Differentiation by content
Differentiation by content means encouraging your learners to use different approaches when learning new topics. The learning objectives for the whole class stay the same, but your methods of teaching the knowledge or skill can vary.
A simple and effective way to differentiate by content is to try the mysterious envelope strategy.
All you need to do is prepare three sets of envelopes, A, B, and C, which each contain different information to help pupils start the same task. Set A has the highest level of support and set C has the least support. The benefit of using envelopes is that your pupils won’t be able to tell what set their classmates have.
It’s a good idea to have extra sets of envelopes at hand. If one group gets stuck, you’ll have the option to provide a set with more support such as Set B, then Set A if necessary. If a group finishes quickly, you can extend their learning by providing Set C.
The envelopes also could contain:
- Different materials: concrete materials for struggling learners, abstract materials for advanced learners, and pictorial materials for the rest.
- Instructions for advanced learners to think a little more deeply.