Teaching by Tieringby: Cheryll M. Adams and Rebecca L. Pierce

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The movement toward inclusion has affected classrooms greatly. Now, more than ever, teachers are addressing a broader range of academic needs in every classroom. But, how can teachers can reach all students when students are so academically diverse, have special needs, and/or are English learners? One way is through differentiating instruction. Differentiating instruction involves structuring a lesson at multiple levels so that each student has an opportunity to work at a moderately challenging, developmentally appropriate level. This article describes one facet of differentiated instruction—tiered learning; and illustrates how to implement this approach through a lesson about organisms and environments.

  • Elementary
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Reviews (4)
  • on Sat Nov 12, 2016 12:46 PM

The article by Cheryll M. Adams and Rebecca L. Pierce was a perfect fit for my next lesson planning session. In Teaching by Tiering, the authors reminded me that tiered lessons create multiple paths to reaching the same goal. They mentioned inclusion and meeting the varied needs of learners. I really liked the way they not only thought about readiness when tiering the learning, but also interest and learning style. The sample lesson was easy to follow and will be easy to adapt to any lesson. The authors gave six steps for beginning a Tier Lesson and some very helpful advice: It takes time, energy, and patience but will clearly be worth it when you realize you are reaching the learning needs of all learners.

Cara Cook
Cara Cook

  • on Fri Sep 28, 2012 11:52 AM

Tiering is a method for differentiated instruction structuring of student lessons with the same topic but with different levels of difficulty. The authors talk about three different ways to group students. They also walk the reader through six steps to create a tiered lesson. An example is provided of a tiered lesson as well. This might be a helpful resource for a new teacher.

Adah  (San Antonio, TX)
Adah (San Antonio, TX)

  • on Tue Aug 16, 2011 11:03 PM

A good article that reviews the basics of “tiered” instruction. The article describes the ways in which instruction can be tiered, and then offers directions on how to “tier” a lesson or unit plan. The article also offers examples of tiered lesson design. If you are looking for the basics on tiered instruction within science, this article is great start. The information in this article can be used at any grade level.

Susanne Hokkanen  (Orland Park, IL)
Susanne Hokkanen (Orland Park, IL)

  • on Thu Apr 03, 2014 2:37 PM

Teaching a classroom with students of differing abilities is a challenge!! This article describes tiered learning where different students work on different levels according to their skills. This is something where you want to start small and then work your way up. Because of its age, some of the links in this article no longer are active.

Betty Paulsell  (Kansas City, MO)
Betty Paulsell (Kansas City, MO)

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