There are benefits to having worksheets, but after a while, it gets boring doing the same thing over and over. Some students need more support than others, while others need more of a challenge. You can do that! Let me show you how to differentiate your worksheets in this post!
Here are five ideas on how to differentiate your worksheets!
You’ll need a worksheet with text and sticky notes for this activity. Students skim or read through the worksheets, looking for any unknown words. When they find an unknown word, students write the word on a sticky note.
After the time is up, have students place their sticky notes on chart paper. Then teach the meaning of the words explicitly as a whole group. I like to use a Frayer model for teaching vocabulary. You can use this sheet from my Editable Spelling Activities for Any List of Words by displaying it on an interactive whiteboard.
Read this post for more tips on teaching vocabulary!
My former principal recommended this strategy, and I love it! For this activity, you’ll need a worksheet. Put students in groups of 2 – 3. Assign each group a specific number of problems, a paragraph, or a specific question to answer.
Give groups a few minutes to complete their tasks. Once time is completed, have groups present their thinking or summarize the content learned.
Using a graphic organizer is key for helping students organize the information they just learned. It helps them to think more critically about the content too! A simple Venn diagram is my favorite, but you can also use cause and effect, problem and solution, and summary graphic organizers as well.
If you’re teaching math and want to try this, you can use a Venn diagram to compare and contrast two math problems or use it to compare math vocabulary.
Once students have completed their graphic organizers, have them share them with a partner and call on students to share them with the entire group.
Tap into creativity with this strategy! This differentiation strategy is so much fun. You’ll need a worksheet like this reading passage. Have students read through the passage and place them in groups of 2 – 3. Have each group act on a certain piece of the reading passage. This activity is so much fun, and kids love it!
If acting is not applicable, have them draw what they learned on a half-sheet of paper. You can hang the papers together to create a learning quilt. These are so cute!
One of the most effective things I’ve done is to use a self-evaluation tool for the end of each worksheet. This works for any worksheet, and I especially like it for math worksheets. After reviewing the answers, students tell me how they felt about the material. This is where I get valuable insight into what’s going on with them, and they become cognitively aware of what they’re learning.
Worksheets may not always be the best, but they’re better than nothing when you’re short on time. Try these ideas to differentiate your worksheets!