So, how do we start writing differentiated lessons? These are a handful of my go-to techniques for designing a lesson that goes beyond the grade-level standard and gets kids thinking!.
🪄 Change, Then Explain!
My favorite way to reach "synthesize" - ask students to make a change and then explain the effects of that change.
🎥 Embed A Classic
Take out a boring sample and embed great art, music, film, tv shows, and other classics into your lessons.
🤭 Find The Controversy
Every topic has some juicy controversy. Leverage it! Look for ambiguity, disagreements, dilemmas, and discrepancies in any topic.
🐛 Fuzzy Problems
Fuzzy problems are ambiguous. They are missing data. They have lots of right answers, but (more importantly) they also have wrong answers.
💥 Get Ridiculous
Avoid boring examples and go for the outliers! Everything's more interesting when you're working with unexpected examples.
🏗️ Have A Plan
I used to just "wing it." I'd get up and sort of just… talk. But now I have a plan! And that plan sure makes my life easier and my instruction more effective.
🧑⚖️ Judge (With Criteria)
Move from fluffy opinion questions towards brain-sweating evaluation questions.
🌈 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!
These are things I used to do that are actually, well, not so great!
← Previously: Read my principles of differentiation to understand the thoughts behind these techniques.