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.