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Tiering Tasks, Not Texts

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Presentation on theme: "Tiering Tasks, Not Texts"— Presentation transcript:

1 Tiering Tasks, Not Texts
May 13, Session 4 – Grades 3-5 May 14, Session 1 – Grades 6-8

2 Today’s Learning Targets
I can appropriately additionally scaffold module lessons and tasks for students needing additional support.

3 Because they aren’t all the same….
“When somebody hands you a glob of kids, they don’t hand you a matched set.” -- Carol Tomlinson

4 Building Our Expertise
This session will help you flex module tasks to meet specific learners’ needs. Our goal is to help you maintain the integrity of the 3-8 Modules will still ensuring that teachers are empowered to modify and adapt tasks for the students they know best. Participants will have a copy of the norms

5 Differentiated Instruction
is the proactive acceptance of and planning for student differences, including their readiness interests learning profiles Teachers can respond to student differences by differentiating content process products while always keeping in mind the guiding principles of respectful tasks ongoing assessment and adjustment flexible groups

6 Instead of changing the text
“Tiering” – engaging all students in appropriately challenging learning activities/tasks that are focused on the same knowledge, skills, and understandings. Changing the complexity of the work, not only the amount or pace of the work. Changing the complexity of the work, not the fundamental objectives.

7 Creating An Optimal Match
Too Difficult/ Causes Frustration TASK DIFFICULTY Flow of Instruction Too Easy/ Can Cause Boredom READINESS LEVEL

8 Tiered Instruction in Action
This example is from a 1st grade math lesson. We are sharing it with you because it’s an exemplar of critical several aspects of tiered instruction. We will match this video with examples from the modules. As you watch, keep track of your “notices and wonders” on the “Noticing and Wondering about Tiered Tasks” notecatcher.

9 Tiered Instruction in the Modules
Now turn your attention to the Close Reading Case study for your grade band (grade 3 for 3-5 participants, grade 7 for 6-8 participants). Read the Case Study, paying close attention to the same critical aspects of tiering that you noticed in the video. Use the other side of the notecatcher to capture your thinking about these key ideas.

10 The “Equalizer” 1. Foundational Transformational 5. Smaller Leap
Greater Leap 2. Concrete Abstract 6. More Structured More Open 3. Simple Complex 7. Clearly Defined Problems Fuzzy Problems 4. Fewer Facets Multi-Facets 8. Less Independence Greater Independence * Low Readability *High Readability 9. Slower Quicker

11 Which Buttons Have Been “Pushed?”
Learning Target – I can make inferences from text. A. Students are working with a specific chunk of complex text. They are asked an inferential question and told, “look in paragraph 2 for evidence to support your inference. Be careful, there is a trickester in there!” When they look at paragraph 2 they find 3 highlighted phrases. One is a “trickster” the other two are valid support. Students explain their choices. B. Students are working with a page or so of complex text. They are asked an inferential question and prompted to return to the text to find evidence for their inference. Students share their evidence with each other and check their understanding before the teacher calls on some to share. C. Students are working with several pages of complex text. They are asked an inferential question. As they begin to answer, the teacher prompts, “explain why your inferences are valid.” Students work independently for several minutes, looking for textual evidence and annotating it. The teacher invites several students to the front to model their thinking for the class using the document camera.

12 The Equalizer in the Modules

13 What Can Be Tiered? Anything That Kids Do In Order To Learn --
Activities Homework Centers Experiments Reading Materials/Research Writing Prompts Projects

14 Planning Tiered Activities: A Five Step Method
First, focus on the target (s) – what’s the point? Identify Learning Targets Carefully read module lesson: how are students expected to approach these targets in general. STEP 2 Use pre-assessment to determine their readiness for that specific target and the tasks the lesson calls for. Even special ed students aren’t all at the same level all the time. Consider each student’s prior knowledge, skill level, and attitude specifically in relation to the targets and tasks in the lesson.

15 Planning Tiered Activities: A Five Step Method
Chart the complexity of the activity you just found or designed High skill or complexity / low skill or complexity STEP 4 Create more/less complex versions of the activity, being sure to maintain the essential targets. Keep in mind – “respectful tasks.” STEP 5 Match the different versions of the activity to groups of students based on the pre- assessment results.

16 Try It (30 minutes)

17 Think, write, share Use your journals to help capture your thinking about tiered tasks. You might use this prompt: I used to think ________________ but now I think ______________________________, specifically in relation to the work you’ve done in this session. After 5 minutes of silent writing, please share your thinking with a neighbor.

18 Pulse Check Please go to and fill out the online plus-delta for the Tiering Texts Not Tasks session. Thank You!

19 For More Information Please visit or us at:

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