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Differentiated Instructional Strategies for Science, Grades K-8

Help all your students "do" science confidently and successfully!

The authors outline an approach for creating differentiated K–8 classrooms where all learners can thrive and succeed in science. Aligned with national science curriculum standards, this resource provides tools for accommodating individual learning styles and strengthening science instruction, including:
  • Grade-appropriate sample lessons and strategies for inquiry-based, problem-based, and cooperative learning
  • Guidelines for creating performance tasks that have real-world applications
  • Methods for using data-based assessment before, during, and after learning
  • A collection of templates, planners, checklists, and graphic organizers
  • A CD-ROM with reproducibles for classroom instruction

Full description

Product Details
  • Grade Level: PreK-12
  • ISBN: 9781412916516
  • Published By: Corwin
  • Year: 2008
  • Page Count: 200
  • Publication date: February 26, 2008

Price: $42.95



"This book addresses a real area of need and contains an abundant set of strategies."
—Susan Koba, Educational Consultant

"This is an excellent sourcebook for science teachers who are looking for strategies to engage diverse learners."
—Phyllis Milne, Associate Director of School Administration
York County School Division, Yorktown, VA

Help all your students "do" science confidently and successfully!

Preparing students to understand and adapt to the rapid pace of scientific and technological changes is an important educational priority. Using proven strategies for differentiating instruction, authors Gayle H. Gregory and Elizabeth Hammerman provide a blueprint for strengthening science instruction and accommodating students' individual learning styles.

This educator-friendly resource is aligned with national science curriculum standards and includes:

  • Grade-appropriate sample lessons and strategies for inquiry-based, problem-based, and cooperative learning
  • Guidelines for creating performance tasks that have real-world applications
  • Methods for using data-based assessment before, during, and after learning
  • A collection of templates, planners, checklists, and graphic organizers
  • A CD-ROM with reproducibles for classroom instruction

Rich in content and tools, Differential Instructional Strategies for Science, Grades K–8 is the perfect resource to help elementary and middle school students become more creative and engaged thinkers and inquirers.

Key features

  • Prepares learners to adapt and adjust to the accelerating pace of change in science and technology
  • Aligned with national curriculum standards for science knowledge and skills
  • Includes a generous collection of templates, planners, checklists, rubrics, and graphic organizers
  • Features sample lessons for grades K–8
  • Provides instructional and assessment strategies for emerging learners, developing learners, and fluent learners at all stages of development
  • By the author of Corwin's best-selling Differentiated Instructional Strategies: One Size Doesn't Fit All
  • Includes a CD-ROM with reproducibles for classroom instruction


Gayle H. Gregory photo

Gayle H. Gregory

Gayle H. Gregory is first and foremost a teacher, having experienced teaching and learning in elementary, middle, and secondary schools, community colleges, and universities. She has had extensive district-wide experience as a curriculum consultant and staff development coordinator. Gayle was principal/course director at York University for the Faculty of Education, teaching in the teacher education program.
Her areas of expertise include brain-compatible learning, differentiated instructional and assessment strategies, block scheduling, emotional intelligence, student motivation, RTI Tier One, collaborative learning, common core, renewal of secondary schools, enhancing teacher quality, coaching and mentoring, managing change, and building professional learning communities. She also a trainer for Visible Learning Plus with Corwin.

She is an author of numerous books related to educational neuroscience and differentiated instruction, assessment, and curriculum, including the following titles:

• Data Driven Differentiation in the Standards-Based Classroom, Second Edition (2014, with Lin Kuzmich)
• Differentiated Instructional Strategies: One Size Doesn’t Fit All, Third Edition (2013, with Carolyn Chapman)
• Differentiated Instructional Strategies Professional Learning Guide: One Size Doesn’t Fit All, Third Edition (2013)
• Differentiated Literacy Strategies for English Language Learners, Grades K–6 and Differentiated Literacy Strategies for English Language Learners, Grades 7–12 (2011, with Amy Burkman)
• Differentiated Instructional Strategies for the Block Schedule (2010, with Lynne E. Herndon)
• Student Teams That Get Results: Teaching Tools for the Differentiated Classroom (2009, with Lin Kuzmich)
• Teacher Teams That Get Results: 61 Strategies for Sustaining and Renewing Professional Learning Communities (2009, with Lin Kuzmich)
• Differentiated Instructional Strategies for Science, Grades K–8 (2009, with Elizabeth Hammerman)
• Differentiating Instruction With Style: Aligning Teacher and Learner Intelligences for Maximum Achievement (2005)
• The Activities for Differentiated Classroom series (2007, with Carolyn Chapman)

She is affiliated with organizations such as ASCD and Learning Forward. Her ASCD publication is The Motivated Brain: Improving Student Attention engagement and Perseverance (2015, with Martha Kaufeldt).

Gayle consults internationally with teachers, administrators, and staff developers.

She and her family of two daughters and two granddaughters all reside in Burlington, Ontario.

Gayle is committed to lifelong learning and professional growth for herself and others. She may be contacted at gregorygayle@netscape.net, www.gaylehgregory.com, and @gaylegregory6.

Elizabeth Hammerman photo

Elizabeth Hammerman

Elizabeth Hammerman is a dedicated science educator and consultant. Her professional background includes teaching science at the middle school and high school levels and over 20 years of experience teaching university science education courses and co-directing funded grant projects. She has done extensive professional development with teachers in the field, specializing in curriculum development and implementation, performance assessment, and effective teaching and learning. The need for high-quality professional development programs and materials in science education became apparent throughout the many projects and professional relationships with teachers who were eager to increase their knowledge base, skills, and confidence for teaching science more effectively.

Hammerman has co-authored a book on performance assessment in science and authored a database of science assessment tasks. She has published articles, presented programs at national conferences, consulted nationally, and developed curriculum and assessments for cutting-edge school districts and commercial products.

Since relocating to North Carolina in 1999, Hammerman has been a math/science consultant for a consortium of seven county school systems, has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in teacher education and science education, served as director of education and professional development for Virtual Learning Systems, and worked as a consultant for the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. She is actively involved in professional development and continues to work on a series of professional development books for science education for Corwin Press.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


About the Authors


Differentiated Instruction

Teaching Matters

Clarifying Instructional Goals

Differentiated Instruction in Action

Part I. Effective Science Education

1. Creating a Climate for Differentiated Instruction

A Climate for Learning

A Safe and Enriched Environment

Internet Resources Related to Health and Safety

Natural Learning Systems

Emotional Learning System

Social Learning System

Physical Learning System

Cognitive Learning System

Reflective Learning System

Learning Systems With Links to National Standards

A Planning Guide for Differentiated Instruction

Phases of the Planning Guide

2. Scientific and Technological Literacy for the Twenty-First Century

Scientific Literacy

Science Education Standards

Unifying Concepts and Processes

Process and Thinking Skills in K-8 Science

Dispositions That Underlie Science

Dimensions of Learning

Technological Literacy

Views of Technology

Integration of Information and Communication Technology (ICT)

3. Knowing the Learner

Multicultural Education

Multicultural Education in Science

Gender Equity

Gender Equity in Science

Learning Modalities

Learning and Thinking Styles

Kolb's Learning Styles

McCarthy's 4MAT System

Gregorc's Thinking Styles

Gardner's Theory of Multiple Intelligences

Eight Intelligences Linked to Science

Sternberg's View of Intelligence

Learning Activities Linked to Intelligences

Strategies for PreAssessment

Assessing Prior Knowledge

Addressing Misconceptions

Pretest of Concepts

Pretest of Skills

Part II. Designing Differentiated Instruction

4. Methods and Effective Practices for Increasing Student Achievement

Methods for Teaching and Learning Science

The Roles of Teachers and Student in Methods

Research-Based Effective Practices

Strategies Linked to Brain Research and Classroom Practices

Science Notebooks as Tools for Learning

Lab Reports


Cooperative Learning

Adjustable Assignments

Curriculum Compacting

5. Strategies for Activating and Engaging

Strategies for Engagement

K-W-L Charts

Discrepant Events

School Site Investigations

Informal Learning Environments

Video Clips

Guest Speakers


Literature in Science

Case Studies

6. Strategies for Acquiring and Exploring

Inquiry Defined

Traditional Versus Inquiry-Based Classrooms

Factors That Support Inquiry and Differentiated Instruction in Science

Environments That Support Inquiry-Based Teaching and Learning

Classroom Features

Equipment and Supplies

Management Strategies

Problem-Based Learning

Examples of PBL Topics



Booklets, Posters, and Brochures

Projects at the Primary, Intermediate, and Middle Grade Levels

Science Fair Projects

Product Testing and Survey Research

Science and Technological Design



Examples of Stations at the Primary Grade Level

Example of Stations at the Intermediate Grade Level

Example of Stations at the Middle Grade Level


Structured Centers

Exploratory Centers

Relearning Centers

Assessment for Stations and Centers

Choice Boards

Choice Boards for a Primary Level Study of Animals


Contract for Rocks and Minerals

Choice Board for Activities

Computer-Based Technologies as Tools for Learning

7. Strategies for Explaining, Applying, and Creating Meaning

Group Discussion

Questions for Thinking and Problem Solving

Discussion Starters

Nonlinguistic Representations for K-8 Science


Data Tables and Graphs

Creating Graphs

Bar Graphs

Line Graphs

Circle Graphs

Six Types of Graphic Organizers

Four-Corner Organizer

8. Strategies for Elaborating and Extending Learning

Beyond the Basics

Games That Enhance Learning


Cubing With Questions About the Moon


Analogies and Similes



Similes for a Middle Grade Unit on Cells

9. Strategies for Assessing and Evaluating Learning

Assessment and Evaluation

Assessment Strategies in the Science Classroom

Performance Tasks for Learning and Assessment

Creating Rubrics for Teacher Assessment and Self-Assessment

Holistic Rubrics

Generalized Rubrics

Analytic Rubrics

Planning Differentiated Instruction: The Key to Success

Considerations, Resources, and Strategies for Differentiating Instruction in Science





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