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TXTS 4 Teachers

Filtering by Tag: Differentiation

Today's Goal: Find Dazzling Differentiated Texts Easily

Marlys WeaverStoesz

Today’s Goal: Find Dazzling Differentiated Texts Easily!

We all know the value of utilizing high-interest, authentic texts that are differentiated by students’ Lexile levels. Unfortunately, time is a teacher’s worst enemy, and our best intentions often are sacrificed to competing interests.

Today’s resource is a ready-made resource for the time vs. differentiated authentic text conundrum.

The above link takes you to Common Lit’s home page.  In addition to its thoughtful thematic organization with paired texts, teachers can search by both grade level and Lexile ranges.  Moreover, Common Lit recently added a “Guided Reading Mode” feature; the introductory video is well worth a few minutes of viewing.

Users are asked to register, which carries the benefit of regular updates featuring new material.

Happy lit hunting!

Learning Menu: Math

Marlys WeaverStoesz

In her article, “Using Math Menus,” Burns shares the underlying benefits and specific math menu items to strategically tackle “The Big Three” burning teacher questions (Burns, 2016, p. 40).

What do I do with students who finish their math assignments more quickly?

How can I free up time to work with students who need extra help?

How can I differentiate experiences to support struggling learners while also meeting the needs of students who require additional challenges

Here is one such menu item, entitled “The Game of Pathways.” We have summarized the strategy below, but we invite you to visit Marilyn Burns’ blog for in-depth directions at

Create 4X5 game board grids.

Complete the grid with “numbers that are products of two of the factors below the grid.”

Students play in pairs on the same board.

The goal is for each student to “X off” connected “pathways” of squares from one side of the grid to the other.

Player One chooses two factors and puts an “X” in the square with the product of the two factors.

Player Two changes one of the factors previously used and then puts an “X” on the product of the new two factors.

Players continue to change a factor from their opponent’s previous move.

The first player to finish a pathway wins the game.

Burns, M. (October 2016). Using math menus: giving students a menu of activities to choose from helps differentiate instruction and engage all learners. Educational Leadership, 74 (2), 40.