Tiered Assignments are one way to differentiate the curriculum for heterogeneous classrooms. The content and objectives are the same, but the levels of tasks are varied according to the students’ readiness level their background knowledge and skills related to the learning objective. This practice ensures that students understand the information at their level of challenge because it builds on what they already know. Assignments at each tier should be interesting and challenging to avoid students' perception that we expect less of some students than others. Students are very sensitive to the labeling of themselves and their peers.
- Identify a focused, measurable lesson objective.
- Formally or informally pre-assess the students’ current level of knowledge and skill with the topic.
- Develop a lesson assignment that is clearly focused on the concept.
- Determine what the assignment will be for on-level students.
- Adjust the assignment to provide varying levels of difficulty.
- Match students to appropriate tiered assignments based on their pre-assessment results.
- Explain and model the assignments to the students.
- Allow time for students to complete the assignment.
- Assess students’ mastery of the lesson objective.