Step by Step to Differentiating Lessons

Heather J. Pinedo-Burns, Ed. D.



1.     Beginning with the public policy analyst

Which facet most needs differentiation? Where do your students’ need support?


§  What is the problem?

§  Where is the evidence?

§  What are the causes?

§  What is the existing policy?

§  What policies can you create to correct the problem?

§  What is the best policy to correct the problem?


2. Then, what will you differentiate?


CONTENT                                        PROCESS                                         PRODUCT


3. And…you will differentiate in response to…




Learning Style/Profile



Reading Level

Content Skill Level



4. Then, select ONE lesson to Differentiate


First, what is the OBJECTIVE of the lesson?


Begin with one tier or group before creating the tasks for the other students?  How do you support your students’ learning?


Then, consider the possible ways to approach differentiating the content/process/product for the other groups?


5. Self-Reflection


In reviewing your plans – consider…


§  Do the activities all relate to the same Objective/Goal/Purpose?

§  What will you have the students do? What steps are necessary? Is there a sequence of steps?

§  Are the all of the tasks respectful?

§  How will you assess the students’ learning? What might the final ‘products’ look like?

§  How are you challenging your students, specifically, your Talent Pool group?   Do each of your activities push or challenge your students comfortably?