will consider why we grade, the basic premise of a grade, as well as fair and ethical grading practices in the differentiated classroom. Explore the biggest issues around grading and leave with confidence in your ability to use fair and ethical grading practices in the differentiated classroom.

    Differentiating Strategies

    Know Them: Differentiating for Learning Profile and Interest (K-5)
    Readiness Level: Early Implementation
    Tapping into the interests of students is a powerful way to motivate them, increasing achievement and decreasing behavioral problems. Learn specific, practical strategies to differentiate for both student learning profiles and student interests. Understand the growing body of research that reveals how students approach learning, including cognitive preference research such as Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences.

    Start Where They Are: Differentiating for Student Readiness (K-5)
    Readiness Level: Intermediate to Full Implementation
    Students in the same class often differ in their readiness to learn content and skills. Yet the learning goals are the same for all students in the class. Learn to tier lessons—build scaffolds into activities and assignments so all students are working at respectfully challenging tasks that are clearly focused on the same learning goals. Discover how to create tiered assignments and practice creating your own.

    Tiering without Tears: How to Tier Assignments for All Learners (K-5)
    Readiness Level: Intermediate to Full Implementation
    Tiered activities and assignments are one of the best ways to meet the various readiness levels in the classroom. However creating tiered assignments can seem overwhelming. This session will explain tiered assignments in simple and practical terms. You will leave feeling confident that you can successfully plan tiered assignments.

    Curriculum Compacting (K-5)
    Readiness Level: Full Implementation
    Curriculum Compacting is a strategy for the differentiated classroom and is used to address the readiness needs of gifted learners. This strategy is a way to streamline the curriculum to allow students to move at a quicker pace and then have time to pursue an alternate topic or go into greater depth in an area of study. This session will explore the steps to effectively compact the curriculum for advanced students as well as ways to plan and manage this powerful strategy. You will leave feeling confident and ready to tackle curriculum compacting.

    Differentiation and the Gifted Learner (K-5)
    Readiness Level: Intermediate to Full Implementation
    There are differences between differentiating for regular education students and for gifted students. This session will explore the unique learning needs of gifted students as well as classroom strategies that best meet the needs of gifted learners. You will leave with ideas for content, process, and product differentiation for gifted learners.

    Differentiation for Special Populations (K-5)
    Readiness Level: Intermediate to Full Implementation
    Like all students, learners with special needs are unique individuals with distinct readiness, interests, and learning profiles. This workshop will consider special populations of students--from students with various learning disabilities, to students who do not speak English as their first language, to gifted and talented students--and identify ways to differentiate instruction to best meet their needs.

    Advanced Differentiation: Digging Deeper (K-5)
    Readiness Level: Full Implementation
    With the basic mind-set for differentiation and a set of strategies in place, you can now explore ways to more deeply differentiate for specific goals—technology integration, working with special populations, and even coaching other teachers. Add to your existing toolbox of differentiation strategies and hone your skills through examination of real-world classroom scenarios. Become the resident expert on differentiation in your school.

    21st Century Skills

    Differentiation in the 21st Century Classroom (K-5)
    Readiness Level: Early to Full Implementation
    A differentiated classroom demands as much attention focused on the environment as on lesson planning, instruction, and assessment. Discover practical strategies for creating a classroom environment that embodies 21st century skills, meaningful relationships, descriptive feedback, and brain-compatible instruction. Explore all the ways you can set up an environment that will foster maximum growth for each and every student.

    OMG! Understanding Generation Z (K-5)
    Readiness Level: Early to Full Implementation
    Generation Z students are those born in the mid 1990’s or later. They are in your classrooms now. These students are very different from past generations of student and this session will explore these differences. You will leave with a toolkit of strategies to effectively reach and teach today’s students.

    Use Your Head: 30 Easy and Effective Brain-Compatible Strategies (K-5)
    Readiness Level: Early Implementation
    Students’ differences in readiness, interests, and learning profile influence how they think and learn. Those differences are all based in the brain, so it’s important to understand more deeply what that means and how to use brain research to reach all learners. You will leave this session with 30 easy and effective brain compatible strategies to use immediately in your classroom.

    I Can Do It! Fostering a Growth Mindset (K-5)
    Readiness Level: Intermediate to Full Implementation
    Mindset refers to the degree to which a student believes he can grow his intelligences and abilities. Mindset creates the mental world our students live in. This session will examine two mindsets (fixed and growth-oriented) discuss the one teachers should cultivate in students, and identify strategies for doing that.

    Two Sides of the Same Coin: Critical Thinking and Creative Thinking (K-5)
    Readiness Level: Intermediate to Full Implementation
    Effective classroom instruction involves students thinking and learning. The thinking tools of critical reasoning, creative thinking, and problem finding and solving must be a focus in today’s classrooms. This session will explore thinking by breaking it down into its parts. You will leave with strategies to foster both critical and creative thinking in the classroom.

    From Remember to Create: Moving Up the Bloom’s Pyramid with DI (K-5)
    Readiness Level: Early to Full Implementation
    All students deserve to think at high levels. Some need more support to reach those high levels. When differentiating thinking processes for students, teachers attend to their readiness differences. This session will explore ways to move all students into greater depths of learning with Bloom’s Pyramid.

    KISS: Differentiating with Technology (K-5)
    Readiness Level: Early to Full Implementation
    Technology is an effective tool for differentiating learning for students. In this session you will understand the importance of integrating technology seamlessly within instruction to equip students with skills necessary for success in today’s world. You will discover appropriate digital tools and apps to differentiate instruction for students. In addition, you will learn how to select, organize, and manage technology resources.

    App It! Differentiating with iPads® (K-5)
    Readiness Level: Early to Full Implementation
    Technology is an effective tool for differentiating learning for students. iPads can serve as digital dashboards of learning for students with appropriate selection of quality apps and websites. In this session you will learn how to strategically and capably use iPads in the classroom. You will discover appropriate apps and websites to differentiate learning. You will leave with an understanding of best practices for operating iPads, selection and organization of apps, and assessment of learning.

    Differentiating with SMART Boards® (K-5)
    Readiness Level: Early to Full Implementation
    Technology is an effective tool for differentiating learning for students. Effective use of Smart Boards can engage learners, provide immediate feedback, and enhance learning. In this session you will learn the basics of the Smart Notebook software. You will discover the best instructional practices of using the board to differentiate learning. You will leave with strategies and tools ready to use in the classroom.

    Lesson Planning and Management

    Managing the Differentiated Classroom (K-5)
    Readiness Level: Early to Full Implementation
    In a differentiated classroom, students work in a variety of purposeful flexible groups. Explore the what, why, and how of flexible grouping. Discover anchor activities that answer the question: “What do the other students do if I need to work with a small group?” Leave with practical ideas for creating meaningful anchor activities and ways to establish rules, procedures, routines, and rituals that help the differentiated classroom function smoothly.

    Beyond Redbirds and Bluebirds: Purposeful, Flexible Grouping Strategies (K-5)
    Readiness Level: Early to Intermediate Implementation
    All grouping patterns – large groups, small groups, teams, partners, and individuals – have value in a differentiated classroom. The key is purposeful grouping to reach the needs of diverse learners. Flexible groups are formed and dissolved as student needs change. This workshop will give you ways to form purposeful flexible groups in the classroom and outline the teacher’s role in each type of grouping arrangement. Activities for small groups will be shared as well.

    Anchor Activities in the Differentiated Classroom (K-5)
    Readiness Level: Early to Intermediate Implementation
    Anchor activities answer the question, “What do the other students do if the teacher is working with an individual or small group of students?” This session will explore the characteristics of effective anchor activities. You will leave with dozen of meaningful anchor activities for your classroom.

    Literacy Centers Galore (K-5)
    Readiness Level: Early to Intermediate Implementation
    Teaching with literacy centers provides students with opportunities to learn collaboratively and/or independently while providing teachers with time for small group instruction. This session is filled with ideas for collaborative and/or independent literacy activities. In addition you will leave knowing how to differentiate center activities to respond to the needs of diverse learners.

    Math Centers Galore (K-5)
    Readiness Level: Early to Intermediate Implementation
    Teaching with math centers provides students with opportunities to learn collaboratively and/or independently while providing teachers with time for small group instruction. This session is filled with ideas for collaborative and/or independent math activities. In addition you will leave knowing how to differentiate center activities to respond to the needs of diverse learners.

    Using KUDO to Plan Effective Lessons (K-5)
    Readiness Level: Intermediate to Full Implementation
    Differentiation starts with the question: Where are we going? That means we begin differentiation with standards in mind. KUDO is a framework for writing standards in a language that can be understood by teachers, students, and parents. The KUDO question is “What do I want my students to know, understand, and be able to do?” All standards can be sorted into know, understand, or do goals. This session will explain the KUDO framework as well as giving you examples of standards written in the KUDO framework. You will leave with the confidence to write learning goals in this framework.

    Differentiation in the Content Areas

    Differentiating Close Reading (K-5)
    Readiness Level: Intermediate to Full Implementation

    Differentiating with Complex Text (K-5)
    Readiness Level: Intermediate to Full Implementation
    New standards call for students to read grade level complex text and to do so with independence. How does a teacher accelerate students’ progress up the ladder of text difficulty? This session will examine what text complexity means and how to differentiate instruction so that you match students to books, provide them opportunities to read extensively, and support their move up the complexity ladder.

    Differentiating Speaking and Listening (K-5)
    Readiness Level: Intermediate to Full Implementation
    New standards for speaking and listening call for all students to have conversations about texts and to make oral presentations. This workshop will look closely at the standards, their implications for instruction, as well as ways to differentiate instruction in these standards so that all students can master their grade level expectations. You will leave feeling confident to help all students strengthen their speaking and listening skills.

    Differentiating Writing Instruction (K-5)
    Readiness Level: Intermediate to Full Implementation
    New standards put a tremendous emphasis on writing. In this workshop you will explore the three text types, how to write across all subject areas, and ways to differentiate writing instruction so that all students can master their grade level’s writing expectations.

    Differentiating Vocabulary Instruction (K-5)
    Readiness Level: Intermediate to Full Implementation
    While vocabulary is incorporated into new language standards, these standards should be an integral part of ELA instruction during the day. This session will explore how to select vocabulary for specific instruction, how to help students understand how words work, as well as how to differentiate vocabulary instruction so that all students can master the language standards.

    Differentiating Reading Comprehension (K-5)
    Readiness Level: Intermediate to Full Implementation
    New standards emphasize high-level comprehension skills as opposed to a focus on decoding and low-level literacy skills. In order for students to be successful with high-level comprehension, they will need explicit instruction. This session will explore ways to teach high-level comprehension skills and strategies to your students as well as ways to differentiate reading comprehension instruction so that all students can be successful.

    Differentiating Math Practices (K-5)
    Readiness Level: Intermediate to Full Implementation
    New math standards require that students must be able to go beyond “doing” the math—the procedures, rules, and drills. Now they must be able to go beyond what they are doing to explain why they are doing it. They must be able to explain the meaning behind the procedure and show other options for finding a solution. They must think creatively and justify their reasoning. The focus is on critical thinking, meaning, mastery, and a conceptual understanding of the processes involved in finding the answer. This session will examine the eight practice standards, look at key components of each, learn some classroom activities to address the practice in the classroom, and consider ways to differentiate the strategies so that all students can be successful.

    Job-Embedded Coaching

    Model Lesson
    Readiness Level: Early Implementation

    Side-by-Side Assessment
    Readiness Level: Early to Intermediate Implementation

    Classroom Observation and Coaching
    Readiness Level: Early to Intermediate Implementation

    Small-Group Instruction
    Readiness Level: Early Implementation

Featured PD Resources

    Differentiated Instruction, Second EditionDifferentiated Instruction, Second Edition
    Different Strategies for Different Learners
    By Lori Elliott, Ed.D., Char Forsten, Jim Grant, and Betty Hollas
    (K–8) 224pp. $22.95 • #550226


    Differentiated Instruction in a Whole-Group Setting Differentiated Instruction in a Whole-Group Setting
    (1–4) 160pp. (By Patricia Pavelka) $24.95 • #525802
    <(3–8) 160pp. (By Betty Hollas) $24.95 • #454870
    (7–12) 160pp. (By Betty Hollas) $24.95 • #454896


    The More Ways You Teach, The More Students You ReachThe More Ways You Teach, The More Students You Reach
    By Char Forsten, Gretchen Goodman, Jim Grant, Betty Hollas, and Donna Whyte
    (K–6) 144pp. $24.95 • #454893


    Different Tools for Different LearnersDifferent Tools for Different Learners
    By Donna VanderWeide, M.S.
    (K–5) 192pp. $21.50 • #454866



    Interventions for Struggling LearnersInterventions for Struggling Learners
    Putting RTI into Practice
    By Gretchen Goodman
    (K–4) 208pp. + CD $26.95 • #402618
    To purchase this resource, call 1-800-321-0401 x1451.

Featured Online PD

Featured PD Experts

    Betty Hollas Betty Hollas
    Bring This Expert to Your School or District
    Betty is an award winning veteran educator and best selling author with more than 25 years of exemplary service, as both a teacher and a principal. She brings energy and excitement to schools nationally and internationally. Betty enthusiastically shares her practical classroom strategies for DI as well as many other relevant topics to support teachers, including motivational keynotes, and training for school and district administrators for successful leadership in a Common Core world.

    Jim Grant Jim Grant
    Bring This Expert to Your School or District
    Jim has emerged as the nation’s Spokesperson for School Success with a dedicated mission to stop school failure. An internationally renowned educator and popular speaker, he offers practical instructional strategies to help all students learn. Jim is the author of many popular professional books, including the best selling, Differentiated Instruction: Different Strategies for Different Learners and Differentiating Textbooks.

    Richard Cash, Ed.D. Richard Cash, Ed.D.
    Bring This Expert to Your School or District
    Richard has worked in the field of education for over 25 years, where his range of experience includes teaching at the elementary and middle school levels as well as the college level. Most recently, he served as Director of Gifted Programs for the Bloomington Public Schools, in Minnesota, USA. Dr. Cash received his doctorate in Educational Leadership and a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis, MN. He serves on various boards and associations, such as the World Council on Gifted Education, ASCD, and The National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC), and is the President and Lead Consultant for nRich Educational Consulting, Inc. Richard's consulting work has taken him throughout the United States, as well as into Canada, The Czech Republic, China, England, Indonesia, The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Poland, Qatar, Spain, and Turkey.

    Rick Wormeli Rick Wormeli, NBCT
    Bring This Expert to Your School or District
    One of the first National Board Certified teachers in America, Rick brings innovation, energy, validity, and high standards to his presentations, along with over 30 years of outstanding teaching experience. Rick’s substantive presentations, sense of humor, and unconventional approaches make him an exceptionally sought after presenter.

    Diane Heacox, Ed.D. Diane Heacox, Ed.D.
    Bring This Expert to Your School or District
    Diane is an Associate Professor of Education at St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Minnesota. She also actively serves as a consultant and professional development trainer for both public and private schools. She presents regularly at local, state, national, and international education conferences. She has taught at both the elementary and secondary school levels and has served as a gifted education teacher and administrator, as well as an instructional specialist in public education.

    LeAnn Nickelsen LeAnn Nickelsen
    Bring This Expert to Your School or District
    LeAnn presents nationally on brain research topics, differentiation, reading and vocabulary strategies, higher level thinking, strategies to reach high standards and more—all based on the most up to date research. She is known for delivering a wealth of information in an active, fun format with very specific, practical classroom examples. LeAnn is passionate about encouraging teachers to engage all students’ brains in the just right manner so all learners can experience joy and success daily in their classrooms. She has authored 11 books, including Deeper Learning: 7 Powerful Strategies for In Depth and Longer Lasting Learning (co-authored with Eric Jensen) and Bringing the Common Core to Life (co-authored with Eric Jensen, 2014).

    Sharon Faber, Ed.D. Sharon Faber, Ed.D.
    Bring This Expert to Your School or District
    Sharon is an internationally recognized literacy expert, speaker, and consultant with more than 30 years of experience as a teacher, building and central office administrator, university professor, and staff development trainer.

    William DeMeo, Ph.D. William DeMeo, Ph.D.
    Bring This Expert to Your School or District
    Dr. William DeMeo is a Developmental Psychologist who serves as a consultant for the Mayerson Academy. In addition, he also has a private practice that specializes in serving children and families that other agencies are not able to serve in the Greater Cincinnati Area. William had coordinated the mental health services for Cincinnati Public Schools’ Early Childhood Program for the past 25 years. A former teacher, he has taught at all levels, from elementary through the university. Finally, William is a National Certified Olweus Trainer, a National Association of School Psychologist Approved Provider and a National Consultant for the Office of Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention.

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