Info,
SLE application
EDI
Group by grade/content alike so groups can share
PLC: Professional Learning Communities
4 Crucial Questions
Preparing
Sorting
& Analyzing
Identifying
Learning Needs
Differentiating
Instruction
SLE, Iowa each
Core
What do we
want
student
Scaffold & Deconstructing
Rubrics, or
SMART
goals
to learn, know,
be
able to do?
What evidence
do we
have of
Formative and Summative
Assessments
Student Self –Assessment
the learning?
How will we respond when some
Differentiated Strategies
students don’t learn?
Considering: Interest, Profile, and Readiness
and
Content, Process, Product, Learning Environment
How will we respond to those
who have already learned?
Role of Assessment
Cassandra Erkens, 2008
Anam Cara Consulting, Inc
http://www.anamcaraconsulting.com
Reflection
If…then…
 Individual Profile
 Interests
 Readiness
Be thinking about
how you might tier
activities.
 Content
 Process
 Product
 Learning
Environment
Differentiated Instruction Continuum
Not
Differentiated
“One-Size-Fits-All”
Highly
Differentiated
Assessment
Learning Profile
Tiered Activities
Curriculum Compacting
Learning Contracts
Independent Study
Flexible Grouping
Anchor Activities
Learning Centers/Stations
Problem-Based Learning
Project-Based Learning
Instruction can be differentiated for individual
profiles, interests, and readiness by adjusting:
 Content – what students will learn and the materials
that represent that learning
 Process – methods students use to make sense of the
content
 Product – how students will demonstrate what they
know, understand or are able to do
 Learning Environment – the culture and
surroundings in which students learn best
SDE’s Tiering Definition
Tiering is a strategy that enables
educators to address one
concept at multiple levels of
complexity based on students’
readiness levels in order to
ensure student success.
Remember…
“More Complex”
does not mean more work
and
“Fair”
is not always equal.
Tiering IS…
Driven by assessment
Providing opportunities for all students to
learn the same concepts at varying levels of
complexity
Ensuring the content standards are met
for all students
Tiering is NOT:
X
X
X
X
An IEP for each student
Choice for students
Tracking
Used every day
Unpack the Standards
CONCEPT:
Story Setting
Tiering Example: Story Setting
ALL STUDENTS WILL:
 Be given a story to read
 Be required to take notes on the characters
and setting
 Be required to make a poster
CONCEPT: Story Setting
 Just Right: Think about the setting in the story you have read. Using
words and pictures, create a poster that shows how the setting
affects the characters and their actions in the story.
 Less Complex Task (Loosened): Think about the setting in the story
you have read. Using words and pictures, create a poster that
shows the setting of your story.
Tiering Example: Story Setting
What was varied in the tiered
assignments?
 Reference Material
 Task Structure
 Demonstration of Understanding
Tiering Example: Story Setting
What was constant in the tiered assignments?
 The concept of Story Setting
 Reading a text
 Taking notes and applying knowledge
 The product: creating a poster to show what they learned
Let’s try it!
With your table team, try adding a
tier assignment on the next 2
slides.
EXAMPLE: READING
Elementary
CONCEPT: Reading comprehension of persuasive text
 More Complex Task (Tightened): With your group, examine two
newspaper advertisements, paying special attention to the word
choice. Design your own advertisement to promote your new
product, a homework-completing robot, and be prepared to explain
why you chose the words you did.
 Just Right: With your group, examine two newspaper
advertisements. Circle words that are used to persuade the
consumer. Which advertisement did a better job persuading you?
Why?
 Less Complex Task (Loosened):
LOOSEN IT
EXAMPLE: LANGUAGE ARTS
Elementary
CONCEPT: Story elements (Setting)
TIGHTEN IT

More Complex Task (Tightened):

Just Right: Think about the setting in the story you have read. Using
words and pictures, create a poster that shows how the setting affects
the characters and their actions in the story.

Less Complex Task (Loosened): Think about the setting in the story you
have read. Using words and pictures, create a poster that shows the
setting of your story.
Key Concepts of Tiering
 Each task is centered on the same concept.
 Level of complexity varies to address different
readiness levels.
 In all of the examples, the students should feel
okay about working on them because the tasks
were similar.
When should I tier?
 When some have it and some don’t
 As needed
Important Points
Lessons tiered according to the readiness of the student will
consist of ____
two or more levels, but the work required for each
level should be equally engaging and challenging.
The reason to tier is to meet the learners where they are with an
centered on the learning
appropriately leveled activity that is __________
objective.
You cannot effectively tier unless you have ______________
assessments to
back your decisions on how you grouped your students and how
you created the tiers.
Important Points
You might consider having students _ share their work among
the tiers so that they can learn from each other.
All students need to be involved in respectful,
engaging , and challenging work.
There should be teacher support for every tier.
Important Points
Tiering is not “watering down” the standards. The goal is for all
students to master the ____________________.
grade-level standards
Treat tiered assignments as just part of what goes on in the
classroom from time to time. Do not make an _____
issue out of tiered
assignments. When a student questions why assignments are
different for different groups of students, respond by stressing
that this is what is best for everyone today.
Important Points
It is important to explain to the whole class before tiering begins
equal Fair is providing what a student needs.
that “____
fair is not ______.”
Students need to understand that all of them have strengths and
all have growth opportunities. Let students know they are all
working on the same content, they are just approaching it
differently.
Important Points
flexible grouping. Students should move in and out of
Use _______
groups based on assessments for each lesson or unit.
similar across the tiers.
Try to make the tasks _________
It is important when tiering tasks to change the _______
nature of the
assignment and not the workload. Activities across the tiers
should vary in complexity.
Factors that can influence complexity of a tiered lesson:
 Required degree of thinking
 Level of abstraction or depth
 Degree of structure
 Learning resources
 Degree of teacher assistance and support
What do I need to know in order to plan a tiered lesson?

The standards and learning targets along the way

Ways to assess students to determine their readiness

Ways to design various activities at different
levels of complexity

Ways to manage the flexible groups

Other
Activity – (Partners by content or grade)
 Choose an SLE (scaffold as needed)
 Write a tiered activity for the SLE
 Use Depth of Knowledge framework to
examine the activity.
 What is the level of thinking required for each
tier?
 How can you create each tier with a high level of
complexity?
 Re-write if needed.
 Share with other teams
Team Planning
 Choose a SLE based on student data showing a
need for differentiation within core.
 As a team, define proficiency and scaffold as
needed.
 Create a tiered activity using the scaffold.
 Share with other grade level teams.
Extra Tiering Slides – Add One Element
 Use if you want to practice.
 Use as examples
 Use Normal View to see responses in
notes section of PowerPoint
EXAMPLE: MATH
Elementary
CONCEPT: Patterns
TIGHTEN IT

More Complex Task (Tightened):

Just Right: Students are given a pile of “jewels” from a craft store.
The students are to identify all the patterns they can make with the
jewels.

Less Complex Task (Loosened): Students are given a pile of colorful
“jewels” from a craft store. The students are to make patterns
similar to the ones the teacher has made. For example, if the
teacher makes a pattern of red, blue, yellow, and green, then the
student should make that pattern.
EXAMPLE: MATH
Elementary
CONCEPT: Two-digit multiplication
 More Complex Task (Tightened): With your partner, create two
word problems that require 2-digit multiplication to solve. Solve
your new problems and use “teacher talk” to explain the process. If
your partner agrees with your explanation and answer, have
him/her autograph your problem. Switch roles.
 Just Right: With your partner, read the word problems and solve
using two-digit multiplication. Use “teacher talk” to explain the
process. If your partner agrees with your answer, have him/her
autograph your problem. Switch roles.
 Less Complex Task (Loosened):
LOOSEN IT
EXAMPLE: MATH
Elementary
CONCEPT: Number sequence
 More Complex Task (Tightened):
TIGHTEN IT
 Just Right: With your group, deal the one- and two-digit cards in the
deck. Keep your cards face down in front of you. Each person turns
over one card. As a group, put the number cards in order from least
to greatest. Repeat until all cards have been played.
 Less Complex Task (Loosened): With your group, deal the one-digit
cards in the deck. Keep your cards face down in front of you. Each
person turns over one card. As a group, put the number cards in
order from least to greatest. Repeat until all cards have been played.
EXAMPLE: READING
Elementary
CONCEPT: Reading comprehension of persuasive text
 More Complex Task (Tightened): With your group, examine two
newspaper advertisements, paying special attention to the word
choice. Design your own advertisement to promote your new
product, a homework-completing robot, and be prepared to explain
why you chose the words you did.
 Just Right: With your group, examine two newspaper
advertisements. Circle words that are used to persuade the
consumer. Which advertisement did a better job persuading you?
Why?
 Less Complex Task (Loosened):
LOOSEN IT
EXAMPLE: LANGUAGE ARTS
Elementary
CONCEPT: Story elements (Setting)
TIGHTEN IT

More Complex Task (Tightened):

Just Right: Think about the setting in the story you have read. Using
words and pictures, create a poster that shows how the setting affects
the characters and their actions in the story.

Less Complex Task (Loosened): Think about the setting in the story you
have read. Using words and pictures, create a poster that shows the
setting of your story.
EXAMPLE: SOCIAL STUDIES
Elementary
CONCEPT: American symbolism

More Complex Task (Tightened): Using your textbook for
reference, create a colored poster displaying each of the following:
the American flag, the state flag, the state bird, and the state
flower. Be prepared to share the significance of each of the items.
Practice the Pledge of Allegiance and / or The National Anthem and
be prepared to perform it for the class. Why do you think that
having a National Anthem and Pledge is important?

Just Right: Using your textbook for reference, create a colored
poster labeling and displaying each of the following: the American
flag, the state flag, the state bird, and the state flower. Practice the
Pledge of Allegiance and / or The National Anthem and be
prepared to perform it for the class.

Less Complex Task (Loosened):
LOOSEN IT
EXAMPLE: MATH
Middle School
CONCEPT: Characteristics of triangles
 More Complex Task (Tightened): Examine how triangles can be used in
your everyday life or in our society, and how their characteristics make
them uniquely appropriate for these functions. Illustrate these
characteristics and purposes by creating a 3-D model or a poster. Include
written descriptions or labels.
 Just Right: Compare and contrast the characteristics of triangles and the
characteristics of another geometric shape. The teacher will provide you
with the characteristics of the other shape. Illustrate these characteristics
by creating a 3-D model or a poster. Include written descriptions or labels.
 Less Complex Task (Loosened):
LOOSEN IT
EXAMPLE: LANGUAGE ARTS
Middle School
CONCEPT: Idioms
 More Complex Task (Tightened): Create an idiom of your own. Use
pictures and words to illustrate several different situations in which that
idiom could be used. Include the idiom’s true meaning in the illustration.
 Just Right: The teacher will provide you with a list of common idioms.
Choose two idioms with similar true meanings. How are they same? How
are they different? Illustrate these similarities and differences through
pictures and words. Include the true meanings of the idioms.
 Less Complex Task (Loosened):
LOOSEN IT
EXAMPLE: SCIENCE
Middle School
CONCEPT: Rock cycle

More Complex Task (Tightened): As a group, research and discuss
the rock cycle. Determine how excessive changes in the
environment could affect each segment of the rock cycle. These
changes may include excessive heat, rain, drought, flooding, cold,
etc. Create a short skit depicting these changes. Include key
vocabulary words.

Just Right: As a group, research and discuss the rock cycle.
Determine how the rock cycle is similar to another cycle. The
teacher will provide you with the information on the other cycles
from which you can choose. Create a short skit depicting these
similarities. Include key vocabulary words.

Less Complex Task (Loosened):
LOOSEN IT
EXAMPLE: U.S. HISTORY
Middle/High School
CONCEPT: Social, economic, and technological changes
of the early 20th century
TIGHTEN IT

More Complex Task (Tightened):

Just Right: With a partner, study this photo from the Great
Depression. Create a poster comparing and contrasting your home
and the home you see in the photograph. Explain how this room
may have been used by the family and why.

Less Complex Task (Loosened): With a partner, study this photo
from the Great Depression. Create a poster that shows the people
you see in the photo. Add call-outs of what they might be saying to
each other that accurately reflect the time period.
EXAMPLE: READING
Elementary
CONCEPT: Reading comprehension of persuasive text
 More Complex Task (Tightened): With your group, examine 2
newspaper advertisements, paying special attention to the word
choice. Design your own advertisement to promote your new
product, a homework-completing robot, and be prepared to explain
why you chose the words you did.
 Just Right: With your group, examine 2 newspaper advertisements.
Circle words that are used to persuade the consumer. Which
advertisement did a better job persuading you? Why?
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Less Complex Task (Loosened)