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Differentiation Professional Development



Do your teachers build instruction that helps all students grow?


PD for teachers, school, and district leaders

Our workshops leverage the 6 Elements of Differentiated Instruction to help all students deepen their learning.

Our Workshops

Available Online or On-Site

Professional development (PD) for teachers, school, and district leaders is an essential component of effective Differentiated Instruction (DI) implementation. TeachThought PD helps educators understand the principles and best practices of DI and provides them with the tools and resources they need to design and implement high-quality teaching and learning to help all students learn.

Request Workshop Info For Your School:

Foundational Structure for Differentiated Instruction

​Schools looking for a systemic implementation of Differentiation should consider having this two-day workshop. Each session can be spaced apart or done on consecutive days. Combined with on site coaching days and virtual PLC coaching meetings can lead to a powerful impact.

Day 1: Foundational Structure for DI, Part 1
Teachers learn about the first 3 Elements of Differentiated Instruction: Content, Process, and Product. They will explore strategies, and develop strategic lessons based on the first 3 Elements.

Day 2: Foundational Structure for DI, Part 2
Learn about the final 3 Elements of Differentiated Instruction: Readiness, Interests, and Learning Preferences. They will explore how student voice & choice impacts instruction through these elements, and develop strategic lessons with these lenses in mind.

Getting Started With Differentiated Instruction

Schools interested in an overview session to get teachers thinking about Differentiated Instruction should consider this one-day workshop. It is a good launch point for immediate impact and consideration for the systemic approach to Differentiated Instruction. In this overview workshop, teachers gain an overview of the 6 Elements of Differentiation. They explore strategies that can be put to immediate use.

Practical and Impactful Differentiation So All Can Learn | Online

Explore a structure for whole staff implementation of differentiation that meets the needs of all learners. Included is understanding common language and aligned strategies that support teachers’ intentional planning and implementation for meeting diverse needs. This virtual workshop is interactive as teachers engage in practical experiences and application of the learning concepts. John McCarthy is an experienced virtual learning instructor who wrote the highly popular article:  4 Key Aspects of Teaching an Online Class and is the author of So All Can Learn: A practical guide to differentiation.

Effective Differentiated Instruction Through Formative Assessment

Teachers explore frameworks for understanding the whole student so as to more effectively differentiate based on the 6 elements of DI. Differentiated Instruction is effective only through good use of formative assessment.

Building a Culture of Student Voice

Teachers explore how to plan and implement differentiation through frameworks and strategies that foster student voice. Empowered students will do more when their voice truly matters by teacher actions.

Implementing Differentiation Teaching Methods

Differentiation is a teaching approach that involves adapting instruction to meet the diverse needs of individual students in the classroom using the six elements of DI. In practice differentiation focuses on meeting the needs of all learners, beginning through assessments of where their skills currently stand. The six elements of differentiated instruction include:

  • Content
  • Process
  • Product
  • Readiness
  • Interests
  • Learning Preferences

Here are several different differentiation methods that teachers can use:

  • Tiered assignments – This involves creating different versions of an assignment or task that are aligned with the readiness levels of different students.
  • Flexible grouping – This involves grouping students differently based on their learning needs and abilities. For example, students may work in small groups, pairs, or independently, depending on the task and their strengths.
  • Personalized learning – This involves providing students with tailored learning experiences that are based on their interests, abilities, and learning styles.
  • UDL (Universal Design for Learning) – This is a framework for designing learning environments that are accessible and engaging for all students, including those with diverse learning needs.
  • Scaffolding – This involves breaking down complex tasks into smaller, more manageable steps and providing support and guidance along the way.
  • Cooperative learning – This involves grouping students together to work on tasks, to promote teamwork and interdependence.
  • Student choice – This involves giving students a degree of control over their learning by offering choices and options for assignments and activities.
  • Differentiated assessment – This involves using a variety of assessment techniques and tools to assess students’ understanding and progress in ways that are appropriate for their individual learning needs.

These are just a few of the many different differentiation methods to meet the needs of all learners in their classrooms.

Differentiation for English Language Learners (ELLs)

Differentiation for English Language Learners (ELLs) is the process of adapting instructional strategies and materials to meet the diverse needs of students learning English as a second language.

DI is an effective approach for addressing the challenges that ELLs face in acquiring academic language and understanding content in their second language. By differentiating instruction, teachers can provide support and accommodations that help ELLs build their language skills and succeed academically.

Differentiation for ELLs can take many forms, including adapting the content, process, product, readiness, interests, and learning preferences of the students. 

  • Use of visual aids (videos, images, graphic organizers) to support comprehension of content
  • Modifying the pace and difficulty level of instruction
  • Providing extra practice opportunities
  • Offering opportunities for students to work with peers at similar language development levels

Effective differentiation for ELLs requires a thorough understanding of the student’s language development and academic needs. It also requires ongoing assessment and adaptation of instructional strategies to meet the evolving needs of ELLs as they progress in their language development. By taking a differentiated approach, teachers can provide ELLs with the support they need to succeed academically and build their English language proficiency.

I really enjoyed this workshop as a 3rd year teacher because it opened my horizon on new things to do in the classroom. John also demonstrated most of the things he talked about which made it even better to remember.

-Ebonie Thomas, middle school teacher

I have already reached out to our district coordinator and requested more workshops from TeachThought PD.

-Elizabeth MacQuigg, middle school teacher

You will leave this workshop overflowing with ideas, technologies, and strategies that you can implement in your classroom on Monday morning!

-Thomas, HS teacher

Thank you for changing the way I teach!

-Jana McCarthy, elementary teacher

Thank you so much for giving us (the teachers) the tools to make real education happen! Finally!

-Amy Guier, middle school english teacher

This is a must-attend workshop. It really changed my perspective on what exactly I should be teaching through my content.

-Philip Ellis, high school science teacher

We were constantly engaged in group activities and discussion/dialogue. Excellent trainer with a lot of knowledge and understanding about PBL, it took me out of my comfort zone!

-Shafaq Imran, teacher

Thank you very much. I have a new "light" on how to get my students to think on their own and at a deeper level.

-Morgan Payton, middle school ELA teacher

The content is excellent and the presenter was highly effective.

-Jim Whitaker, high school social studies teacher

This is effective and worthwhile professional development.

-Emilie Clemmens, math teacher and curriculum coordinator

I enjoyed the workshop. I am able to use what I learned in my classroom!

-Tonya Jones, elementary teacher

Well designed learning presentations and activities...wonderful enriching learning activity.

-Marlene Burek, Manager of Special Education

Fantastic job facilitating a super helpful workshop. I hope to have an opportunity to attend a TeachThought PD again soon!

-Leann Turner, agriculture sciences teacher

Excellent training, built confidence in teachers to further become facilitators of student learning!

-Ron Lockhart, high school math teacher

I found this to be more informative and useful than any other PD I've participated in.

-Deborah Shirley, Elementary Teacher

Get in touch:
502 373-0040

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