differentiation Archives - Mary Kienstra

Two Words: Small Group

By: Mary Kienstra on: December 31, 2016  in: assessment, differentiation, Engagement, feedback

So many teaching strategies come and go.  There’s always a new idea or the latest gimmick to engage kids in learning.  We have endless lists of buzz words and terms that describe various aspects of teaching and learning.  Of all the strategies I’ve employed, the one that engages my students the most consistently is two words: […] Read more


Classroom Differentiation – Like at the Health Club

By: Mary Kienstra on: June 24, 2016  in: #tlap, differentiation, Engagement, ,

This is the time when teachers make those summer resolutions.  They’re not unlike New Year Resolutions, except they have a summer spin.  Every summer my list includes read more, exercise more, and organize my house.  The actual projects might vary, but the ideas are the same every summer.  Working on my “exercise more” resolution, I realized that […] Read more


Algebra Equation Models

By: Mary Kienstra on: April 26, 2015  in: algebra, differentiation

Algebra can be very abstract for young students, but teaching with Algebra equation models makes it easy to learn.  Students love learning Algebra this way and feel very smart when they can solve difficult problems using concrete models in math class. Students in my classes have learned to solve algebra equations using “Hands On Equations” by Borenson […] Read more




Lanyard Math

By: Mary Kienstra on: January 11, 2014  in: Collaboration, differentiation, Engagement, lanyard, Math

        My latest idea for improving math engagement is what I call, “Lanyard Math”.  Funny thing about this is that it is just the same problems from the student book – presented in a new format that makes them very engaging.         Lanyard math is actually an idea that […] Read more