Teach Using Authentic, Multi-level Instruction

Key Sites

Annenberg Media provides teacher resources across ages and subjects. This site has many useful materials including video of exemplary lessons.

The Center for Applied Special Technology develops innovative resources and strategies for educators based on the principles of universal design for learning. This site has a wealth of materials.

The Access Center is a program funded by the U.S. Department of Education whose mission is to provide technical assistance that strengthens State and local capacity to help students with disabilities effectively learn in the general education curriculum. Their website is filled with useful resources related to universal design for learning, multilevel learning and differentiated instruction.

Edutopia Initiative of the George Lukas Foundation that provides information and much quality video regarding innovative teaching techniques including inquiry and problem-based learning.

It’s Just Good Teaching. The Northwestern Research Educational Laboratory (NWREL) provides a series on inclusive classrooms in math and science downloadable as pdf documents.Project-based Learning Online. A great resource that walks you through the process of designing project-based learning with many videos of classes in action.

Project Zero. Project designed to “to understand and enhance learning, thinking, and creativity in the arts” based on the ideas of multiple intelligences.

Share2Learn. A great site dedicated to encouraging "sharing between and among people on all learning paths". The site has many resources related to all subjects, and particularly interdisciplinary linkages and utilization of the arts in enhancing instruction.

Effective instruction: Brain-based learning

Practical applications of brain-based research. Site provides many links to resources and information.

Brain/Mind Learning: Caine Learning Center. Many resources related to brain-based learning.

Effective instruction: Universal design for learning

Center for Universal Design for Learning. National center that focuses on theory, research, and practical strategies, particularly related to use of technology, for the design of instruction for all learners.

National Center on Accessing the General Education Curriculum. IDEA 1997 requires that students with disabilities have access to the general education curriculum. This site, a sister program of the Center for Universal Design, seeks to provide resources for teachers and administrators. Here's one of many good resources on their site: Differentiated instruction and implications for UDL implementation.

Effective instruction: Differentiated instruction

Differentiated instruction links. A site that provides links to many additional websites for differentiated instruction for mixed-ability classrooms.

Effective instruction: Authentic multi-level teaching

Authentic Multi-level Instruction (AMI). Comprehensive paper from the Whole Schooling Consortium and the Whole Schooling Research Project.

Multi-level Lesson Plan Guide: Earth, Moon, and Beyond. Jeni Gonzales. Multi-level lesson guide developed to demonstrate the planning process for multi-level teaching and multiple intelligences.

Multi-age instruction. Comprehensive site with many links and resources.

Lesson planning for inclusive teaching

Writing Lesson Plans: Seven Elements of a Lesson Plan. Great site that provides useful elements of a good lesson plan that supports learning by diverse students.

Inclusive instructional strategies

Inclusion Tips for Teachers This site has links to resources of information for teaching children with various disabilities.

Inclusive Education, Strategies for Success A collection of practical strategies teachers have used to successfully include students with developmental disabilities in the regular class.

Inclusive instructional strategies: Workshop learning

Active Learning Practices for Schools. Project Zero site that provides many resources to improve instruction based on use of multiple intelligences and authentic learning.

A Teacher's Guide to Folklife Resources for K-12 Classrooms Materials prepared for the classroom by folklorists and other cultural studies specialists. Includes contacts and resources.

Constructivist Teaching Subtitled "If kids can't learn the way we teach, we must teach the way they learn," this site proposes that educators can no longer merely function as dispensers of information. Educators must become facilitators of learning who show children how and where to access information quickly and efficiently.

Cooperative Learning: Response to Diversity Cooperative learning as a way for teachers to give students an alternative to competition as they take on the responsibility for their own learning as well as helping their peers. The Jigsaw Classroom provides an introduction to this approach to cooperative learning and provides useful resources.

Indicators of Engaged Learning. This is a useful resource for analyzing your teaching to determine how engaged your students are in their own learning.

Learning by Doing. A great site dedicated to hands-on education for students from diverse backgrounds.

The Cooperative Learning Center at the University of Minnesota Links to essays on developments at the Center, information on their purpose and access to past newsletters.

Program for Complex Instruction: Achieving Equity in the Classroom Complex Instruction evolved from over 20 years of research to provide academic access and success for all students in heterogeneous classrooms. This site has links to news, who's who, research, classroom info, and more.

Several websites are available that focus on problem-based learning and provide useful resources. These include the Problem-Based Learning Initiative at Southern Illinois University, the Problem Based Learning program in Birmingham, Problem-based learning special interest group web site, and Problem-based Learning: University of Delaware.

The Innovative Classroom. Site designed to assist teachers in designing and implement authentic teaching and learning.

The Responsive Classroom Developed by the Northeast Foundation for Children (NEFC) site envisions schools as respectful learning communities where educators honor the social context of learning and use knowledge of students' development to inform all decisions.

An Introduction to Classwide peer tutoring A useful resource regarding this strategy.

Effective Learning Strategies. A site that provides descriptions and links to many effective learning strategies.

Inclusive instructional strategies: Multilevel learning activities

Achieve 3000. A recently developed, comprehensive literacy program designed to involve students in reading and writing at their own level of ability. The program is web-based. Students ability levels are assessed and they are matched to reading and writing materials at their own level. All students, however, are working on the same topic. Students work on skills and are also involved in authentic, multilevel reading and writing activities. This program is one of the first commercial programs available that support multilevel instruction and is worth a look.

Inclusive instructional strategies: Leveled lessons

Layered Curriculum. Here's a site by Kathie Nunley that promotes an idea of layering the curriculum and expectations for students functioning at different ability levels. There are some useful resources here. Critically evaluate as you review these materials.

Inclusive instructional strategies: Multiple intelligences

Multiple Intelligences and Learning Disabilities. Online article that explores a more positive approach to students with learning disabilities based on multiple intelligences.

Multiple Intelligences: Introduction and links. Site for Thomas Armstrong. Includes several links to his publications on multiple intelligences.

Emotional Intelligences in Schools. Article explores the importance of understanding emotional intelligence in learning.

Active Learning Practices for Schools. Project Zero site that provides many resources to improve instruction based on use of multiple intelligences and authentic learning.

Key Elementary School and Key Renaissance School Two schools in Indianapolis that have organized their instruction around multiple intelligences.

Multiple Intelligences Resources. References, links to websites, videos, and research reviews.

A fun graphic showing the 8 multiple intelligences.

Inclusive instructional strategies: Scaffolding

Scaffolding for Success. A brief, clear article that describes strategies for scaffolding and provides links to example in classroom instruction.

Scaffolding: Children, on-line learning and authentic teaching skills in primary education
Great introductory article with good graphics.

Schools, Skills and Scaffolding on the Web. Article regarding use of the internet as a scaffolding tool for learning. Practical examples. The same author has other strategies and practical classroom examples in A Scaffolding Strategy.

Scaffolding the development of skills in the design process of educational media. Interesting resource with many links regarding use of media and hyperlinks of learning materials as a scaffold in the learning process.

Teaching the American Revolution: Scaffolding to Success. Site that describes how scaffolding was used in teaching about the American revolution. Some excellent links to other resources as well.

Scaffolding Learning: Strategies for Teaching Reading in the Middle Years. Excellent article describing scaffolding strategies for literacy with middle school students.

Individualized differentiation of learning activities

Nine Types of Adaptation Strategies. Describes strategies for curriculum adaptation developed in Indiana.

Curriculum Adaptations from The School as a Caring Community, an online book about inclusive education. Provides a framework and interviews with teachers who hae made curriculum adaptations.

Curriculum Differentiation. Overview of strategies for differentiating and adaptating curriculum and instruction.

Differentiating Instruction for Advanced Learners in the Mixed-Ability Middle School Classroom.ERIC digest of information on differentiated instruction.

Curriculum Modification Ladder. Describes a simple decision-making tool for developing curriculum modifcations and adaptations.

Curriculum Adaptations using assistive technology and augmentative communication devices.

Accommodation and Modifications: A View of the Relationship between Special Education and Section 504. Article suggests that students who need to receive special education services have more intensive needs than students under 504 plans. Suggests a framework for curriculum accommodation and modifications.

Literacy and language arts

National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE). The largest professional organization related to literacy in the United States. A good organization with many resources.

National Reading Panel. This is the official site of the National Reading Panel report. You may want to compare the summary presented publicly with analyses of the report using the research data reviewed by the panel in the book Resisting Reading Mandates by Elaine Garan. Here is a link to the minority report developed by Joanne Yatvin, a member of the National Reading Panel. She disagreed with the public presentation of results and wrote this report. She was the only practicing educator on the Panel.

Achieve 3000. A recently developed, comprehensive literacy program designed to involve students in reading and writing at their own level of ability. The program is web-based. Students ability levels are assessed and they are matched to reading and writing materials at their own level. All students, however, are working on the same topic. Students work on skills and are also involved in authentic, multilevel reading and writing activities. This program is one of the first commercial programs available that support multilevel instruction and is worth a look.

Center for the Improvement of Early Reading Achievement. A great site that has many resources including relevant research in early literacy.

Four Blocks Literacy Model. Great site regarding Patricia Cunningham's multilevel, workshop learning approach to literacy learning.

Meaningful Strategies for Teachers. A great site by Ellen Thompson who provides professional development for workshop learning in literacy.

Research and Literacy. Here's a link to several very useful articles on research and literacy by Margaret Moustafa. Here's another great article on Sixty Years of Reading Research (But Who's Listening) by Steve Zemelman, Harvey Daniels, and Marilyn Bizar, noted educators who promote workshop learning approaches.

National Writing Project. This is the site of this great program that helps teachers improve their skills in writing by involving them, via professional development, in the writing process itself. A great resource!!

Whole Language Umbrella. Site of the national organization that supports and promotes authentic workshop approaches to literacy learning.


Math Standards. Publication of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. The site of the national organization for mathematics instruction in the United States.

Towards humanistic mathematics education. Article by Stephen Brown outlining issues and approach to humanistic, progressive view of mathematics learning.

Learning activities integrating math and science. Site that provides lesson ideas that link learning across disciplines.

Teaching Inclusive Mathematics to Special Learners, K-6. Link to book by this title by Julie Sliva.

Inclusive Mathematics 5-11. Website and overview of the book by this title by Brian Robbins. Looks like a good resource.

Planning, teaching and assessing the curriculum for pupils with learning difficulties: Mathematics. Site from the UK regarding inclusive teaching of math for students related to their National Curriculum.

Inclusion in mathematics education for students with disabilities. Site part of the overall site for the Mathematics Education Reform Initiative for Teachers (MERIT) funded by the National Science Foundation.

Inclusive Math Communities. A section of the website for Investigations, a mathematics curriculum. A good resource.

Inclusive Curricula: Mathematics and Special Educational Needs. Links to many resources regarding math instruction for students with special needs.

Mathematics for All. Preview of a book by this title by Janine Remillard.

Teaching math to visually impaired students. Website prepared by a special education teacher with substantive experience teaching students who are blind or visually impaired.


Science for All Americans: Education for a changing future. Article and guidelines for teaching science to diverse students from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Inclusive science and special educational needs resources. Comprehensive site regarding teaching students with special needs in science classes from the UK.

Science projects for ALL students: Inclusive science activities. On the website of Hall Sciences.

Inclusion in Science Education for Students with Disabilities Inclusion in Science for Students with Disabilities is helpful for those interested in inclusion for students with a variety of disabilities both physical and learning.

Social studies

Social studies lesson plan site links. Site that provides numerous resources regarding social studies resources and lesson plans.

Facing History and Ourselves. A great site aiming to help teachers link the past to today's moral choices.


Inclusive art classes. Short article that provides guidelines and suggestions for inclusive teaching in art classes.

Art and disability. Links and resources related to the involvement and achievement of individuals with disabilities in the arts.

Very Special Arts. A national program that seeks to involve individuals with special needs in the arts.

Physical education

P.E. for Life. Site and program that seeks to raise awareness about the physical inactivity levels of America's youth and the state of physical education across the nation and
promote the need for reforming educational policy to include mandatory daily physical education classes for children in grades K-12

The theory and practice of inclusive physical education. Thorough article based on a presentation at an international conference.

National Sports Center for People with Disabilities. Site of program dedicated to involving youth and adults with disabilities in sports.

Adapted Physical Education. Site has resources and strategies for physical education for students with disabilities.

Unified Sports. A program operated by Special Olympics in public schools that combines approximately equal numbers of Special Olympics athletes and athletes without intellectual disabilities (called Partners) on sports teams for training and competition. Age and ability matching of athletes and Partners is defined on a sport-by-sport basis.

Disabled Sports USA. Site describing and celebrating accomplishments of athletes with disabilities.