Skill Builders Tip #5 – How can these be used for differentiation?

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How can skill builders be used for differentiation? 

  • Above grade level skill introduction
  • At grade level skill practice
  • Below grade level skill review

Using Skill Builders for Differentiated Skill Practice

We believe students should enjoy skill review/practice no matter how far behind or ahead they might be. What level the student is working at is between the students and the teacher. For this reason, we never print grade levels on the student version of Skill Builders. A 6th grader, for example, can be reviewing skills at a 4th grade level and never feel bad about this. The topics are still engaging and the grade level is never displayed. The same goes for students practicing skills well above their current grade level.

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Performance Tasks Tip #5 – How can I edit – and differentiate – this Performance Task for my own class?

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What can I best edit – and differentiate – in a Performance Task?

  • Can I add content or directions?
  • Can I delete any of the content?
  • Can I change either content or directions?

Quick Editing of Performance Tasks is Easy!

Differentiation of a Performance Task is first accomplished by using the levels within a Performance Task, but there are times when we want to edit content.  Heck, we know we did it all the time to meet the needs of our students and we wanted to give all teachers the same options.

For easy reading and reference, we’re going to give you the steps for adding, changing, and deleting content separately in this post, as well a quick reason or scenario when you may want to use editing.

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Projects & Activities Tip #4 – Understanding NextLesson’s 8 Key Components for Projects


What makes a great project?

  • Learning should continue through peer feedback and self reflection.
  • Students are always asking “why”, authenticity answers this question.
  • The final product should answer a question originally posed.

Understanding NextLesson’s Key Components for Projects

NextLesson Projects are extended lessons based in real-life situations or simulations, culminating in the creation of a final idea, interpretation or product. They are specifically designed to be ready to use and compatible with implementing PBL in your classroom. NextLesson Projects include 8 Key Components that facilitate an authentic PBL experience, requiring deeper learning and in-depth inquiry while also incorporating student voice and choice, reflection and revision and student collaboration. The 8 Key Components found in every NextLesson Project are:

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Class Manager Tip #4 – Getting to Know Your Class with InterestID

db_interest-idWhy do I need to know what my classes are interested in?

  • Knowing what your students like keeps engagement high.
  • Answer the “why?” with application of skills in meaningful scenarios.
  • Give your students a voice in their learning!

What is InterestID?

InterestID is a tool designed to connect teachers with lessons based on the interests of their students. Students browse through the hundreds of interesting topics that NextLesson has developed its content around, indicating whether they like or dislike them. As students engage with the InterestID browser, they build an interest profile. 

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Rank & Reason Tip #4 – How can I create my own Rank & Reason?

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  • Focus a discussion on a big idea, ethics, a moral dilemma, and such
  • Sequence a series of events, a process, a timeline, and more by interpreting a point of view
  • For younger students, simple sequencing and ordering will work



You’ve Got the Idea AND the Rank & Reason Tool to Build It! 

Writing a Rank & Reason discussion lesson is quite easy once you have the idea. The tool is intuitive and a basic Rank & Reason discussion can be set up in 5-10 minutes. Of course, your first one may take longer as you learn the tool and exactly which pieces you want to use.  

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