Let’s create an MC Escher-style tessellation art (and math) project with nothing more than an index card, a marker, and paper.

# All Of MyExamples

## Browse By Technique

Example lessons organized by differentiation techniques.

#### πͺ Change, Then Explain!

My favorite way to reach "synthesize" - ask students to make a change and then *explain the effects* of that change.

#### π Fuzzy Problems

Fuzzy problems are ambiguous. They are missing data. They have lots of right answers, but (more importantly) they also have *wrong* answers.

#### π₯ Get Ridiculous

Avoid boring examples and *go for the outliers!* Everything's more interesting when you're working with unexpected examples.

#### π¬ Get Specific with Criteria

Move from fluffy opinion questions towards brain-sweating *evaluation* questions by adding specific criteria.

#### π₯ Embed A Classic

Take out a boring sample and embed great art, music, film, tv shows, and other classics into your lessons.

#### π€ Find The Controversy

Every topic has some juicy controversy. Leverage it! Look for ambiguity, disagreements, dilemmas, and discrepancies in any topic.

#### π The Spectrum Of Abstraction

Too many lessons stay at one level of abstraction. Instead, move from specific examples to a big broad idea. Or go in the other direction. The key is to *move!*

#### π« Anti-Techniques

These are ideas I used to believe that now I think aren't actually so great. *Oops!*

## Browse By Content Area

## All Of My Examples

## Math Game: Heaps

Heaps is a lovely math-y strategy game that requires no more than paper and pencil to play.

## Writing in Pi-lish

Here’s the perfect constraint for March! Writing with the digits of Pi.

## Concentric Circles β Getting Students to Think Bigger (and Smaller!)

This differentiation technique is called “Concentric Circles”. You use it to move students up and down the ladder of abstraction, applying a single idea in multiple contexts.

## Analyzing Prefixes and Suffixes

Instead of just memorizing what a bunch of morphemes mean, we’re looking broadly, exploring patterns, finding unexpected similarities and weird differences.

## From “Summarize” to “Synthesize”

Even what seems like a low-level “summarize” task can become beautifully high-level when we climb Bloom’s Taxonomy.

## Don’t Jump Straight to “Create”!

When we jump from “this kid likes board games” straight to “I’ll have them create a new board game”, we leave out important steps in the creative process and set kids up for disappointment (and end up with a lot of unfinished projects). Here’s how to scaffold a truly creative task.

## Just How Much Pasta Could I Cook…

So, just how much pasta could I cook in an Olympic-sized pool?

## Rewrite It, But Don’t Use “E”

Here’s an interesting way to move students past mundane patterns in their writing. Ask for a rewrite, but without a letter (or two).

## Using Art to Practice Reading

When you’re teaching a reading skill, can you replace some of those dull sample texts with glorious artwork?

## Making Punctuation Interesting

How can we move a punctuation lesson beyond mere memorization and towards interesting thinking?

## Soβ¦ which is longer: a Ray, a Line, or a Line Segment?

Let’s move beyond memorizing definitions and get kids grappling with the fascinating concept of infinity!

## Use Universal Themes to Make Fractions Interesting

What if we used a universal theme to guide our study of fractions? These *very* big ideas get students thinking about fractions in a new way.

## Using a Classic in Math!?

According to Costello, 7 Γ 13 = 28. In fact, watch him prove itβ¦

## Combining Depth and Complexity Prompts into a Generalization

Let’s start with a puzzlement, ask kids to generate an abstract statement, and then find evidence that their statement works across several different areas.

## Direct Instruction: A Model For Learning A Skill

Direct Instruction is the model to use when we want to teach students to perform a specific skill. It gently moves from teacher modeling to independent student practice.

## Inquiry Training: A Model To Teach Good Questioning

Inquiry Training is a model of instruction that looks a lot like 20 Questions. You’ll teach your students to ask more helpful questions and to avoid rushing to a hypothesis too quickly.

## Scholar’s Cafe

Get students moving, thinking, writing, and reading each others’ ideas with a Scholar’s Cafe.

## A Classic: “Who’s On First” and 21st Century Kids

My 21st century 12-year-olds absolutely died watching Abbot and Costello’s “Who’s On First” skit. And we got a great homophone activity out of it too.

## Remix the Song “Help!”

Students took the classic song, Help!, and rewrote it to be about their collective summers.

## Could we fit 1,000 kids on the playground? 10,000?

If your students can find the area of a square then, armed with Google Earth, they can also figure out how many students you could pack into your school’s playground.

## Concept Formation: A Model for Inductive Thinking

Here’s are the steps for running an inductive lesson based on Hilda Taba’s model of Concept Formation. Plus a sample lesson about the Nile River.

## The Marshmallow Challenge

A fantastic fuzzy problem to start the year. Students use pasta and tape to try to get a marshmallow up as high as possible.

## What could we do with this Wax Museum event?

How one might revamp a “Wax Museum” project into something that focuses more on thinking than product.

## Fizz Buzz – A Divisibility Game

Here’s a quick to learn but difficult to master math game. Start with some basic divisibility rules, but then feel free to extend it to any math topic.