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Differentiated Instruction: Think - Tac - Toe Activities

Differentiated instruction is a framework of teaching and assessment that involves providing different students with different avenues to learning within the same classroom, so that they can all learn effectively, regardless of differences in ability. This is particularly important in mixed ability classes. Think-Tac-Toe activities are an easy way to cater for a larger number of students.

photo by anarosadebastiani
Think-Tac-Toe plays off the familiar childhood game (tic-tac-toe or naughts and crosses). It is a simple strategy that allows students to choose how they will show what they are learning, by giving them a variety of activities to select from. Students are given a 3 x 3 grid, just like a tic-tac-toe game with the exception that each cell is filled with an activity. 

Creating a Think-Tac-Toe is quite simple and the format can be easily adjusted to practise different content areas.

Think-tac-toes can address multiple learning styles and intelligences. As students are given the choice to pick the activities that they are able to complete successfully, a Think-Tac-Toe can accommodate both the high achievers and the struggling ones.

An example of a Think-Tac-Toe Homework can be found in The Pearl.

Other options:

  • Create 9 activities related to the content that you are covering 
  • Create 8 activities, leaving the middle spot blank for a “free choice” 
  • Provide activities that are below level, on level, and above. 
  • Create activities that are based on different learning styles. 
  • Create activities that cater for multiple intelligences. 
  • Provide activities that encompass all subjects.
You can find more ideas in Mandy Neal's website.


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