When you think of differentiated instruction, what comes to mind? Another thing to do? More time that you don’t have? More copying? More planning?
Actually it doesn’t have to be anything like the above, it can be quite simple in fact.
As Laura Robb has said, differentiation is a way of teaching; it’s not a program or package of worksheets. It asks teachers to know their students well so they can provide each one with experiences and tasks that will improve learning.
This is a great activity to pair students and it works well with any subject. I often use Appointment Buddies at the end of a lesson or if my students look as if they are getting a bit antsy. It gets them up and interacting.
You can download the Appointment Buddies printable HERE.
Here’s how it works:
1. Each student gets their own individual copy of the Appointment Buddies printable.
2. Students stand up, take their Appointment Buddies printable with them, and begin to find students to make appointments with. Both times need to match for both students. For example, if student A writes that they are meeting with student B at 11:00, then student B writes that they are meeting with student A at 11:00.
3. Students place their Appointment Buddies printable in a safe spot so they can refer to them when needed.
4. Students can now be easily paired. When you want to pair students, pick a time and tell students they are to pair up with that person.
5. You can pair students up by using the actual time, or to mix it up you can also randomly pick a time throughout the day. For example, if it’s 2:00 have students pair up with their 8:00 buddy.
6. There may be times when you need or want more control over buddies. In this case pre-select some of the buddies and then leave the other times available for them to chose their own.
Super easy and you just differentiated your instruction specifically for those bodily/kinesthetic learners. Don’t be fooled though, because the needs of the verbal and interpersonal learners have also been met!
How’s that for Differentiating Instruction Made Simple?