Carol Tomlinson’s book, How to Differentiate Instruction in Mixed-Ability Classrooms, is the standard in classroom differentiation. With that said, what is it that we could do better as educators?


Step-by-step how this Arizona elementary school gives its students the additional time they need to master core concepts and elevate their learning to the next level.

The Toolbox of Differentiation

  1. Task Cards.
  2. Tiered Lesson Template – great ideas for tired differentiation here.
  3. Learning Menus – great outline for learning menues here.

From Edutopia’s Resources for Differentiated Instruction

Lesson Plans & Rubric – Reteach and Enrich

Sample materials used to teach, assess, reteach, and enrich one week’s fifth grade math objective: differentiating prime and composite numbers. Watch our video or read the article to learn more about Mesquite’s Reteach & Enrich program.

Reteach Examples

Enrich Examples

Example of a game played in enrichment class


Activities used by Mesquite teachers for teaching prime and composite numbers

Tools for Data Assessment

Teachers at Mesquite meet weekly with the student achievement teacher to review the most recent assessment data and plan instruction for each student accordingly.

5th Grade Math Formative Assessment Tracking Sheet

Sample spreadsheet used to track student performance on each objective.

Tracking Sheet for Bottom 25 Percent of 5th Grade Students

Students whose performance falls in the bottom 25 percent of the class are tracked more closely using spreadsheets like this one.

Benchmark = 1 quarter

AIMS is the state standardized test

PL = Performance Level on AIMS

M = Meets

A = Approaches

FFB = Falls Far Below


Class Development Profile Grid

Grid displaying per student performance for each objective on a benchmark test.

MS = Meets Standard

AS = Approaches Standard

FS = Falls Below Standard


Development Profile Fifth Grade Class

Profile report of overall performance for one fifth grade class on a benchmark test.

Development Profile for Fifth Grade

Profile report of overall performance for entire fifth grade on a benchmark test. Codes such as S1C1, S1C2, are weekly performance objectives; M05 is Mesquite, 5th grade.


Websites & Readings