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Let Kids Choose Differentiation

Idea by MaryEllen, 5th Grade Teacher, Kingwood, TX

To promote differentiation, I offer my students something I call Choice Boards.  I post nine separate activities on each Choice Board, and students can each choose three of the nine. Each activity is related to a skill we’re working on. Because some activities are more difficult and challenging than others, students may choose to work with a partner. To that end, I offer each student a laminated sheet printed with a clock face. At 12, 3, 6 and 9, I’ve recorded the names of classmates with whom they may wish to work, so they may choose from these. At times, I assign them a partner by telling them (for example) that they must “work with someone at three o’clock.” This approach allows me to put them in pairs while they’re still able to enjoy an element of choice – so important for differentiation.


The article above was featured in the October 2011 edition of the Classroom Connection newsletter.  Read more great tips and tricks from that edition below:

Counting on Differentiation

Together and Alone Centers Support Differentiation

Needs-Based Differentiation

Strategies to Promote Differentiated Reading

Story of the Month

Letter Perfect Introductions

A Group Approach to Differentiated Learning

These Kids Progress with a Little Help from Their Friends

Let Kids Choose Differentiation

One Lesson Three Ways

Activities Created with Really Good Supplies

Day-by-Day Way to Track Learning

This Activity is on the Money