Students need to practice math skills; there's no way around it. Yet, as a teacher this can be one of the trickiest parts of supporting your students because everyone seems to be at a different level. If you too have felt this struggle then you're not alone wondering, "How do I easily differentiate to meet all my students' needs?"
MathLight lessons have differentiated practice sets
Did you know that MathLight includes THREE separate practice sets for EVERY Pre-Algebra and Algebra 1 lesson? (Algebra 2 practice sets are in development but not yet published.)
Having an A, B and C level for every MathLight lesson puts our teachers at an advantage because they can easily differentiate for their students. Level A is aimed at beginners, Level B at intermediate students and Level C is for your advanced/high performing students.
See the 3 practice levels that accompany the Classifying Real Numbers lesson in our Integers Pre-Algebra Unit below.
Notice how the same basic information is being covered in the pages above. However, the depth of knowledge and response format increases in difficulty as you progress from Practice A to Practice C.
Having these 3 levels at the ready gives you flexibility to plan and be prepared for your students. But with all of these options, what are some tried-and-true methods used for implementing the practice sets?
Ways to easily differentiate with MathLight's Practice Sets:
- OPTION 1: Everyone completes level B- then wait and see. Level B practices are designed for the average student thus teachers using this method make Level B available to all students. Teachers then monitor student progress and implement the following as needed:
- Transfer students to Level A if they are not ready. Teachers cannot always predict the areas where students may struggle or have gaps in their prior knowledge. In this option teachers plan to have a few sheets of the easier Practice A ready so students can still practice the skills but at a more appropriate level.
- Use practice set C for early finishers. Have a few copies of Practice Set C ready for those early-finishing students. Try giving them a challenge instead of relying on them to be peer tutors!
- OPTION 2: Teachers plan student levels ahead of time. Option 2 has the teacher determine how far to push each student. For example, maybe Jonah gets set A, Priya gets level C, and everyone else gets level B. Students work at the same time but on different practice sets according to prior performance or as needed based on IEPs.
- OPTION 3: Students work through all sets but at various times during the unit. One customer explains how she successfully used all of the practice levels in her classroom: "[Students] worked through Practice A together. I was then able to use Practice B for their assignment and Practice C for a review."
- OPTION 4: Students choose their practice set based on their level of readiness. Students in this class setting build skills of self-reflection and agency as they choose their own level of difficulty. If Taya feels ready for level C she can choose that. Other students, however, may be confused over this particular lesson and need to build confidence with level A. Students are able to move freely among the levels from day-to-day and challenge themselves at any point. Just watch out for those students who intentionally choose the easiest when capable of more!
How do you easily differentiate for your students? We'd love to hear! Email us at email@example.com!
Purchasing a MathLight unit or complete curriculum so you can take advantage of the built-in differentiation! Click the button below to check out all MathLight currently offers and purchase your units!