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.

# Differentiation TechniqueThink Big! But Also Small.

## Read The OverviewMoving Between the Specific and Abstract

When differentiating, it's helpful to note where on the "spectrum of abstraction" your content lies. Then, see what happens when you move that content to be more abstract or more specific. It often unlocks lots of new opportunities for thinking.

## Specific Examples of “Think Big! But Also Small.”

## 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.

## Universal Themes in Math? With Fractions!?

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.

## 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.

## 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 Surprises Within a Triangle’s Angles

Discovering what is interesting and unexpected about a triangle’s angles. What twists have I unintentionally spoiled for my students over the years?

## Encourage Curiosity With Calculators

It’s easy to fall in love with chasing the newest technology to use in the classroom. But sometimes, the perfect tool is a plain old calculator. We’ll be using this tool to develop curiosity about math.

## Creating A Class Motto

Using Hilda Taba’s model of inductive thinking, use your students’ prior knowledge to develop a statement about expected class behavior.

## Inductive Thinking in Spelling and Vocabulary

Let’s look at a couple ways to bring inductive thinking into word studies. We’ll examine simple plural rules all the way up to etymology of foreign words in English.

## Math Game: The Game of 100

The Game of 100 is a simple game requiring no supplies, yet it opens up a rich world of exploring strategy and a little mental math.