For example, suppose the class is working toward a content standard involving plotting points on a coordinate plane, using all 4 quadrants. You might begin with a whole group lesson where students learn about the purpose of plotting coordinates and how to do so.
- The middle level assignment might simply be a set of points to plot in all four quadrants, . To make the work more enjoyable for students, you might create a set of points that, when connected, will form a design.
- For students who are still developing an understanding, you might provide an assignment in which only points in the first quadrant (with positive values) are included, and then scaffold the lesson, perhaps meeting with this small group for additional modeling prior to attempting to plot in all four quadrants. It is important that all students eventually meet the standard.
- For students who data shows have already mastered the skill, you might require them to develop their own set of points on all 4 quadrants that will create a design of their own. Perhaps the design might be required to include some specific geometric figures.
When tiered assignments are used, differentiation is certain to occur. You may need to assign students to work at a particular level, based upon your classroom observations or perhaps a pretest. If students are working on their own, you may consider allowing them to choose an assignment that they feel is most appropriate for them. Also, you may only want to have two levels, depending on the topic and upon the group of students you are teaching. There is a lot of information about tiered assignments available on various websites. You may want to learn more about tiered assignments and use them as a part of your math centers or as a part of your daily instruction.