I am really struggling with this. At my last school, they were huge on NO modifications. You differentiated by the level of support that you offered. Using a third grade teacher as an example, that teacher was responsible for teaching third grade content only, even if she had students in her class that were years behind grade level. Even if there was a student (even a student identified for sped) that was working on basic adding and they were in a multiplication unit, it was expected that the child be exposed to the multiplication just like everyone else, even knowing that he didn't have the background to do the skills. We followed a workshop model, so during the "you do" the teacher would pull students who didn't get it into a small group to review the material. At this time, they were still working on grade level material...she was just differentiating by the level of support she was offering. Skill deficits were addressed in interventions, where using below grade level work was permitted (for both identified sped students and non identified students who were just behind). I'm not saying this is the correct way, just the way that I had drilled into my head for two years through countless PD. I was even told repeatedly that if I provided modified work for my sped students in gen ed, they would not qualify for real diplomas in HS. At my new school, the philosophy is completely the opposite. They want EVERYTHING to be differentiated. This is not something the school has done before, but the test scores are not good and the new admin thinks this is a way to raise them. There are no out of class interventions offered except for identified students in sped and those that are "high partially proficient" (aka those that have the best chance of being proficient on the test with a little push, leaving the low non-identified students totally up to the classroom teacher). The problem we're having is that they're not giving us clear direction on what exactly they want that to look like. Many teachers are in the same boat as I am, where they have been trained to stick to the "rigorous" grade level curriculum. Essentially what we have gathered is that they don't want to see any kids doing any activity that is way over their heads, since they will not be engaged (their other big mantra-engagement). I agree that my last school should have differentiated more, but as a 3rd grade teacher, isn't it still my responsibility to at least expose my students to 3rd grade standards? I have about 6 non-readers, only two of which are identified for sped and getting extra support. Obviously, they are unable to complete most skills at grade level...but don't I have to still at least expose them to the skills? So, how do you differentiate? We're doing centers with guided groups, and my centers are color coded where each student knows to do the activity that corresponds with their color (ability grouped) and of course the guided groups are differentiated. What about whole group though, with the modeling and guided practice? Would you have some students doing something differently during that time, and what would it look like?