Please join me in welcoming Marsha McGuire from A Differentiated Kindergarten. Enjoy her great post while I am in South Carolina enjoying the beautiful rays and my wonderful family!
While I don't suggest using a flowchart for everything you tier, I do think it will be helpful, especially to us visual learners, in giving you an idea of what it might look like to tier and how to go about thinking about tiering an activity.
First identify your key concept . . . this is your common core, standard or whatever skill or concept is ESSENTIAL for them to master.
Next Pre-assess . . . this is where you can do a simple thumbs up, thumbs down quick test to get an idea of what they already understand. This shouldn't be a paper/pencil test necessarily
Then create your whole group experience or lesson. I like to make this fun and interactive so that I get them HOOKED and interested.
And finally, you're ready to create your activity. This is where you adjust the pace, steps or complexity based on your students and place them in the corresponding tiers.
Ok so here's how it would work in an example of a real kindergarten lesson. Now mind you, I don't fill out a paper like this for every activity, but I do consider the steps.
Let's say I'm introducing (or in this case continuing my instruction of addition) to my kindergarten students. The flow chart might look like this.
Are you having your A-HA moment now? See, it's really not that difficult, but absolutely necessary. Sure I could just have all my students work on addition 1-10 since that is where most of them are performing, but here is what I know: Those students who find the activity too difficult will soon get frustrated and shut down, and those students that find the material too easy will get bored. Either way, it's a recipe for acting out and bad behavior. Yikes. Keep them engaged, feeling successful but challenged and your behavior problems are few and far between.
It has been great fun sitting in for the infamous Mrs. Miner. Thanks so much Krissy.