Engaging Diverse Learners – Differentiation in Secondary Math

Login and Logistics for this course…

This is a virtual experience. You will need to use the WebEx platform on your computer, coupled with a working webcam and microphone, to fully engage with this experience. If you have any technical difficulties you should reach out to your facilitator (Megan) ASAP. Please plan to arrive at least 5 minutes before the session begins to account for any technical difficulty.

Session-Specific Information: For relevant assignments, links, and resources, please see the appropriate headings under each session. These will be updated prior to each session.

Login Address: https://teachforamerica.webex.com/meet/etsmith

Meeting ID: 798 743 841

Student and Teacher Series Outcomes:

Teachers will…(1) understand and remove barriers that hold their students back from actively participating in class, (2) provide standards-based feedback and differentiated support to all students, and (3) create tiered and scaffolded tasks that promote diverse and rigorous student engagement.

Students will…(1) understand their strengths and areas of focus within their specific math content, (2) have tangible opportunities and support in harnessing their strengths and addressing their areas of focus, and (3) engage with work that best meets their needs as diverse math learners.

Session 1: Barriers Between Students and Content

Section A: Tuesday, January 12, 6:30-8:00 PM

Section B: Wednesday, January 13, 6:30-8:00 PM


Take a few minutes to sit in each seat in your classroom. Write down your observations and be prepared to discuss what you noticed.


  1. Course objectives
  2. Identify Barriers to Student Success
  3. Strategies to Help Remove Barriers in our Classrooms
  4. Removing Barriers in Our Classrooms
  5. Closing


*NEW* Session PowerPoint

Collaborative Document – Tuesday/Wednesday

Removing Barriers in Our Classrooms

Session 2: Using Standards to Adapt, Tier, and Scaffold Content

Section A: Tuesday, January 26, 6:30-8:00 PM

Section B: Wednesday,  January 27, 6:30-8:00 PM


  1. Have recently-updated standards mastery results in your tracker.
  2. How did you implement your removing barriers plan? Successes? Difficulties you want to chat out as a team? (Question 1 in the Collaborative Document)
    • Access your plans here: TUES/WED
    • Collaborative Document for Session 2: TUES/WED
  3. Take a look at a question that is part of your upcoming unit. What skills are needed in order to solve this problem? Starting with the most basic and working your way up, how many different skills and connections does a student need to make with the mathematics in order to solve the problem? (Question 2 in the Collaborative Document) I’ve answered this question for my own classroom in Column 1 if you’re looking for guidance. 

Outline and Resources

Collaborative Document for Session 2: TUES/WED

*NEW* Session PowerPoint

Adapting and Scaffolding Work Time Document

Session 3: Fostering Positive Interdependence in Group Work

Section A: Tuesday, February 9, 6:30-8:00 PM

Section B: Wednesday, February 10, 6:30-8:00 PM


  1. Participants will administer at least one formative assessment or pre-assessment  they created using the coherence maps. Participants will create and implement a remediation strategy to remediate any knowledge gaps that they found during the assessment. Upload work samples to your portfolio.
  2. Participants will complete reflections about the results of the assessment and remediation. How did the student work shape your instruction? What surprised you? What was successful? Any difficulties?

Outline and Resources

  1. Classroom as learning environments
  2. Status in the classroom — How to recognize it and how to challenge it.
  3. Meaningful Mathematics through Groupworthy Tasks
  4. Group Work Norms and Routines
  5. The Teacher’s Role in Group Work
  6. Assessments for Group Work
  7. Work Time 
  8. Close out

Collaborative Document for Session 3: TUES/WED