Differentiation Frustration

        I have to say that differentiating is the greatest thing for my students. 
“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”
Albert Einstein

But differentiating is a lot like knowing what foods will make you skinny, but it is more expensive and takes ALOT of ENERGY!!!!! Differentiating is the ultimate way of teaching, but I sometimes feel like it takes sooooooo much time. Don't get me wrong, I know there are easy ways to differentiate, but when you are in elementary and you add 5 subjects, 18 second graders, 6 ESE students, 4 ESOL students, and 2 gifted students....it gets to be a little too much!

        We just started Marzano's evaluation system and with EVERY point...if you haven't differentiated, then you will not get the desired marks. Luckily, I did great but cant really put my finger on exactly what I did. According to the Principal "there are things you just do naturally"...but I would like to know for sure what it looks like.  I know there are more "tricks" I can learn to differentiate for my students and I look forward to hearing from you all about what you do to differentiate.

Here is one thing I do:

Differentiating Dice:
  1. Each color represents one my Reading groups. 
  2. After we read our "leveled" readers that are already differentiated, each student takes a turn to roll the dice. 
  3. This determines what "Written Response" job they will have for that day. 
  4. Then they write in their Reading Journal their job task for the day.
My higher group's dice include the more difficult tasks from her packet.
My lower group's dice includes simpler tasks such as write a letter to a character, a conversation between characters...etc.

Here is how they are differentiated:

Click on the picture to take you to her store.

Examples of what some of the tasks are: 
  • 1.New Beginning
    2.New Ending
    3.Book Cover Makeover
    4.Comic Strip
    5.Venn Diagram Fun
    6.Diary, Diary!
    7.Be a Character
    8.Problem Solving
    9.Persuade Me
    10.Setting Switch
    11.Letter To the Author
    12.Letter To a Character
    13.A Good Conversation
    14.Wanted
    15.Next, Please!
    16.Illustrate It
    17.What Would They Say?
    18.Cool Connector
    19.Sequence Chain
    20.Character Compare and Contrast
    21.Card Game Creation
    22.Extra! Extra!
    23.Movie Time
    24.Nonfiction News
    25.Research It