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Differentiating Instruction

Planning for Universal Design and Teaching for College and Career Readiness

This updated best-seller features two customizable approaches to differentiating instruction, a discussion of collaborative planning and implementation, new technology resources, and links to the Common Core and RTI.

Full description

Product Details
  • Grade Level: PreK-12
  • ISBN: 9781483344454
  • Published By: Corwin
  • Year: 2014
  • Page Count: 360
  • Publication date: December 05, 2014

Price: $43.95

Price: $43.95
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The ultimate guide to leaving no child behind—newly updated!

Now in its second edition, this best-selling book is your one-stop resource for differentiated instruction. Whether you’re new to the concept or just looking to improve your approach, you’ll find tools to meet the needs of all your students—in a way that works for you. You’ll discover how innovative approaches, such as Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and retrofitting, can help you adapt general education curriculum to fit diverse learning styles.

Featuring case studies at the elementary, middle, and high school levels, this new edition offers

  • More easy-to-use strategies to differentiate instruction in mixed ability classrooms
  • A new chapter on collaborative planning and evaluation, plus a discussion of co-teaching and differentiation
  • Updated lesson plans tied to the Common Core
  • A greater emphasis on cultural proficiency, ELLs, and gifted students
  • New technology references and resources
  • A strengthened link to RTI

Every student is different—and every classroom is different, too. With multiple options to differentiate instruction at any point along the way, this essential guide will help you create the path to success for every student.

"Thousand, Villa, and Nevin take three very big ideas in education
Universal Design, Collaboration, and Differentiated Instructionand combine them in a novel and engaging way. And they practice what they preach – the information and examples speak to someone just beginning to differentiate instruction as well as the expert who wants to further refine his or her craft."

—Douglas Fisher, Professor

San Diego State University

"The extensive emphasis on technology, case studies, and lesson plans throughout the book provide a rich resource to the readers of this exciting text. Administrators, university instructors, and staff developers will find this a valuable tool to support their students and colleagues on their differentiation journey.”

—Mary Falvey, Retired Dean and Professor Emeritus

California State University, Los Angeles

Key features

  • Differentiation meets co-teaching—describes and compares the four approaches to co-teaching (supportive, parallel, complementary, and team teaching)
  • Discusses “retrofitting” as well as the more ideal “universal design” approach to differentiating instruction
  • Offers strategies for effectively addressing cultural, economic, and linguistic diversity
  • Discusses numerous methods of determining individual learner needs and preferences
  • Presents tips and processes allowing teachers to efficiently collaborate in planning for differentiated curriculum, instruction, and assessment
  • Provides helpful profiles and vignettes
  • Includes Frequently Asked Questions section, plus sample lesson planning forms

From AMQ:


  • Detailed description of Retrofit and Universal Design for Learning strategies to differentiate instruction in mixed-ability classrooms
  • A menu approach where multiple options for differentiation can be chosen at each design point (i.e., content and materials, products and assessments, processes of learning)
  • Differentiated lesson plans and case studies at elementary, middle, and secondary levels
  • Extensive emphasis on the role of technology throughout the book and in the lesson plans
  • Discussion of the role of school leaders in providing support and leadership for differentiation
  • Protocols to assist in the observation and coaching for differentiation
  • Linkage to Response to Intervention (RTI) and Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS)
  • Strategies for collaborative planning and teaching to accomplish the goals of differentiated instruction


Jacqueline S. Thousand photo

Jacqueline S. Thousand

Jacqueline S. Thousand, Ph.D., is Professor Emerita at California State University San Marcos, where she designed and coordinated special education professional preparation and Master’s degree programs in the College of Education, Health, and Human Services. She previously taught at the University of Vermont, where she directed Inclusion Facilitator and Early Childhood Special Education graduate and postgraduate programs and coordinated federal grants, which, in the early 1980s, pioneered the inclusion of students with moderate and severe disabilities in general education classrooms of their local schools. Prior to university teacher, Dr. Thousand served as a special educator in Chicago area and Atlanta public schools and as the coordinator of early childhood special education services for children ages 3 through 6 in the Burlington, Vermont area. Dr. Thousand is a nationally known teacher, author, systems change consultant, and disability rights and inclusive education advocate. She is the author of 21 books and numerous research articles and chapters on issues related to inclusive education, organizational change strategies, differentiated instruction and universal design, co-teaching and collaborative teaming, cooperative group learning, creative problem solving, positive behavioral supports, and, now, culturally proficiency special education. Dr. Thousand is actively involved in international teacher education and inclusive education endeavors and serves on the editorial boards of several national and international journals.

Richard A. Villa photo

Richard A. Villa

Learn more about Richard Villa's PD offerings

Richard A. Villa is president of Bayridge Consortium, Inc. His primary field of expertise is the development of administrative and instructional support systems for educating all students within general education settings. Villa is recognized as an educational leader who inspires and works collaboratively with others to implement current and emerging exemplary educational practices. His work has resulted in the inclusion of children with intensive cognitive, physical, and emotional challenges as full members of the general education community in the school districts where he has worked and consulted. Villa has been a classroom teacher, special education administrator, pupil personnel services director, and director of instructional services and has authored 4 books and over 70 articles and chapters. Known for his enthusiastic, humorous style, Villa has presented at international, national, and state educational conferences and has provided technical assistance to departments of education in the United States, Canada, Vietnam, and Honduras and to university personnel, public school systems, and parent and advocacy organizations.
Ann I. Nevin photo

Ann I. Nevin

Ann I. Nevin is professor emerita at Arizona State University and visiting professor at Florida International University. The author of books, research articles, and numerous chapters, Nevin is recognized for her scholarship and dedication to providing meaningful, practice-oriented, research-based strategies for teachers to integrate students with special learning needs. Since the 1970s, she has co-developed various innovative teacher education programs that affect an array of personnel, including the Vermont Consulting Teacher Program, Collaborative Consultation Project Re-Tool sponsored by the Council for Exceptional Children, the Arizona State University program for special educators to infuse self-determination skills throughout the curriculum, and the Urban SEALS (Special Education Academic Leaders) doctoral program at Florida International University. Her advocacy, research, and teaching spans more than 38 years of working with a diverse array of people to help students with disabilities succeed in normalized school environments. Nevin is known for action-oriented presentations, workshops, and classes that are designed to meet the individual needs of participants by encouraging introspection and personal discovery for optimal learning.
Table of Contents

Table of Contents

A Letter to Our Readers


About the Authors

1. Why Differentiation of Instruction Now?

What Differentiated Instruction IS (and What It Is NOT)

Rationales for Differentiated Instruction

Rationale #1: To Meet Needs of Diverse Learners

Rationale #2: To Meet Legal Mandates

Rationale #3: To Be Ethical in Implementing Democratic Values

Rationale #4: To Dispel Myths About Students

Rationale #5: To Be Effective Teachers

Retrofit and Universal Design: Two Approaches to Differentiated Instruction

Systemic Support for Differentiated Instruction

Overview of the Book

2. Accessing the General Education Curriculum Through a Retrofit Framework

What Is the Retrofit Approach?

Scenario #1: Elementary Science and Social Studies

Scenario #2: Middle Level Mathematics

Scenario #3: Middle Level Science

Scenario #4: High School Language Arts

What Do You Know About Retrofitting as a Way to Differentiate Instruction?

3. Access to Curriculum Through Universal Design for Learning

The UDL Cycle for Differentiating Content, Product, and Process

Design Point #1: Gathering Facts About the Learners

Design Point #2: Differentiate Content and Materials

Design Point #3: Product or Differentiate How Students Show What They Know

Design Point #4: Differentiate Instructional Processes

Pause and Reflect About Student-Specific Teaching Strategies and Supports

Putting It All Together With the Universal Design Lesson Plan

4. Gathering Facts About the Learners

Record Review

Family-Centered and Culturally Responsive Fact Gathering

Interest Inventories

Learning Preferences Information

Learning and Thinking Styles

Multiple Intelligences

Data-Based Observations Including Functional Behavioral Assessments and Cooperative Group Monitoring

Data-Based Observations

Functional Behavioral Assessment

Monitoring Cooperative Group Learning

Curriculum-Based Assessments

Making Action Plans (MAPs)

Disability-Specific Information

Co-Teacher Roles in Gathering Facts About the Learners

Pause and Reflect

5. Differentiating Access to the Content of Learning

What Is Content?

Ways to Promote Access to Content

Taxonomies and Objectives: Using and Not Abusing Them

Layered Curriculum and Levels of Participation

Differentiating Content Using Graphic Organizers and Educational Technology

Differentiating Content With Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Techniques

Involving Students in Determining Content

Co-Teacher Roles in Differentiating Content

Pause and Reflect

6. Differentiating and Assessing the Products of Learning

Why Differentiate Assessment in a Climate of High-Stakes Testing?

Using Culturally Responsive Techniques to Differentiate and Assess the Products of Learning

Taxonomy and Learning Preferences Frameworks to Differentiate Products and Assessment

Using Bloom’s Taxonomy to Differentiate Products and Assessment

Using Learning Preferences Frameworks to Differentiate Products and Assessment

Using Bloom’s Taxonomy and Multiple Intelligences Theory to Differentiate Products and Assessment

Scaffolding and Curriculum-Based Assessments

Scaffolding as Formative Assessment

Curriculum-Based Assessment

Differentiating How Teachers Grade Products

Alternatives to Norm-Referenced Grading Procedures

Adapting Criterion-Referenced Grading Systems

Self-Referenced Systems

Co-Teacher Roles in Differentiating Products of Learning

Pause and Reflect

7. Differentiating the Instructional Processes

The Complexities of the Process of Instruction (Graphic Organizer)

Instructional Formats

Instructional Arrangements

Highlights on Cooperative Learning

A Focus on Cooperative Strategies for Emerging and Struggling Readers

A Highlight on Peer Tutors and Partner Learning Arrangements

Instructional Strategies

Using Taxonomies

Applying Concepts From Learning Preferences Frameworks

Integrating the Arts

Social and Physical Environment

Co-Teaching Approaches

Pause and Reflect

8. Collaborative Planning and Evaluation for Differentiated Instruction

The Rationale and Benefits of Collaborative Planning and Teaching

Effective and Efficient Use of Planning and Evaluation Time

Development of Relationships Among Team Members: It’s a Process!

Skills for Building Trust and Establishing Team Norms

Communication and Leadership Skills

Creative Problem-Solving Skills

Conflict Resolution Skills

Are We Really an Effective Planning Team?

9. Co-Teaching to Deliver Differentiated Instruction

Why Collaborate to Co-Teach?

Research Base for Co-Teaching

Who Can Be Co-Teachers?

Four Approaches to Co-Teaching

Supportive Co-Teaching

Parallel Co-Teaching

Complementary Co-Teaching

Team Co-Teaching

Questions About Co-Teaching to Differentiate Instruction

10. UDL Lesson Planning Cycle to Differentiate Instruction in Action: A Fourth-Grade Social Studies Unit

Setting the Context

Co-Teacher Professional Development Activities

Multiple Methods for Accessing Content

Differentiating the Products (Outcomes) of Learning

Differentiating the Instructional Processes

Instructional Format

Instructional Arrangements

Instructional Strategies

Social and Physical Environment

Co-Teaching Approaches

Implementing the UDL Plan

Using the Lesson Plan Template

11. UDL Lesson Planning Cycle to Differentiate Instruction in Action: Middle Level Mathematics

Who Are the Teachers?

Professional Development Activities

Gathering (New) Facts About the Learners

Multiple Methods for Accessing the Content for Algebra I

Differentiating the Products (Outcomes) of Learning

Differentiating the Instructional Processes

Group Investigation

Cognitively Guided Instruction

English Language Learner Techniques

Implementing the UDL Plan

Using the Universal Design Lesson Plan Template

12. UDL Lesson Planning Cycle to Differentiate Instruction in Action: Middle Level Science

Who Are the Teachers?

Planning to Change From a Retrofit Approach to a Universal Design Approach

Gathering (Additional) Facts About the Learners

Pause and Reflect: Tina

Planning Prior to the Lesson

Planning to Differentiate Content and Materials

Planning to Differentiate Products

Planning to Differentiate the Process of Learning

Finalizing the Lesson Plan

Differentiation in Action in the Class


13. UDL Lesson Planning Cycle to Differentiate Instruction in Action: High School Language Arts

Who Are the Teachers?

Co-Teacher Professional Development Activities

Gathering Facts About the Learners

Differentiating the Content and Materials

Key Ideas and Details

Craft and Structure

Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity

Differentiating the Product

Pause and Reflect

Differentiating the Process

Co-Teacher Roles

The Planned Lesson

Before the Lesson

The Planned Instructional Sequence

Pause and Reflect

14. UDL Lesson Planning Cycle to Differentiate Instruction in Action: High School Mathematics

Who Are the Teachers?

Co-Teacher Collaborative Planning and Professional Development Activities

Gathering Facts About the Learners

Anticipating Learners’ Interests, Learning Preferences, Skills, and Conceptual Understanding

Multiple Methods for Accessing the Content of Algebra II

Unit Theme: Reasoning and Sensemaking

Standards Addressed in the Unit

Differentiating the Product: Multiple Methods to Demonstrate Unit Objectives


Assessment of Prior Knowledge/Mastery

Differentiating the Process of Instruction

Planning for Differentiation to Include Evidence-Based Strategies

Implementing Differentiated Instructional Processes

Using the Lesson Plan Template


Reflections on Facts About the Learners

Reflections on Content and Materials Differentiation

Reflections on Product and Assessment Differentiation

Reflections on Instructional Process Differentiation

Peer Observer Feedback and Future Goals

15. Epilogue: Pause and Reflect

Values and Assumptions About Students

Values and Assumptions About Adults

Why Explain Values and Assumptions?






Price: $43.95
Volume Discounts applied in Shopping Cart

For Instructors

Request Review Copy

When you select 'request review copy', you will be redirected to Sage Publishing (our parent site) to process your request.