Teacher Resources

Differentiation 101

Differentiated instruction is the way a teacher anticipates and responds to a variety of students’ needs in the classroom. To meet students’ needs, teachers differentiate by modifying the content (what is being taught), the process (how it is taught) and the product (how students demonstrate their learning).

What’s the purpose?

  • Enhance learning match between student and curriculum.
  • Change depth or breadth of student learning.
  • Use varied learning strategies, groupings and management.
  • Enable all students to make continuous progress in all areas.

Strategies Used to Differentiate:

Curriculum Compacting Students are pre-assessed to determine what parts of the curriculum they have already mastered. When those areas of knowledge and skills are identified, these students are not required to complete the grade-level work. Instead, they work on alternate activities. Examples.

Tiered Assignments Students work at varied degrees of difficulty on their tasks, but they all explore the same essential ideas and work at different levels of thought. Groups eventually come together to share and learn from each other.

Cubing Students look at a topic from 6 different angles. Teachers present six different topics to students in one easy-to-use approach. Each side of the cube lists one concept or idea. Students working individually or in groups move through the topics one by one. Examples.

Tic Tac Toe & Menus Students choose how they will show what they are learning by giving them a variety of activities to choose from.  Students are given a 3 x 3 grid, just like tic-tac-toe with the exception that each spot is filled with an activity. Examples

Most Difficult First

Additional Resources

Strategies That Differentiate Instruction K-12

Differentiation Planner

Tic Tac Toe Template

Tier One RTI for High Achieving Students 

Miss Giraffe’s Class Blog


Tiered Curriculum Project: This link offers K-12 lessons in Math, Science, and Language Arts and provides lessons that are tiered by Readiness, Interest, and Learning Style. Can you say jack pot?

ELA Units and Resources for Advanced Learners 

Power Library

SAS Content Search: Enrichment

365 Writing Prompts



What it means to Teach Gifted Learners Well