How do teachers differentiate instruction?

Page 5: Differentiate Content

ContentWhen teachers differentiate content, the same concept or skill is taught to each student; however, the curriculum used to teach the concept or skill might be different for different students. The table below highlights a number of strategies that teachers can use to differentiate content and indicates the student characteristic addressed:

readiness bullet readiness interest bullet interest, and learning profile bullet learning profile

Click on each link for detailed information about implementing these strategies.

Strategy Readiness Interest Learning Profile
Tiered Content readiness bullet    
Providing a Variety of Materials readiness bullet interest bullet learning profile bullet
Presentation Styles     learning profile bullet
Scaffolding readiness bullet    
Learning Contracts readiness bullet interest bullet learning profile bullet
Compacting readiness bullet    

Because teachers are held accountable for covering grade-level standards, many are concerned that they will not be able to do so if they differentiate instruction. Carol Ann Tomlinson explains that differentiated instruction does not interfere with teaching the required standards (time: 0:46).  


Carol Ann Tomlinson, EdD
Professor of Educational Leadership,
Foundations, and Policy
The University of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA

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