Differentiation Strategies in Heterogeneous Middle School Class

La Grange School District 105 has various provisions for gifted and talented education. The program in middle school grades 7 and 8 includes advanced classes literature/English and accelerated math leading to Algebra I in grade 8. The middle school in the district also manifests foundations based on the heterogeneous middle school philosophy. As a consequence, the science and social studies classes remain in heterogeneous groups with support for advanced students through differentiation in the regular classroom. This presentation expands on various differentiation provisions and strategies that can be used depending on the area of study. The Differentiation Diamond model initiates the class or unit through a whole-class anticipatory set, engaging all students in a large group setting. During the middle portion of the class, differentiated activities are prescribed and coordinated based on a bell-curve structure of basic, core and advanced. The premise of this presentation includes the assumption that there are a variety of appropriate differentiation strategies and use of certain strategies can vary and depend upon specific subject areas and topics in science and social studies.