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When the lesson is tiered by interest or learning profile, the same guidelines apply for forming groups: Different tiers may have varying numbers of students. Even when students are already homogeneously grouped in classes by ability, there is still variance in their ability levels that must be addressed. National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM).
Due to the broad range of academic needs among students, teachers find themselves in a dilemma.
The Burris Laboratory School outlines how teachers can reach all the students in their classrooms when they are academically diverse, have special needs, are ESL learners or have some combination of any or all of these factors.
An answer to this question lies in differentiating instruction.
Working in the Burris Laboratory School, an inclusion school using a resource consultation model to serve the needs of all its students, we have found that using tiered lessons is a viable method for differentiating instruction.
Essential elements for successful differentiation include specific classroom management techniques addressing the special needs of a differentiated classroom, planned use of anchoring activities, and flexible use of time, space, and student groups.
In a differentiated classroom, the management plan must include rules for working in a variety of configurations.
You can only work with one group or individual at a time.
Therefore, we have developed two critical rules that thwart chaos and preserve sanity.
The first is “Use six-inch voices,” meaning that students should modulate their speaking level so that their voices can only be heard six inches away.
The second rule is “Ask three before me.” If students need assistance completing a task or come to a stumbling block in a lesson and you are not available, they should find three other students to ask before they may interrupt you.