The majority of the education community would agree that meeting students where they are and differentiating classroom instruction leads to the success of learners. Practical ideas for differentiation often come naturally to teachers in the traditional face-to-face classroom. While remote learning differentiation may have felt overwhelming. Vartek’s iTeam, or integration team, made up of Classroom Technology Coaches in our partner schools and leadership, collaborated to support teachers with some ideas to implement tools they were already familiar with in a remote setting. As students and teachers return full time to the classroom, these programs and ideas have made a smooth transition to impact face-to-face learning as well.

Let’s check out the list of tools and ideas!

 

Program/Tool Description Differentiation Connection Ideas for Use
Flipgrid Flipgrid is a tool for video discussions. It allows instructors to pose a question and students to reply via video.  “Grids” can be created for various groups of students allowing them to reply to varying questions in differentiated levels of understanding. Students that thrive in giving oratory responses rather than written, will appreciate this program.
Features: Closed Captioning, Translated Closed Captioning
  • Book Reviews- No matter what reading level a student is on, they can upload a video reviewing their most recent book. You can even set up a Flipgrid Book Review Station!
  • Peer Collaboration- You can place students into similar skill-leveled groups to complete the task and respond to the topic.
Padlet

Padlet is a web tool similar to a virtual bulletin board. It allows students and teachers to create with images, audio, and video.  Padlet can be used individually or in groups-large or small. Because Padlet allows for creativity students have a broad opportunity to show their understanding or collect research. 
  • Organize Activities in Project-Based Learning- List the mandatory assignments as well as extension resources and activities for early finishers or those needing a bit more support.
  • More ideas here.
Newsela

Newsela provides current events news articles in all content areas at the appropriate reading level for the student user. Leveled assessments are embedded into each article. Newsela is an adaptive program that adjusts as the reader improves. The differentiation in Newsela is easy for teachers to manage. Students are assigned a “just right reading level” based on their lexile score. The benefit is that all students in the classroom can read the same article content at the level appropriate for them.
  • Current events and news- teachers in any content area can assign appropriate articles to support reading and writing across the content.
  • Research- assign students the task to find a specific content specific article. Students can practice research skills while examining at their “just right level”.

Let us know your thoughts as you try the programs and ideas here in your own classroom. We can’t wait to see the success you achieve! 

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