Tiered Assignments

Tiered assignments are a way for teachers to differentiate assignments in heterogeneous classrooms. The content and objectives for the assignments remain the same, but teachers are able to vary the tasks for students depending on a student's readiness and ability for the task. When using the tiered approach to assignments, teachers must keep in mind that assignments, no matter what tier they fall on, should be interesting and engaging for all students.

Ideas to Consider when using Tiered Assignments:

  • Identify and communicate the lesson's objective. The objective should be something that is measurable.
  • Make sure to conduct a formal or informal pre-assessment prior to giving a tiered assignment, so you can gage whether or not a student progresses over the course of the assignment.
  • Assignments developed should be clear and focused.
  • True tiered assignments should vary in difficulty from tier 1 and up.
  • Students are matched to the appropriate tiered assignment based on pre-assessment results.
  • Conduct a post-assessment to gage student growth.

Watch It In Action

Tech Tool Tie-In

Consider using a tool like Blendspace to create separate tiered assignments for students. Within Blendspace, you are able to incorporate instructions for the assignment, pre-assessments, videos, google docs, surveys, websites, post assessments, etc to create a personalized assignment aligned to each students' level.

Bonus Resource

Check out this handout on ways to tier assignments correlating to Bloom's Taxonomy. Click on the image of the handout to view the entire handout in a separate window.