So much is made of differentiating for those at the top and those at the bottom. We frequently work to reach those students at the bottom, we worry about how to challenge those students at the top. These are very important because at least half our students find themselves in this category. The vague, ubiquitous middle that most students slide into anonymously.
We say that differentiation is for those at the bottom and top. I contend that lessons and teaching have been tailored so much toward these two extremes, that every day instruction has been lost on the mix. We rarely talk about ways to reach those students in the middle most effectively.
What is considered standard teaching anymore? I would say that standard teaching is differentiating to the top and bottom, so then, we must not forget those in the middle! They are easy to forget. They are your average students that typically do not need a ton of help, but also rarely stand out. What can we do to get those students in the middle to be students heading to the top? What can you do each day to get to those kids in the middle, inspire them to avoid the anonymity of the middle and jump up and grab something more!