Teaching Reading With Differentiation &Technology

Differentiation in a classroom is the most powerful thing a teacher can do for students.  When new textbooks are adopted, one can usually find a “differentiation section” in which the series explains how to adapt curriculum to the students in your classroom.  While this can be helpful, to get the best results, a teacher has to have an arsenal of resources to meet students in different ways.  Below, I outline programs and ways to differentiate using technology.

Please note that I teach in a 4th grade class.  The “average” student comes into my classroom reading at a Q according to Fountas and Pinnell or at the 4th grade level.  They can answer simplistic questions regarding the text but they can not explain answers in depth or use direct quotes to support their answers.  When they leave, they can usually read at a U level in the Fountas and Pinnell system and can write papers that support their ideas about a text. I use chapter books to teach in my class and do not use the basil reading series.

Fountas and Pinnell

Fountas and Pinnell

I am able to meet with students in small groups every day to address their needs.  How I organize my classroom to do this is outlined here.  I include the chapter books used by each group of students below because learning and developing as a reader has to start with reading. Click here to learn more about why students need to read independently and on their level according to Steve Gardiner. 

On-Level Students:

Chapter Books Used & Fountas and Pinnell Level:

  • Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing Q
  • Allie Finkle Rules For Girls Q
  • Felicity Saves the Day Q
  • Ben and Me R
  • The Homework Machine Q
  • Meet Addy Q

Programs and Apps students can navigate independently:

  • Moby Max
  • iTooch
  • Vocabulary Spelling City
  • Study Stack

Below-Level Students:

Chapter Books Used & Fountas and Pinnell Level:

  • Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing Q
  • Stone Fox P
  • The Secret Soldier O
  • 4th Grade Fairy Q
  • I Survived The Battle At Gettysburg P

Programs and Apps students can navigate independently:

Above-Level Students:

Chapter Books Used & Fountas and Pinnell Level:

  • Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing Q
  • Because of Winn-Dixie R
  • Hatchet R
  • Ben and Me R
  • Woods Runner W
  • Ella Enchanted U
  • Tuck Everlasting V
  • Will At the Battle of Gettysburg

Programs and Apps students can navigate independently:

  • Moby Max
  • iTooch
  • Vocabulary Spelling City
  • Study Stack

Creation projects help develop student comprehension quickly.  As a teacher, you must know your students and understand how much support each student needs to complete a project.  For some projects I give all of my students the same end goal and offer more support to students that need it.  In these situations a teacher can also use advanced students to mentor those that need additional support.  Below are some projects that students complete in a school year.

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