Overview: Differentiated Instruction

Print-friendly version of directions [pdf]

Estimated time: 60 minutes

Audience: parents & families, educators, administrators


To learn about differentiated instruction, one of the primary components of high quality instruction at the universal level. Differentiating means that teachers organize content and activities so that each child has access to learning.


Viewing videos of different classrooms offers an overview of what differentiated instruction looks like. 

Several websites and articles describe many possible components of differentiated instruction.  The descriptions are short and to the point and they offer examples at different grade levels.

Link to RtI Concepts and/or Research-based practices

Epstein’s Six Types of Family-School-Community Partnerships: Parenting, communicating, volunteering, and decision-making   

Wisconsin RtI Framework essential elements: high quality instruction.


  1. Watch the video, “Teaching Methods: Differentiated Instruction.” Listen for the reasons teachers differentiate instruction.
    For Reflection:
    • At the end of the video the teacher says, “I teach every child to get them to a common destination by whatever routes they need to get there.” Think about how differentiating instruction helps her meet her goal.
  2. Watch the video, “Maize Central Elementary School.” After seeing various types of differentiation you can explore them more deeply using the additional resources below. There are many good resources listed that you may want to come back to later. 
  3. (Target audience: educators) Review the article “Tiered Assignments" and then look at the  Regina Public Schools Saskatchewan Best Practices Website, which has many leveled, downloadable examples. 



  1. Teaching Methods: Differentiated Instruction (1:25 minutes)
  2. Maize Central Elementary School (4:32 minutes)


  1. Regina Public Schools. Saskatchewan Best Practices Website


  1. Tiered Assignments

Going Deeper

Additional Activities

Additional Resources


Group Activity

Estimated time: 60 minutes

Activity Directions for Groups [pdf]

Additional Resources for Groups:

  • None