Planning for Initial Differentiation

Throughout this course you will design/redesign your instructional approaches by exploring differentiated instructional approaches to learning by focusing on the strengths and needs of diverse learners, including support for cultural and linguistic diversity.

In the CT assignments you are planning, keep in mind how you will differentiate your teaching by essentially adding instructional components that will help all students in your class meet the academic standards embedded in the lesson topic (all students includes, for example, native-English-speaking, CLD students who are at varying levels of English proficiency, as well as special needs and/or gifted learners). 

Additionally, you will also implement these revised lessons in the classes you currently teach and then evaluate and reflect upon your experiences. Modules 2, 4, and 6 will help you to evaluate, reflect, and plan how you can improve and add new approaches in your chosen lesson.

The culmination of these experiences will serve as the basis for your analysis and discussion in your final Portfolio Project, which will involve creating a professional website to house and share your work.

In the Module 1 required readings and lecture content, you reviewed differentiated teaching, explored culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) learners, and analyzed differentiated instructional approaches for all learners (whether a CLD student or learner with special needs).

This week, then, you will plan how you can differentiate your instruction for implementation in the classes you teach. Select a lesson you will be teaching next week, and then complete the template linked here: Module 1 and 2 Lesson Plan Template

  • Discuss how you currently teach the lesson.
  • Explore how you will generally differentiate your lesson using pre-assessment strategies.
  • Identify learning targets and tasks.
  • Plan your feedback strategies (for research-based feedback strategies, consider exploring this Web site:
  • Determine a summative assessment (for which you can collect student data!).


Recommended Resources: Consider using the following resources to help you outline your differentiation strategies and ideas:


Additional Resources for Differentiating for Learners with Special Needs:

  • Bender, W. N. (2012). Differentiating instruction for students with learning disabilities: New best practices for general and special educators. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.
  • Differentiated Instruction for Students with Learning Disabilities.
  • Differentiated Instruction in the Inclusive Classroom



  • Huebner, T. A. (2010). Differentiated instruction. Educational Leadership, 67(5), 79.
  • Robinson, C., & Clardy, P. (2011). It ain’t what you say, it’s how you say it: Linguistic and cultural diversity in the classroom.  Journal of Cultural Diversity, 18(3), 101-110

Remember! You will be implementing this plan during Week 2 of this course and then you will reflect on and evaluate the experience for your Module 2 Critical Thinking Assignment.  It is important, then, that you allow yourself enough time during Week 2 to teach this new lesson and write the evidence-based reflection discussed in the Module 2 Critical Thinking Assignment. You will need to use student achievement data and/or evidence in this reflection for continuous improvement. 

Your assignment should be thoughtful and thorough, well-written, and formatted per APA Requirements, including a title page.