Manipulative FI

Today’s selection, The National Library of Virtual Manipulatives, is an NSF supported project that began a decade ago to develop a library of interactive, web-based virtual manipulatives for the teaching and learning of mathematics.

The tools will not only help those who think in pictures but will also be a novel way for learners to check their work and create concrete models of abstract concepts.

Beware of the spinner with graph tool in the probability section. Once I started [Read more...]


Passion FI

Project-based instruction is one or the best ways to address diverse learning objectives in a classroom. Projects allow us to provide enrichment as we provide feedback and direction, we can help students practice IEP objectives such as reading, writing, or communication skills, and we get to see students work “outside the box” of seat work and class discussions. The featured post on Stump the Teacher, however, is not just another look at project-based instruction. This version asks students to take on ongoing “passion projects”; learners get to explore topics of choice in depth and they get to do it for long periods of time. I cannot imagine the long term benefits of this type of learning, but it is clear that it would be both [Read more...]


Memorize FI

As summer has turned to fall, you may be looking for uses for those classroom fly swatters. Well, Dr. Branstetter is here to help! Over at Notes from the School Psychologist, she is featuring rules for a memorization game that (in her experience) is a real winner for students with ADHD and others needing a lot of movement throughout the day. The game can be used with any grade level. She talks about it as a math activity, but this can be easily adapted for any subject with a little creativity.

If you have students who simply cannot compete with others due to lack of knowledge, be sure to [Read more...]

Differentiating writing for students on the spectrum


I am always searching for ideas for differentiating for learners with communication, social, and learning needs. This article on differentiating writing instruction for learners with autism is one such resource I have accessed on more than one occasion. This article by Karen Berlin is one of many great articles on supporting diverse learners that can be found [Read more...]


Sparknotes FI

Many teachers know about Spark Notes but may not have considered it as a tool for differentiating instruction. The free notes on this site can not only help struggling readers better understand assigned literature, but can also make adapting text, assessments, and related materials much easier for both special and general educators. Further, this site can be used by parents who want to assist with homework but don’t have the background or information to do so.

Enjoy Your Break!

Spring Break FI

Hope you are taking a well-deserved break right about now. I am taking some time off as well both to relax and to find some great new ideas for all of you. I’ll be back in two weeks and will be finish out April by featuring two weeks of ideas on differentiating for students with […]

A stations teaching lesson on fractions

Fractions FI

Many teachers tell me they are interested in using stations, but they are not sure how to start. The MIDDLE Teacher blog has come to your rescue if you are one of those seeking quick and easy plans to use as you learn about this active and easy-to-differentiate lesson format.

The featured plan is a lesson on fractions but you could adapt the activities to teach just about any math concept. You have to [Read more...]

Got any good GOSSIP about the Berlin blockade?

Twitter FI

Looking for a new active learning technique that will work for students in middle and high school? Try the GOSSIP game described in this student teacher’s post about an engaging social studies lesson on WWII and the Berlin blockade.

I love this sort of lesson as it honors so many different learning styles and preferences. Social students will love the chatting pieces, those needing movement get a bit of it, and those who can’t get enough of the Common Core get to do some [Read more...]

Wearing your bones on your sleeve

Wearable Skeleton FI

You will love this idea from Homeschool Share if you have a lot of visual or tactile learners in the classroom. To teach or reinforce a lesson on the systems of the human body, work with students to create these colorful and visually-interesting wearables.

When I first saw these cleverly constructed paper bag outfits, I began thinking about the possibilities for learning as students created their paper bags. By assembling the bags, students will have opportunities to review the placement of organs and bones and possibly even the connections between systems. As I spent more time looking at the post, I also realized that students can also profit from wearing their creations and spending time exploring the creations of their classmates. That is, one student’s wearable becomes a visual support for other students in the classroom! This project would be really helpful for tactile learners and those with low vision. Because it is a “show” instead of “tell” project, it would also be helpful for students learning English.

[Read more...]


Roll A FI

There are tons of ideas like this one out on Pinterest. Each game features a different artist and style. This one from Mrs. Humpal’s Art Room teaches about Picasso. By simply rolling the dice, students get to create their own masterpiece in a matter of minutes. There are so many neat things about this lesson. For one, it allows students to literally see elements of a style of art “broken down into smaller parts” to observe. Another thing I like about it, is that it allows [Read more...]