Question Detail

How would you differentiate a 9-12 English classroom / curriculum?

Jul 11, 2015 12:02pm

I am the one English teacher in a 15-student high school. My classes are all mixed up; I have 9-12th graders in all of my classes. I am going into my second year of teaching and have so much to learn. The biggest thing is how to make sure each student is getting what he or she needs, even though I don't have classes of sophomores, juniors, etc. Does anyone have any tips, resources, or websites that might help plan a curriculum that is versatile enough to be taught to all grades while still pushing those who need to be challenged and supporting those who need extra support? Thank you!

  • English Language Arts
  • 9-12
  • Assessment / Differentiation / New Teachers / Planning


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    • Jul 19, 2015 10:20pm

      Wow! What a challenge! I've just read a couple of books that might help you. Check out
      Strategies for Differentiating Instruction. The book is full of practical strategies. One of the free downloads offers a venn diagram, but then ups the rigor by adding a third circle (more analysis, connections) and then a fourth! That would blow my students' minds, but SOME of them would be up to the task. Assessing Differentiated Student Products gives a rubric for TONS of student products they can select from to demonstrate what they've learned. There is even a column in the rubric for kids who excel that is above the "advanced" performance. That highest level is "publishable," like something they'd see in the "real world," not just on a classroom wall. Really gives the most advanced students a level to attempt to attain!

      • Jul 31, 2015 6:38pm

        I agree with Angela that this could be a challenging situation for you. However, don't get discouraged! There is hope. I currently work in a mental health facility that has a school on campus. Some time ago, I did work in that school in the math classroom. At times, there would be up to 4 different math levels in the same classroom. Differentiating was a challenge for my teacher, but he had done it for several years. I hope that his format may help you. The class sat at tables in groups with their level sitting together. He would present one group a lecture while another group was assigned notes and the final group a project or assignment. At the end of each class, and sometimes before, the teacher would rotate the groups, asking the assignment group to come forward for lecture. While students would work on examples during the lecture, the teacher would walk between groups to see progress and answer questions. He has been doing this format for years, and he reports a lot of success with it. I hope this helps you! Good luck!