Differentiation: whiteboard cues, labels, worksheet templates - ROAD theme

Differentiation: whiteboard cues, labels, worksheet templates - ROAD theme


Here’s how to differentiate your lessons with speed and ease. Modeled on Carol Anne Tomlinson’s “Must do, Should do, Could do” idea, this product leads students up the path so to speak with a “Smooth Road", "Winding Road" and "Rugged Road" theme.


Adhere the labels to your whiteboard (I laminate, then use self-adhesive magnetic tape), then write appropriate activities under each. So…

  • "Smooth Road" activities - for students working at below the expected curriculum level;
  • "Winding Road" activities - aimed at the curriculum level; and
  • "Rugged Road" activities - for students who need extending and are generally working above the expected curriculum level.


In this pack you will get:

In PDF Format - the cues/labels:

a. A front page with an example of the whiteboard cues in use with level-appropriate activities written under each.

b. Larger landscape width sized cues for your whiteboard, or for the sides of trays – 4 different colors.

c. Smaller portrait width sized labels for the ends of trays of smaller draws etc – 4 different colors.

d. An example doc showing so you can see how I used these worksheets for a couple of lessons about WWI.

e. Another example doc showing you how I used the template for a lesson about setting in Evan Hunter's short story, "On the Sidewalk Bleeding".

f. Within the WWI example above you get a bonus resource - my version of a Y-chart where students traditionally note what they might see, hear, feel. I've added smell and what they would say. Use it for any time you might want students to empathize with a character.

In Microsoft Word Format - the worksheet templates (SEE PREVIEW FOR THIS DOC):

a. Worksheet templates with all 3 levels on one page. Available in all 4 colors.

b. Worksheet templates with 1 level per page. Available in all 4 colors.

NOTE: Worksheets are headed with room for:

· Student name

· Lesson’s Big Question

· WALT (We are learning to…)

· Two options regarding which activity to start from / complete – you just delete one or highlight the one you want

All YOU need to do is add your activities onto the appropriate sheet. Of course, you can edit this document to suit your needs.

In Google Doc Format - a link to the worksheet templates as explained above.


In terms of setting levels for students. You could ask students to:

1. All begin at the “Smooth Road”, then slowly work their way onto the “Winding” and perhaps then “Rugged” roads if they feel able or if there’s time; OR

2. Choose for themselves which level they feel most comfortable with and, this lesson, work only on the task for that level.


In terms of structuring your lesson around these, you can:

  • Simply use them when you’re writing activities onto the whiteboard (I plan electronically, so have plenty of room to whip up a rough plan for 3 levels, but you’ll actually get quick at doing this off the cuff too!)
  • Put worksheets in 3 different (labeled) trays as a lesson starter. As students enter the room, they pick up the starter from the tray they feel most comfortable with. (Have your trays near the classroom entrance.)
  • Use the worksheet templates as a handout when you’re up to that part of your lesson.
  • Ask students to collect their homework from the tray (level) they think is most appropriate for them.


Honestly, using this method is awesome! Less able students enjoy it because they have been able to complete everything that was necessary that lesson (“Smooth Road”), while the more able students feel extended and enriched (“Winding Road”). YOU feel great because you’ve just differentiated your lesson like a boss!


PS: Another little tip? I have ‘fluffy felt’ walls so I also put a self-adhesive Velcro dot (hook side) onto one end, then when I’m not using them I ‘hang’ them on the wall just below the whiteboard. Happy days!


This product also comes in a "Sports" theme.