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University of St. Francis logo · College of Education · Regional Educational Academy for Leadership

Differentiated Instruction
EEND and MSED-613

  • Template 2015
  • Section TMPL
  • 3 Credits
  • 07/22/2015 to 07/22/2115
  • Modified 01/08/2020

Mission Statement

As a Catholic university rooted in the liberal arts, we are a welcoming community of learners challenged by Franciscan values and charism, engaged in a continuous pursuit of knowledge, faith, wisdom, and justice, and ever mindful of a tradition that emphasizes reverence for creation, compassion and peacemaking. We strive for academic excellence in all programs, preparing women and men to contribute to the world through service and leadership. 


Provides an opportunity for learners to explore strategies for differentiating instruction so that all P-12 students increase their learning.  Learners will examine and apply methods that engage students in reaching common understandings through the use of different learning modalities, by appealing to different interests, and by using varied rates of instruction along with varied degrees of complexity.


College of Education Mission

The mission of the College of Education is to prepare competent and caring educators who understand students, serve the community and develop professionally to become ethical decision-makers and leaders.

Understanding Students

The primary purpose of this course is to understand the diverse needs and abilities of students and to incorporate a differentiated framework for effective lesson planning and instruction.

Serving the Community

Candidates will support a diverse community of learners as they work to develop lessons for engagement and understanding. Candidates will advocate for students with various skills and aptitudes and share their ideas with a professional community of learners.

Finding Our Professional Selves

Candidates will examine their current practices and make informed research-based decisions. Candidates will engage in professional dialogue and discourse throughout the course.


Access to standards referenced in this section can be found HERE

By the conclusion of the course, each participant will be able to do the following:

  1. Candidates will define and analyze effective instruction in terms of engagement and understanding. (InTASC 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8; CEC Standards 1.2, 2.1, 2.2, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3)
  2. Candidates will develop activities that increase student engagement. (InTASC 7,8,11; CEC Standards 1.2, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 4.1, 4.3, 4.4, 5.1, 5.4, 5.5, 5.6, 5.7)
  3. Candidates will compare and contrast differentiated and traditional instruction. (InTASC 1, 4, 8; CEC Standards 1.2, 2.1, 2.2, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 4.1, 4.3, 4.4, 5.1, 5.4, 5.5, 5.6, 5.7, 6.2, 7.1, 7.3)
  4. Candidates will apply a framework in order to plan effective differentiated lessons and units. (InTASC 5, 7, 8; CEC Standards 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 4.1, 4.3, 4.4, 5.1, 5.4, 5.5, 5.6, 5.7)
  5. Candidates will examine fair practices and grading as related to differentiated instruction. (InTASC 5, 7, 11 [tech]; CEC Standards 1.2, 2.1, 2.2, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 5.1, 5.4, 5.5, 5.6, 5.7)


Cash, R.M. (Revised 2016).  Advancing differentiation:  Thinking and learning for the 21st Century.  Minneapolis, MN: Free Spirit Press.


Discussion Posts & Responses: Candidates will respond to weekly discussion and reflection prompts.

  • Course outcomes 1,2,3,4,5
  • Standards: InTASC 1, 2, 3,4,5,6, 7,8,11[tech]; CEC Standards 1,1.2,2, 2.1, 2.2,3.1,3.2,3.3,4.1, 4.3, 4.4, 5.1, 5.4, 5.5, 5.6, 5.7,6.2, 7.1, 7.3

Teacher Evaluation: Candidates will evaluate their current teaching practices.

  • Course outcomes 1,3
  • Standards: InTASC 1,2,3, 4, 6,8; CEC Standards 1.2, 2.1, 2.2, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 4.1, 4.3, 4.4, 5.1, 5.4, 5.5, 5.6, 5.7, 6.2, 7.1, 7.3

Differentiated Lesson: Candidates will develop a differentiated lesson.

  • Course outcomes 1,2,4
  • Standards: InTASC 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,11; CEC Standards 1.2, 2.1,2.2,3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 4.1, 4.3, 4.4, 5.1, 5.4, 5.5, 5.6, 5.7

Bloom’s Taxonomy: Candidates will provide an example of how to implement Bloom’s Taxonomy.

  • Course outcomes 1,2
  • Standards: InTASC 1,2,3,4,6,7,8,11; CEC Standards 1.2, 2.1,2.2,3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 4.1, 4.3, 4.4, 5.1, 5.4, 5.5, 5.6, 5.7

Creative Thinking: Candidates will implement a creative teaching method.

  • Course outcomes 1,2
  • Standards: InTASC 1,2,3,4,6,7,8,11; CEC Standards 1.2, 2.1,2.2,3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 4.1, 4.3, 4.4, 5.1, 5.4, 5.5, 5.6, 5.7

Using Technology to Differentiate: Candidates will provide a list of technology resources to differentiate instruction.

  • Course outcomes 1, 2, 3, 5
  • Standards: InTASC 1,2,3, 4, 5,7,6,8,11[tech]; CEC Standards 1.2, 2.1, 2.2, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 4.1, 4.3, 4.4, 5.1, 5.4, 5.5, 5.6, 5.7, 6.2, 7.1, 7.3

Instructional Change Document: Candidates will reflect on their teaching and how it has changed to implement differentiated instruction.

  • Course outcomes 1,3,5
  • Standards: InTASC 1,2,3, 4, 5,7,6,8,11[tech]; CEC Standards 1.2, 2.1, 2.2, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 4.1, 4.3, 4.4, 5.1, 5.4, 5.5, 5.6, 5.7, 6.2, 7.1, 7.3

Course Policies

Policies for the College of Education at University of St. Francis

CLICK HERE for policies, including but not limited to:

  • Method of Instruction
  • Expectations of Candidates
  • Online Courses
  • Attendance Policies for Site-Based and Online Courses
  • Minimum Standards for Writing

Course Evaluations | IDEA Surveys

USF has elected to participate in the AQIP Program which requires a focus on continuous quality improvement as part of our Higher Learning Commission accreditation. The information learned during the IDEA Course Evaluations is an important part of maintaining quality and continuous improvement in courses, and it is the University’s expectation that students will thoughtfully participate in this evaluation process.

Institutional Policies

Students should use the USF portal as the first resource for guidance and support on items such as student complaints, safety, security and transportation questions, contact information for various USF departments, student support services such as counseling and academic resources. Information on these resources can be found in the “For Students” section of the USF portal.

A complete listing of university policies and procedures can be found in the University of St. Francis Course Catalog and Student Handbook. For the most current version of the catalog, please visit

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity requires that all academic work be wholly the product of an identified individual or individuals. Collaboration is only acceptable when it is explicitly acknowledged. Ethical conduct is the obligation of every member of the University community, and breaches of academic integrity constitute serious offenses. Since a lack of integrity hinders the student’s academic development, it cannot be tolerated under any circumstances. Violations include but are not limited to: cheating, fabrication, facilitating academic dishonesty, plagiarism, and denying others access to information or material. See the USF Catalog for further clarification and information on grievance procedures.

Services and Accommodations for Students with Disabilities (ADA)

The University strives to be in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA). A student who requires special accommodations or arrangements due to a disability should contact the Office of Disability Services. This contact preferably should occur no later than the first week of classes. Early contact before the semester starts is encouraged to allow sufficient time to provide accommodations. Extra time is needed for some types of accommodations such as sign language interpreters or special text formatting. Should a need arrive after the start of a semester; the student is encouraged to contact the Office of Disability Services as soon as possible. Note that accommodations are not retroactive. Each case will be reviewed on an individual basis to determine reasonable and appropriate accommodations.

USF is committed to ensuring the full participation of all students in its programs, regardless of the course format. If you have a documented disability and need a reasonable accommodation to participate in a course, complete course requirements, or benefit from the University’s programs or services, please contact the Office of Disability Services at 815-740-3631 or [email protected] . The Office of Disability Services is in the Academic Resource Center (ARC) and is located on the second floor of the LaVerne and Dorothy Brown Library in room L214. Consultations are welcome, please contact the Office of Disability Services for an appointment.

Technology Support

  1. The Department of Academic Technology (DAT) administers the learning management system Canvas. If you are experiencing any difficulty using Canvas or need technical assistance, you have several options to receive support, including:
  1. 24x7 Live Canvas Support. If you experience technical difficulties or have a question about Canvas, you can receive support 24 hours a day 7 days a week through the Canvas help menu. From the help menu, select Chat with Canvas Support for a “live” text-based click-to-chat session,
  2. select Report a Problem to send an email support request, or speak to someone directly by using the toll-free number listed under the Canvas Support Hotline.

NOTE: Responses to Canvas’ email-based Report a Problem request system will go to your USF email account, NOT your personal email.

2. Online Self-Service Help Resources. A student user guide and other resources for solving issues related to Canvas can be found at

3. Telephone Support from DAT. You can also phone the Department of Academic Technology for personal help at (815) 740-5080 or (866) 337-1497 (toll-free) between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Central Standard Time, Monday through Friday.

For any technical support issues that are not related to Canvas, please contact the USF Technology Support Center (TSC). You can reach them via:

Notice of Copyright

This course may contain copyrighted materials that are intended to support the learning experiences of students currently enrolled in the course. No student may retain or further disseminate any copyrighted materials, in their entirety or any portion thereof, under penalty of law.

Academic Support Services

The Academic Resource Center (ARC) located in Room L214 in the Library (815-740-5060) offers various types of academic services.  Online and distance learning students can contact ARC for appropriate resources.  ARC serves students who need tutoring in many areas of study including writing and math.  Library services include a number of online services and full text databases.  Call the Library at 815-740-5041 for additional information.  If you need academic-related resources or assistance, please contact the Academic Resource Center.

Additional Items

Course References

Athans, S.K. & Devine, D.A. (2010). Funtastic activities for differentiating
comprehension instruction grades 2-6. Newark, DE: International Reading Association.

Bellanca, J.A. (2010). Enriched learning projects: A practical pathway to 21st century
skills. Bloomington, IN: Solution tree Press.

Brighton, C.M. (2009). Pre-assessment in the differentiated classroom. Retrived
September 10, 2011 from

Brederson, J.D. (2009, June). My Return to differentiated Instruction. Educational
Leadership, Volume 66. Retrieved September 12, 2011 from Http://

Brookhart, S.M. (2010). How to assess higher-order thinking skills in your classroom. Alexandria, VA:ASCD.

Carolan, J. & Guinn, A. (2007). Differentiation: Lessons from master teachers.
Educational Leadership, 64 (5), 44-47.

Cash, R.M. (2011). Advancing Differentiation: Thinking and learning for the 21st
century. Minneapolis, MN: Free Spirit Publishing.

Conklin, W. (2006). Instructional strategies for differentiated learning. Huntington Beach, CA: Shell Educational Publishing.

DuFour, R. & Eaker, R. (1998). Professional learning communities at work: Best practices for enhancing student achievement. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree.

Esworthy, C., Grasley, E., Kaisler, G., Mcllvain, D., Risko, V.J., Stephan, M., & Walker- Dalhouse, D. (2009). Crossing boundaries and initiating conversations about RTI: Understanding and applying differentiated classroom instruction. The Reading Teacher,63(1), 84-87.

Heacox, D. (2009). Making Differentiation a Habit. Minneapolis, MN: Free Spirit Publishing.

Huebner, T.A. (2010). Differentiated learning: Meeting students where they are.
Educational Leadership, 67(5), 79-81.

Kingore, B. (2004). Differentiation: Simplified, Realistic, and Effective. Austin, TX: Professional Associates Publishing.

Mann, L. & Willis, S. (2000). Differentiating instruction: Finding manageable ways to
Meet individual needs. Retrieved September 10, 2011 from Instruction.aspx

Marzano, R. (1992). A different kind of classroom: Teaching with dimensions of learning. Alexandra, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Marzano, R. & Kendall, J. (1998). Content knowledge. Aurora, CO: Mid-continent Regional Educational Laboratory.

McTighe, J., &Wiggins, G. (2004). The understanding by design professional development workbook. Alexandra, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Reeves, D. (2002). Making standards work. Englewood, CA: Center for Performance Assessment.

Schmoker, M. (1999). Results: The key to continuous school improvement. Alexandria, VA: Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Schmoker, M. (2001a, October 24). The Crayola curriculum. Education Week, 21(8), 42–44.

Schmoker, M. (2001b). The results fieldbook: Practical strategies from dramatically improved schools. Alexandria, VA: Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Schmoker, M. (2002, May). The real causes of higher achievement. SEDL Letter, 14(2), 3–7.

Schmoker, M. (2003, February). Demystifying data analysis. Educational Leadership, 60(5), 22– 25.

Schmoker, M. (2004, February). Tipping point: From feckless reform to substantive instructional improvement. Phi Delta Kappan, 85(6), 424–432.

Schmoker, M. (2005). Here and now: Improving teaching and learning. In R. DuFour, R. Eaker, & R. DuFour (Eds.), On common ground: The power of professional learning communities (pp. xi–xvi). Bloomington, IN: National Educational Service.

Schmoker, M., & Marzano, R. (1999, March). Realizing the promise of standards-based education. Educational Leadership, 56(6), 17–21.

Schmoker, M. (2006). Results now: How we can achieve unprecedented improvements in teaching and learning. Alexandra, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Senge, P. (1990). The fifth discipline: The art & practice of the learning organization. New York: Doubleday.

Small, M. (2010). Beyond one right answer: Differentiating instruction is a great way to
make math meaningful for all. It’s just a question of the questions teachers
pose. Educational Leadership, 68(1), 28-32.

Tomlinson, C. (2001). How to Differentiate Instruction in Mixed-Ability Classrooms (2nd ed.) Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Tomlinson, C. (1999). The differentiated classroom: Responding to the needs of all learners. Alexandra, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Tomlinson, C. (2001). How to differentiate instruction in mixed ability classrooms (2nd ed.). Alexandra, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Tomlinson ,C. (2005, November 18). Differentiated instruction as a way to achieve equity and excellence in today’s schools. Presentation at Canadian Teachers’ Federation Conference on Building Inclusive Schools, Ottawa, Ontario.

Tomlinson, C. & Allan, S.D. (2000). Leadership for differentiating school and classrooms. Alexandra, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Tomlinson, C. & McTighe, J. (2006). Intergrating differentiated instruction & understanding by design: Connecting content & kids Alexandra, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

VanSciver, J.H. (2005). Motherhood, apple pie, and differentiated instruction. Phi Delta Kappan, 534-535.

Wiggins, G., & McTighe, J. (2005). Understanding by design (2nd ed.). Alexandra, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.