Differentiated Textbook Instruction

Distribute an article that describes an adaptation you can apply to individualizing textbook instruction.
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Updated: June 9, 2019
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Placing Students in Three Instructional Groups

Once the diagnostic tests have been given, individualize your textbook instruction by doing the following:

  1. Calculate an average score for each student based on the scores the student earned on the two diagnostic tests.

  2. Assign students to one of three instructional groups, using the following criteria based on their scores:
    • 0%-47%, teacher directed
    • 53%-73%, paired (dyadic) group
    • 80%-100%, independent study

The study guides you prepare for the teacher-directed group should contain paragraph and page references after each question as an aid to locating the answers in the passage. The guides for the dyadic group should contain a page number reference only after each question. The guides for the independent students should contain no referential cues. Prepare 15-item multiple-choice tests as described earlier.

Implementing Three Instructional Groups Simultaneously

Three instructional groups can be implemented by means of the following procedure:

  1. All students read a 1,200-word passage of text independently for 12 minutes.

  2. Students divide into three instructional groups and complete the study guide for 20 minutes, using their textbooks.

    • The teacher-directed students are seated in a row on one side of the classroom.

    • The dyadic students are seated in two rows on the opposite side of the classroom with their desks pulled together in pairs.

    • The independent students are seated in a row in the middle of the classroom.

  3. Lead the teacher-directed students in completing and studying the guide questions as a group. Have the dyadic students work in pairs based on compatibility; these students should complete the study guide questions by cooperatively answering the questions on an item-by-item basis, followed by quizzing each other. The independent students should complete and study the guides independently.

  4. Have the students take the 15-item, closed-book, multiple-choice test. Read aloud the test questions and the choices for the teacher-directed group, while the others work on their own.

More on Adapting Existing Materials.

Provided in partnership with The Council for Exceptional Children.
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