Cooperative learning tips

Desk Arrangement FI

This is my second time featuring the content-rich blog of Brown Bag Teacher. I just love her detailed posts and lesson descriptions. Today I am highlighting her Kagan Cooperative Learning materials and tips. Check out the visuals she has created to teach students about group work, the bins she has assembled for discussions and the grouping cues she has affixed to student desks-genius!

Cooperative learning is such an elegant way to differentiate in the K-12 inclusive classroom. Groupings can be changed to accommodate interests, abilities or needs; peer and adult supports can be built into [read more…]

Treble clef music stations

Batons FI

If you have read Differentiation Daily at all in the last year or two, you know I love using stations to differentiate instruction in mixed-ability classrooms. I especially love seeing stations in classrooms where we don’t often see them….like in the music teacher’s lesson plans. For this reason, I had to feature Mrs. King Music Class for the idea about [read more…]

Fraction Bingo

Fraction FI

In the final week of blogging about the “how” or process of differentiation, I am featuring active learning techniques. Today I am featuring a game for math teachers. Check out It’s My Blog, Y’all to find materials you can download to create your own fractions bingo game. If this game is too complex or not complex enough, you can get ideas for creating a [read more…]

Getting dramatic about the arctic

Beyond Penguins and Polar Bears FI

To end a week of recommendations related to drama, I am linking you to a great little post about creating readers theater scripts from informational text. This piece comes from the folks at Beyond Penguins and Polar Bears and it is a gem. The authors discuss a rationale for using [read more…]

Drama across the grade levels

Drama FI

Click over to Child Drama, the site of artist Matt Buchanan to see dozens of ideas for using drama to teach, support and inspire students of all ages. You will find improv, pantomime, and skit ideas galore. Pick something new to use today. Have students try guided imagery, let them act out a story or have them act out a newscast to learn about current events. These lessons allow [read more…]

Improv ideas

Differentiate FI

Continuing with my drama theme, today’s post relates to using improv in the classroom. Check out some really creative ideas from Katie McKnight on on this topic. This short article provides a rationale for using improv
[read more…]

Drama in the upper grades

Readers Theater FI

Hope you all had a nice long weekend. We had four days off here, but I am back today to pick up where I left off. I am posting about the process of differentiation this month. Week 1 was a focus on learning menus. Week 2 was a study of projects. This week, I am going to feature another way to meet the needs of all learners in your daily lessons: drama.

To kick things off, check out this ASCD Educational Leadership article from Katherine Blake on using Readers Theater with [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…]

It’s time to (groan) assign a group project

Speach Bubble FI

Do your students dread working on group projects? Do you spend too much time trying to figure out who will and won’t work well together?  We found this great visual on Math Teacher Mambo’s blog; it provides a rationale for group work and some gentle encouragement to practice communication and social skills. We think this tool is a great way to break the ice and help your anxious, shy, or reluctant students deal with the anxiety or uncertainty of [read more…]

Projects with “warts and all”

Center for Teaching Quality FI

Paul Barnwell at The Center for Teaching Quality has written a great post on using project-based learning in a standards-based classroom. His description of using digital storytelling with his students is sure to answer some of your questions about using PBL in [read more…]