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Managing the 21st century differentiated classroom

One size does not fit all. Classrooms must be differentiated.

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What does a 21st century, differentiated classroom look like?

A 21st century, differentiated classroom should look and sound different from the classroom of my childhood. It also looks different from one classroom to the next, because there are numerous ways to differentiate.

What procedures and routines help maximize learning?

The foundational pieces for managing the 21st century, differentiated classroom are:
  • Increase active student engagement
  • Establish a positive classroom climate
  • Establish task expectations
  • Increase student engagement through individual accountability

The presentation was created in preparation for professional development for our high school, which will go to a 1:1 learning environment in 9th grade next year.
  • What procedures, routines, and norms help structure and maximize learning time in a 21st Century, differentiated classroom?
  • How do you create a classroom climate where all students are open to learning and participating?
  • What tips can you share with us as we prepare for 1:1 learning?   
This post was written in preparation for our staff development at AJHS.


  1. Hi Tracy,
    1:1 Classrooms are a huge undertaking. Taking the time to set up and practice the "norms" may be key to success at least at the initial stage when everyone is excited about having their own device. I know that at the elementary level we model, practice, model, practice many of our routines. It is time consuming but very worth it in the end. Students realize what is expected and what is not tolerated. That structure helps in many areas of the classroom. If the 'norms' are modeled, practiced, modeled, practiced on a daily basis it could help prepare your students for a year of excellent, uninterrupted learning.

    I always enjoy learning from you and am in awe of the clarity and depth of your projects.

    Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks so much, Nancy! I absolutely agree with you about setting it up norms and procedures correctly from the start. It takes time up front, but will maximize learning for the rest of the year. When it's not done correctly, it's much more difficult to change those later on. I've found that is the truth for all ages.

      I also appreciate your point about modeling it. We can't expect them to come to us knowing, and even if they do, it's still a good review, and good to know that we are on the same page.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment. I appreciate the discussion.

      Kind regards,


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