The Differentiator!

Although the ending of summer is always bittersweet (at best), today I found something that makes me excited for lesson planning.

No, really.

Maybe this sounds familiar: You have a great new idea for a project or want to revitalize an old one. You struggle with the objectives and activities so that everything aligns just right, without repeating the same old strategies.

Ian Byrd first addresses a way to approach differentiated instruction. He begins by identifying four components of an objective (although for clarity's sake, I usually divide these components into an objective and an activity, but thats probably just six of one, half a dozen of the other).

These are:

Thinking Skill: The verb – what students will be doing
Content: The content – what students will be learning
Resource: The information – where students will get information
Product: The result – what students will create

Toward this end, he uses Bloom's New Taxonomy to address the thinking skills, and looks to work of Sandra Kaplan for addressing approach to content. This Chart (.doc) explains her approach. Resource and product can be the combined options of both traditional and digital media.

This brings us to his fantastic new web application, "The Differentiator". This is a fill-in-the blank tool for starting a lesson plan. The great thing about it, is that it allows you to visualize what your lesson is going to look like in all its possible variations and permutations. Here is his introduction to the app, but it really is quite easy.


  1. Redwing said...
    Very useful post.
    Redwing said...
    Thank you. (I forgot to add it in the previous comment.)
    dsgran said...
    always a pleasure, sir.
    Hillary said...
    Great tool! This will be helpful to myself and my student teacher this fall.
    teachplacejul09 said...
    The Differentiator is a cool online application designed to use Bloom’s Taxonomy and other similar thinking/planning “charts” to come-up with appropriate high-level student assignments

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