Differentiating Instruction: Resources

Differentiation Articles

Teaching in mixed-ability classrooms

Teachers guide students down many paths to a common destination
Although some voice doubts, advocates say
differentiated instruction can raise the bar for all learners
By Mary Anne Hess

Mapping a Route Toward Differentiated Instruction

Carol Ann Tomlinson
Educational Leadership September 1999 | Volume 57 | Number 1
Even though students may learn in many ways, the essential skills and content they learn can remain steady. That is, students can take different roads to the same destination.

What is Differentiated Instruction?

High School Example


A differentiated classroom is designed to tap into different student readiness levels, interests, and learning profiles. In a differentiated class, the teacher uses (1) a variety of ways for students to learn the curriculum, (2) a variety of meaningful activities or processes where students gain understanding and form their "own" information and ideas, and (3) a variety of options through which students can demonstrate or exhibit what they have learned.

Differentiating Instruction: Finding Manageable Ways to Meet Individual Needs

by Scott Willis and Larry Mann
Every child is unique. Although we may rejoice in this fact, it poses a dilemma for educators. When students are diverse, teachers can either "teach to the middle" and hope for the best, or they can face the challenge of diversifying their instruction.
Today, more and more teachers are choosing the second option. Determined to reach all students, teachers are struggling to tailor their instruction to individual student needs. They are striving to provide the right level of challenge for gifted students, for students who lag far behind grade level, and for everyone in between. They are working to deliver instruction in ways that meet the needs of auditory, visual, and kinesthetic learners. And they are trying to tap into students' personal interests. In short, these teachers are differentiating instruction.

Differentiating Instruction for Advanced Learners in the Mixed-Ability Middle School Classroom. ERIC Digest E536.

Tomlinson, Carol Ann
A particular challenge for middle school teachers is being able to differentiate or adapt instruction to respond to the diverse student needs found in inclusive, mixed-ability classrooms. This digest provides an overview of some key principles for differentiating instruction, with an emphasis on the learning needs of academically advanced learners.
ERIC Identifier: ED389141

Differentiation Strategies

Critical Questions about Tiered Lessons

Cheryl M. Adams, Ph.D.
Many of us have heard the term, "tiered lesson," as the differentiation movement has taken center stage as a means of meeting the needs of all students in the classroom. A tiered lesson is a differentiation strategy that addresses a particular standard, key concept, and generalization, but allows several pathways for students to arrive at an understanding of these components, based on the students’ interests, readiness, or learning profiles.

Differentiated Instruction Templates


Differentiated Instruction for Math


Differentiated Instruction for Science


Differentiated Instruction for Language Arts


Differentiated Instruction in the English Classroom


Ten Tips for Differentiation


Differentiated Instruction: Link Lists of Web Sites


Tools for Differentiated Instruction Using Technology