Our friends know what color they are in math and reading. During Daily 5 or centers, students grab the folder or word-ring that is just-right for them. In our Word Work center, our word rings hang on Command Hooks in an extra cubby. Students grab a word ring and an activity tub (Versatiles, Magnet Letters, Super Sentences, etc.). Students are able to work on the same activities, but with their just-right words.
In Math Stations, we use Sterlite Tubs to hold our materials. When students go to grab a math tub, it holds 3 folders – green, yellow, and blue. Students grab their just-right tub and get to work. If we were playing a game of Go Fish – the blue folder would have cards for Make 40 Go Fish. The Yellow Folder would have cards for Make 20 Go Fish, and the Green Folder would have cards for Make 10 Go Fish. Same game, just-right for all my friends.
In our listening center, the 3 colored folders fit on top of the shelf. Students can choose any book to listen to. Then, after carefully listening, they pull a recording log out of their folder. The papers in the green folder often include a word bank and space for drawing their ideas, the yellow folder includes more lines for writing, and the blue folder includes a recording sheet for a 2nd grade reading skill. (You can grab these differentiated listening to reading sheets here.)
Here is an example of folders for our Versatile Tubs in Word Work. Our skills for the week were Short E and Beginning Blends. The green folder is focusing on short e, the yellow folder us focusing on blends using picture clues, and the blue folder focuses on blends in the context of complete sentences.
It’s really that simple and effective. Students have access to the content and material that is just-right for them, and it requires little management. I am not planning 15 different reading/math tubs each week. Rather, I plan 3 Word Work activities and just change out the word rings each week. I plan 4 math tubs and just change-out the cards or numbers in the tub each week.
This is what is working for my friends. What works in your classroom? How do you manage differentiate with your friends? I’d love to hear about your system!
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