NDSU Distance & Continuing Education (DCE)

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K-12 Professionals

Differentiated Math Instruction for K-8 Teachers

EDUC 600




Instructor: Shawn Gallagher

Grading: Letter

Spring, Summer & Fall (Ongoing)

Instruction Mode: Correspondence

Academic Level: K-12 Professional Development

NDSU Credit Fee: $350

Course Description:

Participants will read the text The Differentiated Math Classroom: A Guide for Teachers; K-8.  This class is designed to allow participants to use their current curriculum in designing differentiated lessons to meet the needs of all learners.  The text offers many ideas for setting up a classroom, creating lessons, designing anchor activities, and assessment in a differentiated classroom.  Participants are given the opportunity to assess their own learning and teaching styles.  Once teachers are familiar with their teaching style, they can create differentiated strategies that are comfortable for them and also meet the needs of various learning style in the classroom.  The culminating project is to design and teach a differentiated math unit grounded with appropriate grade-level focal points and NCTM standards. 


As a result of this participation in this course, students should:

  • Interpret examples of management tools to create a learning community that supports differentiated instruction in mathematics;
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the design of units and lessons, implementation and assessment of differentiated math instruction;
  • Design lessons to that adapt to the teaching and learning practices of the classroom to meet the needs of all learners;
  • Implement NCTM standards to challenge and develop all students;
  • Understand the role of problem solving as a platform for developing a differentiated mathematics program;
  • Identify strategies for developing flexible groups to maximize student learning;
  • Create tiered activities to meet the needs of all students in the classroom;
  • Apply this knowledge in the development of a differentiated math unit.


The required reading is listed below and found in 2 online articles (listed in syllabus). The required text is:

Murray, M., & Jorgensen, J.  (2007).  The differentiated math classroom : a guide for teachers, K-8.  Portsmouth, NH:  Heinemann

Charles,R. I. (2005).  “Big Ideas and Understandings as the Foundation for Elementary and Middle School Mathematics.”  NCSM Journal of Mathematics Education Leadership, 8 (1): 9-25

National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. (2006).  Curriculum Focal Points for Prekindergarten through Grade 8 Mathematics:  A Quest for Coherence.  Reston VA: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

Special Instructions:

Texts/Readings are included in the total cost of the course.

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