Illustration showing a computer and various icons connected to games and gameplay.
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Differentiating Classroom Instruction

Dig into differentiation with a collection of posts on student engagement, common problems that differentiation can help solve, and assessment.

Differentiation—tailoring instruction and/or assessment to meet individual students’ needs—can seem daunting. Does it require multiple lesson plans for the same material, creating more work for the teacher? Does it create problems in classroom management?

John McCarthy is an educational consultant, author of So All Can Learn: A Practical Guide to Differentiation, and former classroom teacher who has spent years showing teachers how they already intuitively differentiate—by providing choice in assignments, for example—and coaching them in how to go further toward taking their various students’ needs and gifts into account when planning lessons and assessing progress.

In these three posts, McCarthy shares ideas on how to differentiate and build engagement by bringing elements of games into your curriculum; how differentiation can help you deal with large classes or a large number of students throughout the day, and with lack of time; and how you can ensure that your assessments give you the accurate data about your students that will enable you to differentiate instruction.