Planning for Differentiated Instruction:

Begin the process of differentiating instruction at a pace that is comfortable for you. It is more important, and ultimately more successful, if you can take small, successful steps rather than make too many changes at once, which might lead to chaos, frustration, and failure.
  1. Examine your curriculum frameworks, district pacing guides, etc. to see what content must be taught.
  2. Determine the essential idea or concepts you want your students to learn and understand.
  3. Preassess your students. You can use both formal and informal assessments.
  4. What does the assessment data tell you? How do your students learn? What are their strengths and weaknesses? What is the extent of their background knowledge? What are their interests? How do they learn best?
  5. Determine what and how many activities you will need to teach. Look for materials, activities, technology tools, and other resources that are engaging, interesting, and will support your instructional goals . The internet is a terrific resource for this, as are teachers in your own building.
  6. Create your lesson plan. Keep in mind the information derived from the preassessments. Vary the content, process by which students learn the content, and the ways in which students will demonstrate understanding. Determine if flexible groups will be based on either interest, learning style, or ability. One note about the use of technology to keep in mind: Technology by itself is not the answer to differentiated instruction, but a vehicle by which to enhance already proven and effective instruction.
  7. Teach the lesson, but continue monitoring comprehension and students' needs. Make adjustments as needed.
  8. Conduct post-assessments and determine if students mastered the learning objectives, skills, or standards.

How to Differentiate Instruction