There are many different ways to approach to Student center differentiation. Before applying differentiation one might like to look at the 2-D of differentiation which are divided between the teacher dependent dimension and the student dependent dimension. The teacher dependent dimension uses differentiation through content, process, product, and environment. Student dependent dimensions focus on differentiation according to student readiness, interest, and learning profile.  After knowing the 2D in differentiation one then needs to look at choosing learning goals, making practical pedagogical decisions about  the nature of the learning experience, and selecting and sequencing activity types to combine to form the learning experiences. (Hobgood, Ormsby)

When it comes to differentiating instruction, according to the Pennsylvania Training and technical assistance network, Differentiation is not an IEP for each student, chaotic, another word for tracking, giving additional work to accelerated students, or watering down the curriculum. What it is, it is proactive, student centered, a blend of whole class, group, and individual instruction, using multiple approaches, rooted in assessment, dynamic.

There are different strategies when differentiating with a student centered, One graph I found helps explain it.



Instruction Skills, With Experiential, Individual Study, Interactive Instruction, Direct Instruction, Indirect Instruction. For Experimental one could include, skits, role playing, dramatizations, field trips, games, and field observation. For Indirect Instruction, guided inquiry, composing, socratic questioning, unguided inquiry, concept mapping. For Direct instruction, lecture, panels, tutorials, workbooks, assigned questions, tape recordings, and handouts. For Interactive instructions, one can include buzz groups, brainstorming, debate, open discussion, and role playing. For Individual study one could use papers, contracts, reports, Assined questions, and brainstorming.

After searching for multiple examples of differentiated student centered learning one idea I found from the teaching channel called Tic Tac Toe. Tic Tac Toe gives students a grid that gives students an option of completing 3 out of 9 tasks. The goal is to give students choices so they have the opportunity to participate in multiple tasks that allow them to practice skills they have learned in class. As long a student complete three in a row to form a tick tock toe formation. This helps give students a chance to do tasks based off of readiness.

Another is using Menus for projects. A Todd County Teacher, adapted Wormeli menu suggestion to fit her class. What it looks like is in order to get a C on the project the student must complete every one of the Main course options. In order to get a B the student must choose at least two different side dishes, where if the student who wants to receive an A must complete all the side dishes, and finally if a student wants to receive a A they must also have at least one dessert item. This gives students options on what they want to do for the project, and to choose from their strengths. This is a good one that could also be adapted across subject matters.


I also found a list of Instruction Strategies that Support Differentiated Learning.

Acceleration: A strategy that allows a student to study material at a faster pace

Complexity and challenge: the use of higher-order thinking and skills

Computer based instruction: The use of technology to individualize instruction they already know part or all of the material to be studied to work on alternate activities

Flexible grouping: a purposeful reordering of students into temporary working groups to ensure that all students work with a wide variety of classmates and in a wide range of context during a relatively short span of classroom time

Group projects and investigations: activities in which students are grouped by interest to investigate a topic related to something being studied in class

Independent study: activities in which students use their unique abilities and talents to explore areas of special interest on their own

Intelligence preferences: modes that reflect different ways a student expresses intelligence as in systems described by Howard Gardner and Robert Sternberg

Learning centers or stations: collections of materials and activities designed to teach, reinforce, or extend students knowledge understanding and skills

Learning contracts: formalized agreements between the teacher and student that delineate the independent learning tasks a student will do during a unit of study

Learning style: the way student learning is affected by personal and environmental factors

Mentorships: utilization of community and business resource, abilities, and talents to support students in exploration of areas of special interest.

Multi-media presentation and projects: products that require the development of 21st century skills.

On-going formative assessments: varied and frequent opportunities for students to demonstrate and teachers to evaluate progress towards a goal

Open-ended activities: tasks which allow students to take content, process, and product in non-prescribed directions and depth

Scaffolding: any support system that enables students to succeed with tasks they find genuinely challenging

Student interest: a factor considered in offering student choice

Student self- assessment: a strategy that, in combination with teacher assessment, enriches the pictures of student performance

Student choice: a strategy that strengthens performances by increasing student ownership.

Tiered activities and assignments: assignments in which all students work toward the same standards or objectives but at different levels of readiness or ability

Varied questioning: a technique of forming questions with the goal and extending student thinking

Varied texts and materials: a method of matching materials to the needs and abilities of different learners

(Toolbox for planning Rigorous instruction, 2009)

After researching this question, differentiated instruction doesn't sound hard or troublesome. But it does sound like a solution that one could use to help students learn better. Not everyone will learn the same way, so giving students a fighting chance to learn will be very helpful.

For answering my second question: what student-centered approaches or techniques include physical movement as a central element? I looked at various ideas and concepts concerning movement in class.According to Kids Health.orgEdit

=== ===

That moving motivates students and kids.

  1. Choosing the right activities for a child's age: If you don't, the child may be bored or frustrated.

  2. Giving kids plenty of opportunity to be active: Kids need parents to make activity easy by providing equipment and taking them to playgrounds and other active spots.

  3. Keeping the focus on fun: Kids won't do something they don't enjoy.


When kids enjoy an activity, they want to do more of it. Practicing a skill — whether it's swimming or riding a tricycle — improves their abilities and helps them feel accomplished, especially when the effort is noticed and praised. These good feelings often make kids want to continue the activity and even try others.

I found a video where a school tried to incorporate movement while teaching literacy.

Applecross Primary School students improve their literacy through movement

Applecross Primary School students improve their literacy through movement

The concept is to help students learn to read, but to comprehend it on a whole new level.

Sometimes it might seem that there are no chances to use movement in the class, but given the chance to move students do learn better.

Approaches or Techniques:

(Jensen, E. (2015). ASCD Learn, Teach, Lead. Retrieved October 23, 2015, from


  • Used to debrief more common materials such as readings, videos, fieldtrips, etc.

  • Nonverbal form of expression

  • Represents ideas through body-positioning

  • Six steps:

    • Preparation: quick write up on material

    • Word Selection: brainstorm a list of feelings and words that describe the story

    • Review Bodysculpting Rules: can post these rules on the board

    • Model Bodysculpting: model the roles of the sculptor and clay

    • Students Work in Pairs: begin sculpting

    • Debrief: write what was learned in journals

  • Example:

    • A first grade class reads “The Sneetches and Other Stories” by Dr. Seuess. It’s about tolerance and the value of being different.

    • After, they write a quick sentence together on the board together that sums up the point of the book.

    • Then, they do word selection by writing strong feeling words in a journal.

    • Next, they review the bodysculpting rules and model how to do be a sculptor and the clay.

    • Finally, it’s time for the students to model their feelings and strong words.

    • Lastly, the teacher and class reconvene to write one sentence about what they learned from the modeling.


  • Students switch between sitting in a circle and standing behind listening

  • Students in circle ask questions, present opinions and share information

  • Roles reverse

  • Teaches being contributors versus listeners

  • Helps ensure all students participate and see a good discussion

  • Great for pre-writing activities

  • Five Steps:

    • Select a topic for the fishbowl: most effective topics don’t have one right answer

    • Set up the room: circle of chairs with enough room behind chairs for standing students

    • Prepare: give students a chance to prepare ideas

    • Discuss norms and rules of the discussion: many variations

    • Debrief the fishbowl discussion

  • 2 Main Variations:

    • A fishbowl for opposing positions

    • A fishbowl for multiple positions

Four Corners:

  • Debate that requires students to show positions on a specific statement by standing in a corner of the room

  • Options are: strongly agree, agree, disagree, strongly disagree

  • Ensures everyone participates

  • Great warm-up activity

  • Four Steps:

    • Prepare: Label corners and generate controversial statements

    • Introduce statements: distribute statements and give students chance to think and write

    • Four corners discussion: read statements, students move to corner, then students defend corner

    • Reflection: many different approaches to this step

Gallery Walk:

  • Students explore multiple texts or images placed around the room

  • Used to get students to share work with peers, examine important documents, or respond to a collection of quotations

  • Engaging to kinesthetic learners

  • Three Steps:

    • Select texts: students can help with this step

    • Organize texts around the classroom: displayed gallery-style

    • Instruct students on how to walk through the gallery: can encourage informal notes

Human Timeline:

  • Uses movement to help students understand and remember a timeline for events

  • Five Steps:

    • Select content for your timeline: establish context

    • Prepare: place events on index cards

    • Individual or pairs prepare timeline presentations: rewrite timeline item in own words

    • Build your human timeline: students line up in order of events and present cards

    • Retain information and evaluation: optional step

Living Images:  

  • Groups of students work together to bring historical images to life

  • Provides opportunity to practice collaboration

  • Develops deeper understanding of moment in history

  • Five Steps:

    • Prepare: identify collection of photographs for time period

    • Directions for students: put on board or print for students

    • Performances: groups present their living images in silence

    • Debrief: facilitate class discussion about what was revealed

    • Personal reflection: journaling opportunity

  • Three main variations:

    • Abridged version

    • Students find their own images

    • Add music

  • Example:

    • When studying how the United states was formed through a revolution with England and studying the basic principles of the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution in a 5th grade class, this technique could be used. Find more basic pictures from archives, watch movie clips, or find exaggerated cartoons.

Reader’s Theater:

  • Students process dilemmas experienced by characters in a text

  • Present a performance that reveals a message, theme, or conflict represented by the text

  • Best when working with a reading passage that is emotionally powerful

  • Five Steps:

    • Prepare: shorter excerpts allow students to look more deeply

    • Read selections: can read aloud or silently

    • Groups prepare performances: assign scenes, groups read, and groups discuss

    • Performances: many approaches

    • Reflection: ask questions driven to encourage next level of thinking

  • Example:

A 2nd grade class reading a book about bullying could use this technique. It would help model for the rest of the class what really happens and how everyone feels in the situation.

 ​Out of all these different uses of movement in class, I have used, BodySculpting, Gallery Walk, Readers Theater,  and Four corners. As a Kinestetic Learner I feel I teach better at times when I incorporate movement into the class. Other ideas would to take a brain break to have students move around.

According to the Marzano Center, one way to gain students attention to help them learn is to incorporate high engergy activities. That incorporating movement doesnt' need to be dramtic. One idea the website gives is to voce with their feet. By placing the different answer options around the room it gets students up and moving to answer the questions. (

Even time magazine has a opinion on moving around in class. "

When we free ourselves from the notion of one person delivering information at the front of a classroom at a set pace, it allows us to completely rethink our assumptions of what a classroom or school can be. We could then consider having multiple teachers in the same room working with students of multiple skill levels and age groups. A bell would no longer need to be rung to artificially stop one subject and to start the next. Ironically, by removing lecture from class time, we can make classrooms more engaging and human" (