Tips for Differentiation using Formative

Read our tips for using Formative to differentiate your instruction

Rebecca Worden avatar
Written by Rebecca Worden
Updated over a week ago

Read on to find out our tips for using Formative to support differentiation in the classroom! 

🌟Tip 1: Use pre-assessment

Try assigning a formative as a pre-assessment (or putting some pre-assessment questions at the beginning of a formative), then using the results to guide the next steps of instruction. Formative shows you scores in real time, so you can use the scores to put students into groups based on readiness right then and there!

If you set scores to return instantly, you could even have students decide which questions (or station, or reading material) would be appropriate for them to work on next, based on their pre-assessment scores. Here is a great example of a Math formative that takes this approach: click HERE to clone!

🌟Tip 2: Clone and modify your assignments

Cloning your formatives is quick and easy! You can then make adjustments to the content and questions as needed to support different levels of readiness, interests, and learning profiles.

If you are a Silver/Gold user, you can assign your differentiated formatives to individual students within a class, allowing you to ensure that every student is working on the assignment that's best for them. 

Cloned and differentiated formatives can work especially well in flipped classrooms. Students get the content and questions at the right level for them to work on independently at home, and you can provide tailored support and extension in the classroom.

🌟Tip 3: Use different question / content types

Formative has many visual and auditory options for you to choose from. Try:

  • Add images and video to break up your text blocks. Silver/Gold users can add video within questions, too!

  • Silver/Gold users can add audio to questions and give students the option to record an audio response instead of typing or even embed a video response site, such as Flipgrid.

  • Allow students to show their thinking in different ways by using a Drawing question type. Students can type, draw, and upload images of their work to the answer field.

🌟Tip 4: Embed leveled reading assignments

You can embed almost any other site into your formatives! This is a great option when you have different reading levels in a class. Embed a site that automatically adjusts to students' reading levels (such as NewsELA, or ReadWorks), and the differentiation is done for you!

Note: for the site to adjust to your students, you will need to create classes on these sites and assign the reading to the class, before embedding it into your formative.

🌟Tip 5: Send differentiated feedback

Formative allows you to send personalized feedback to your students - instantly!

Silver/Gold users can differentiate their feedback even more by adding images, video, emojis, and audio to their feedback. You can even embed a website into your feedback, too!

🌟Tip 6: Enable edits or retakes

Students learn at different rates. If you'd like a student to retake a formative after re-teaching or further practice, you can delete their responses so that they can log back in and take the assignment from scratch. Another option is to enable edits after submission (this will enable edits for the entire class).

🌟Tip 7: Provide different extension options

You can provide links to extension work at the end of a formative, so that students can continue (and deepen) their learning! You could even provide a "menu" of links so that students can choose the option that best suits their interests or level of understanding.

If you return scores or correct answers to students, they will be able to click into the formative and continue to see the links after submitting. If you do not return scores/answers, then make sure to explain that your students need to click on the relevant link before hitting "Submit"!

📌Have ideas you'd like to share?

We'd love to hear how you use Formative to differentiate in your classroom. You can post your tips, and formatives you've created, in our Community Center!

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