3 Ways to Differentiate Instruction in the Upper Elementary Classroom

classroom community engagement Aug 28, 2022

Differentiation. We hear it all the time - how are we differentiating our lessons or activities for our students? Believe it or not, differentiation truly does make a difference.


What is differentiation?

Differentiation is when a teacher tailors instruction to a student’s needs based on their readiness, interests, and learning profile.


There are 4 ways to differentiate - through content, process, product, and learning environment. 

Even still, differentiation can be easy - if you let it! I'll be sharing with you 3 ways to differentiate in your upper elementary classroom. You can utilize these strategies to accommodate learning styles in your classroom.


1. Hands-On Activities

Give students the ability to get hands-on with their learning! This is perfect for whole group, stations, review, or as an extension activity. It engages students and motivates them to learn the topic, increases retention of content (especially the visual and kinesthetic learners)!

2. Include Multiple Directions

Make sure to explain directions for assignments using a variety of modalities. Display directions on the board, include spoken directions, demonstrate how students are to complete the assignment, and even have students model examples and non-examples of how to complete the task

3. Flexible Grouping

Flexible groups is perfect for stations, centers, or projects. You can group students based on readiness and understanding of content, student interests, or learning styles. You can also have students select groups or you as the teacher can select the groups. Additionally, you can make it purposeful and pair certain peers together or make it completely random with popsicle sticks (with their name and number on the stick)!















Differentiation can be fun for your students in Grades 3-5! If you want to learn 4 more strategies to differentiating instruction, click on the link to check out my FREE 10-minute video training on called 7 Strategies for Differentiating in the Classroom! '





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