Category Archives: Differentiated Learning Flexible Grouping

How can you differentiate instruction for an activity work session in a Judaism lesson plan?

Judaism Differentiated Instruction Work Session Activities

Judaism Differentiated Instruction Work Session Activities

Isn’t it great when students are actually excited about coming into your class? When I created my differentiated instruction Judaism activity work session, I looked at the Multiple Intelligence Theory. It brought interests in for the students. Then I went a step further and allowed them to choose the Judaism activity that they were most interested in doing. I also allowed them to choose how they wanted to work; by themselves, with a partner, or in a group. I had them make these choices the day before which gave me time to make appropriate grouping and the right number of copies that I needed. I heard students talking about what activity they were going to do in the halls and at lunch. As soon as they came in the next day they asked to make sure that those were the activities that they were doing.

It surprised me how I didn’t need to level this assignment. It turns out that by applying the Multiple Intelligence Theory for differentiated instruction, students chose an activity that they had a strength in. After I used the MI Theory in this lesson and I saw the excitement in my students, I have tried to apply it to all of my lesson plans since.

I created four different activities so that I could use six of the seven original Multiple Intelligences of Dr. Howard’s Theory. I didn’t worry about putting in the Logical Multiple Intelligence because that would be used in the concluding set when they completed a graphic organizer. The activity options I provided to my students are as follows along with the Multiple Intelligences that are applied:

  • Song: Musical Multiple Intelligence, Interpersonal Multiple Intelligence
  • Rhyming Poem: Linguistic Multiple Intelligence, Intrapersonal Multiple Intelligence or Interpersonal Multiple Intelligence
  • Skit: Linguistic Multiple Intelligence, Kinesthetic Multiple Intelligence, Interpersonal Multiple Intelligence
  • Cartoon Strip: Spatial Multiple Intelligence, Linguistic Multiple Intelligence, Intrapersonal Multiple Intelligence or Interpersonal Multiple Intelligence

In each of these activities I had every student use the same content. This is a very important part of differentiated instruction because all students, no matter what their ability level or intelligence, must be exposed to the content. The content I used is as follows:

  • Abraham
  • Israel
  • Moses
  • Exodus
  • Ten Commandments
  • Torah
  • Old Testament

To find out more about my Judaism differentiated instruction lesson plan, click on the links below.

How can you differentiate instruction for a Judaism lesson plan?

How can you differentiate instruction to teach vocabulary in a Judaism lesson plan?

How can you differentiate instruction for a mini-lesson in a Judaism lesson plan?

How can you differentiate instruction for a writing assignment in a Judaism lesson plan?

How can you differentiate instruction with a graphic organizer in a Judaism lesson plan? offers the Judaism lesson plan above. Check it out! Or, if you only want to purchase this single differentiated instruction lesson plan for Judaism, Click here.

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Kasha Mastrodomenico (Connect with me on

Do you need examples of intrapersonal learning activities?

Intrapersonal Learning Activities


Intrapersonal is a term that is used in education usually when referring to multiple intelligences. Intrapersonal intelligence or intrapersonal learning style is one of Howard Gardner’s original seven multiple intelligences. It represents the student that knows them self. Intrapersonal learners know how they work best and are usually self-motivated people.

There has been a push for the last 10-15 years or so for group work or interpersonal work. Don’t let that push deter you from offering intrapersonal learning activities as well. There is great value in a student being “self-smart”. In the adult world there will be an increasing number of people who work mostly alone, especially in the line of computer based businesses. Most of my work is done by myself. I research by myself, I write by myself and I create by myself.

If your school insists on interpersonal learning activities, perhaps you can use differentiated instruction and offer the same assignment using flexible grouping i.e. offer the same assignment in group work, partners and self work. The students with the intrapersonal learning style will appreciate it.

Students with the intrapersonal learning style will sometimes get very frustrated working with others because they understand the task, they have already made a plan to complete that task by themselves and will usually take over the project if placed in a group. They will resent working in a group because, even though they have offered to take the assignment on by themselves, the whole group gets credit for their work. It can be quite frustrating for them. Below is a list of intrapersonal learning activities that you can offer to your students.

Intrapersonal learning activities:

  • advertisement for magazine
  • board game developer
  • brochure
  • cause and effect chart
  • children’s storybook
  • chronological timeline
  • comic strip
  • crossword puzzle
  • diary entry
  • diorama
  • drawing
  • epitaph
  • eulogy
  • joke writer
  • lego
  • license plate
  • maze
  • metaphor
  • mnemonic acronym
  • mnemonic roman room
  • monologue
  • news article
  • news article comparison
  • nonfiction rhyming poem
  • obituary
  • obstacle course designer
  • persuasive letter
  • persuasive speech
  • play-doh
  • political cartoon
  • post card
  • propaganda poster
  • puppet show
  • schedule
  • simile
  • song
  • super hero story
  • super villain story
  • tattoo artist
  • theme party planner
  • tongue twister
  • wanted poster has all of these intrapersonal learning activities available. This site can help you differentiate instruction to include all of the multiple intelligences by offering choices to your students. All of the learning activities come with rubrics.

Written by,

Kasha Mastrodomenico

How do you explain why activities are different when differentiating instruction?

Differentiated Instruction Misconceptions

Fair is a very difficult concept for many students to grasp. Many students will see differences in assignments, differentiated instruction, as frustrating at all levels of ability. The advanced or gifted student might resent the lower levels because they may see their work as easier or shorter. The lower levels may feel like they are not as good as the upper levels or embarrassed that they were given a different assignment.

It is very important that the teacher differentiate instruction correctly. Don’t just add busy work to upper level students and don’t just take away parts of an assignment for the lower level students.

I try not to level activities at all but to differentiate them using multiple intelligences instead. I also give students the choice of what they want to do and how they want to work (self, partner, group) through the use of flexible grouping. That way everyone is different so no one feels different.

There are some occasions when leveling/scaffolding/tiering an assignment is necessary. Accommodations for SPED and ELL students are constant too which can make certain students stand out more and resentfulness and embarrassment can take place. This is when the teacher needs to step in and explain to everyone that “fair isn’t always equal”, to quote my former Principal Lauren French, Gouverneur Middle School. Explain that all students are starting with different background knowledge and need to be taught from that level and brought up to the next level. No one should feel jealous of another group because at some point in the year, during different concepts, people are going to change levels. You need to bring it down to their level and possibly relate it to a sport or video game. These accommodations or levels of an assignment equal the playing field like a handicap does in golf. helps social studies teachers differentiate their activities and writing through the use of multiple intelligences and  leveling/scaffolding/tiering

Written by,

Kasha Mastrodomenico

How can you use the kinesthetic learning style to differentiate instruction?

Using the kinesthetic learning style to differentiate instruction in your lessons is beneficial for everyone, even if they are physically handicapped because they will be still be able to see and hear, in most cases, the movement. One group of students that it will benefit the most will be the students labeled ADHD because you will be using one of their strengths. Once kinesthetic learning is implemented in a classroom the ADHD students will many times become the “star” students. They become positive role models, which is something that most ADHD students have never had the opportunity to be because of constant redirection by the teacher. Sometimes that constant redirection, albeit necessary, will lead to class clownism or low self esteem.

When I was teaching my three year old daughter, Anna, the four seasons two days ago, I put movement with each season. I had her cross her arms and shiver as she said winter, spring up like a flower for spring, swim for summer and fall down for autumn. It took her about five minutes to learn it and hasn’t stopped. Doing this reminded me that using the kinesthetic learning style can even resemble play.

One area the kinesthetic learning style can be used to differentiate instruction is during the content learning or the “mini-lesson” section of a full lesson. It can last 10 seconds or take 5 minutes. I have used it to teach middle school social studies. When teaching about The Great Depression, I had all of my students stand up and turn their pant pockets inside out in order to emphasize that people didn’t have any money and many times were desperate. I told them that people used to do this during this time and they called it Hoover flags (Hoover was President). It took 10 seconds and yet it got them out of their seat and allowed them to physically do something.

Another example of using the kinesthetic learning style to differentiate instruction would be when I taught about the Silk Rd. It took about 2-3 minutes. I had created a floor map of Asia and had the students take turns and walk across the path or “road” that I had drawn on it. As they did this they traded items with each other like spices, silk and gun powder (fake of course).

A third example of using movement during the mini-lesson was when I taught about the Black Codes during Reconstruction. This actually borders on a short activity because it took a little over 5 minutes. I used flexible grouping and had the students get into groups of 5 they played a game that I created. One person was the host and the other four were the freedmen. I had laid out grids using painters tape on the floor, four deep and four across for each group to use. If a player got to the line they were equal to the Caucasians in the South. The host would allow the players to pick a card one at a time and then they would read it out loud and either move forward, backward or stay where they were. Each card had a Black Code on it so no one ever made it to the line. The students felt frustrated which is similar to how the freedman felt. It showed them how these laws kept the freedmen “in their place”. It also allowed them to move and interact.

Full Classroom activities that use the kinesthetic learning style to differentiate instruction can take a lot of prep work. A great resource that can help decrease the planning is “History Alive”. One of my favorite activities that I created was about D-Day, the Landing at Normandy. I changed the whole classroom around and made it the battlefield. I had a paper boat that the students jumped out of and into the paper water then onto the beach and through the string “barbed wire”. On the other side of the wire were the Germans standing on chairs behind a paper cliff. I made casualty cards; this is what the ARMY uses when doing training exercises. The student had to act out their deaths or injuries, medics would help them, and only a few of them would make it to the cliff. I had gun noises and explosions in the background. It was role play and it was learning. The students always asked to do it several times so each time I would have them switch their casualty card and have a new experience. It was a fabulous 20 minute kinesthetic activity.

Differentiating using the kinesthetic learning style from the multiple intelligences theory can be a lot of fun and useful to the students. Here are some other suggestions for kinesthetic activities that aren’t so content specific:

  • Body answers
  • Building things like scenes with legos or play-doh and then explaining the events
  • Acting (skit, musical skit, comedy sketch, monologue)
  • Role play
  • Touching materials like the silk and spices in the silk road example
  • Creating  and performing a cheer
  • Puppet show
  • Dance
  • Talk show
  • Tasting foods from a certain country you are learning about
  • Diarama helps social studies teachers differentiate instruction using multiple intelligences.

Written by,

Kasha Mastrodomenico

How can you differentiate instruction with examples?

Use Multiple Intelligences to Differentiate Instruction for Content

Differentiation through the use of multiple examples goes along with the UDL (Universal Design for Learning Principles) idea of recognition learning. This is not a complex idea but it does take planning. The idea is that the more examples you give, and in different ways, the more students you will reach and the higher retention of the material they will have. Differentiated instruction can be done through the use of mutliple intelligences or ability levels.

One of my favorite lessons that I created that differentiates instruction in this way was about grids, latitude and longitude, etc.) I used multiple intelligences to differentiate. I first introduced the students to grids by providing the definitions that went along with grids and then I drew them on the board and had the students draw it next to the definition (linguistic, spatial). I also had them stand up for longitude and lay on the floor to explain latitude (kinesthetic). I showed them Santa Clause sliding on a longitude line from the North Pole to the South Pole and said “it’s a long way down to the South Pole” (spatial, linguistic). Next, I handed them a balloon and had them create a globe with a grid and had them label it (spatial, kinesthetic, intrapersonal). Then, they got a partner and they had to use the giant floor grid I had made with painters tape.  One person walked on the latitude line and the other walked on the longitude line and then met at the absolute location. They would then write down the item that was there (interpersonal, spatial, kinesthetic and logical). The last piece of the lesson was to use a map and as a small group find locations (logical, interpersonal, spatial). Notice that I used flexible grouping also in this lesson. There was whole class instruction, individual work, as well as partner work and small group work. I had so many different examples that every student had an understanding of not only what grids were but also how they worked. This lesson took two days. If you would like this lesson, click here.

In this lesson, the same information was provided in seven different ways to students. By providing multiple examples, differentiated instruction is accomplished by teachers. helps middle school social studies teachers differentiate instruction.


Written by,

Kasha Mastrodomenico

What is Flexible Grouping for Reading and How Can It Be Used for Differentiate Instruction?

Use Flexible Grouping in Reading

I found this while doing some research. It focuses on flexible grouping for reading but it does a great job simplifying the concept for any use of flexible grouping in the classroom. I think the charts are great. You might want to take a look at it. uses flexible grouping in differentiated instruction activities, Check it out!

Written by

Kasha Mastrodomenico

How can teachers use flexible grouping to differentiate work session activities?


Using Flexible Grouping helps students of different learning styles

Flexible grouping is an easy way to differentiate work session activities. One way is by providing students three choices of grouping, you are not only differentiating, you are also giving students ownership in their education. It will help both interpersonal and intrapersonal learners. The three choices should be to work by themselves, with a partner or with a group. If these choices are given to the students the day before the activity is to be done then the teacher can use their choices to create workable pairs or groups. Depending on the project or activity the teacher may group by ability level and work more closely with the lower level or the teacher could use mixed ability grouping and allow the students with a higher ability level to guide or teach the students who struggle. It also allows teachers to make the amount of copies needed. Flexible grouping can change with every project or multiple times per lesson. helps middle school social studies teachers differentiate instruction, Check it out!

Written by

Kasha Mastrodomenico