When teaching a mixed ability class, where do you pitch your lesson? At the top with the most able? At the bottom with those who need the most support? Or maybe you compromise and pitch it in the middle, but how many learners are actually in the middle?
My first foray into differentiation was during an INSETT delivered by Vic Richardson @VictoRichardson. His example of how a task could be differentiated to make an activity accessible to all learners was powerful and resonated with everyone in the room. The very next day, every teacher who had attended that session was experimenting with a graded activity!
The following activity is differentiated by task and the example that was introduced to me by Vic nearly a decade ago. The materials are not the originals but seek to replicate the activity. You may wish to do it as described but hopefully it will also give you some food for thought and an accessible entry into an area of teaching you may have heard of but have found hard to get to grips with. It is worth pointing out that grading an activity or task is not the only way to differentiate- we could equally differentiate by outcome or approach, as well.
Download here: Graded listening
Many thanks to Vic Richardson for inspiring me to delve deeper.