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  • General
  • Allow students to work where they work best (examples: standing desk, sitting on the floor, sitting in a laundry bin)
  • Build in choice
  • Weight tasks according to expectations met and not on the kind of product
  • Provide parallel tasks
  • Provide tiered assignments
  • Provide scaffolding 

Task Completion

  • When students have multiple tasks to complete, let them choose the order of completion
  • Allow students to choose whether to work alone or with a partner on some tasks
  • Provide students with a assignment options to demonstrate their learning
  • Provide varied support systems (examples: peer evaluation, graphic organizers, recorded material, a variety of texts, small group instruction)

Differentiated Instruction in Reading–Examples

  • Provide background information before reading the selection
  • Read complex materials in pairs or small groups
  • Read documents in small pieces
  • Get students to read and paraphrase for others
  • Enlarge the text for students that require accommodation
  • Pair students to read materials out loud
  • “Turn and talk” after reading each paragraph and share interpretations of the material
  • Make copies of a text and let students mark them up with notes, highlighters, etc.
  • Pre-teach difficult vocabulary or target language
  • Allow students to read the text beside a computer so they can look up words or check facts
  • Use e-books or books on tape
  • Encourage annotation while reading
  • Act it out
  • Do a tableau of the main idea

Group Discussions

  • Have several discussion points or questions ready to share with students
  • Model different discussion strategies (e.g. questioning, active listening) before discussion begins
  • Assign a discussion leader to moderate
  • Have a “Parking Lot” where students can post sticky notes with questions/comments if some people have difficulty speaking up


  • Scribe for some students or elicit the help of another student
  • Provide the opportunity for some writing to be done as a team effort or in pairs
  • Write on a computer, by hand, or make an oral recording
  • Provide writing exemplars or templates
  • Sketch the main idea
  • Allow some students to plan their ideas before the writing assignment is given to the class
  • Make a concept map


  • Co-create success criteria with students
  • Develop learning contracts with students who may want to do more complex or slightly different work on a given topic.