Saturday, March 23, 2013

Differentiated Instruction-Menu Boards

My school is working through a three year plan to fully implement differentiated instruction into our classrooms. One of the things that happens in a good DI classroom is giving students personal choice in their projects and assessments. Tests and quizzes are necessary at times, but when it is appropriate I like to try to give my students those choices.

In my work to differentiate more in my classroom I decided to create a menu board to assess my students on the southern region of the USA. I went through Blooms Taxonomy and thought of different tasks that my students could work through to show me what they had learned about the south. The students needed to earn 16 points to receive full credit. When I created the menu, I made it so that the students had to do at least one of the higher level thinking tasks to earn the 16 points.Some of their choices were writing a poem, Comparing and contrasting using a Venn diagram or t-chart, creating a PowerPoint or poster- just to name a few.

My students absolutely loved it! I gave them three days in class to work on the tasks. They were engaged the entire time. After the first day, when everyone was on task for the entire 45 min. I asked them what they liked about it. They shared that they enjoyed the choices, and the freedom I gave them. They keep asking me when we are going to do another. Students never ask that about a test!
If you are interested in trying it out in your classroom you can find it here at my TPT store, or try to create your own! It's worth the effort!
Happy Saturday!


  1. I love this idea! I also love that your school is making it a three year plan to implement differentiation. That makes much more sense than what we are doing. We are just throwing it in withno clue what to do or how to do it. No real training and all differing opinions of what it looks like. I look forward to more differentiation posts from you :)
    Third Grade Tidbits

    1. Ugh, I can't imagine trying to do it all in a year. Have they given you any books to read or sent you to any workshops about it yet? If they haven't I can recommend some. I think you will be surprised how much DI you probably already do in your classroom. I will be sure to share some of my favorite DI tips.

  2. I would love to hear more about how you use DI in your room. I love the idea of giving students choices- I did it a lot more when I taught French and they could choose a project to work on.

    Everyone deServes to Learn