Differentiating Work in the High School ELA Classroom


I'm a big believer in differentiating assignments. I assign dry analytical writing and half the class is miserable. I assign creative, artistic assignments and half the class is miserable. I assign film, photography, museum exhibits, plays... some love it, some hate it. So what I aim for is to find a balance so that students must try some of what they are unfamiliar with, but can have a chance to truly engage their own gifts and passions. Creating assignments with menus, tic-tac-toes, and different graded levels of work has always generated great results for me. After my first year of grading each project with ten different types of rubrics, I also realized I can create a flexible rubric to help me grade these varied projects. What a lifesaver! 

If you've never encountered differentiation, it's worth looking into. I've found it revitalizing for me and for my students to let them engage their best selves. 

Here's an example of one of my differentiated assignments, the Pride and Prejudice Tic-Tac-Toe Board.  I've used variations of this with lots of books. 

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