Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Stacking the ELA Standards for Differentiating Instruction

Hello Friends~
Welcome back to the Primary Pack! It's Dianna here with you today from, Sassy, Savvy, Simple Teaching.
Today I'm here to talk with you a little about looking at your ELA standards when differentiating instruction. This is very important to me when teachers are looking at differentiating small group instruction. It is also very important to see what skills you are expecting students to come to you with & what skills you need to prepare your students for in the next grade level.

Tier 1 instruction is 80% of your instruction. This is what everyone in the classroom gets. This comes from your standards & curriculum. 
Tier 2 instruction is the focus of your small group instruction. Tier 2 instruction is 15% of your instruction. 
During your differentiated small group reading instruction teachers focus on skills & strategies needed for each group. Most small group reading instruction consists of: instructional level guided reading, complex close reading & phonics/word study skills. 

When looking at stacked standards for guided reading on instructional levels, you first need to look at the book levels you will be instructing with. Whatever the book level is [I use the Foutas & Pinnell/DRA level to look], then find the correlating grade level.[You can use any guided reading correlation chart, I just use this one].
[click on the photo above or HERE to download
By: Jen Jones]
Then you need to look at the stacked standards to see what you need to teach up to or down to.

This website is from NC & it is very user friendly! I only have the ELA site. Once you pull up the website you...
  1. Choose the Anchor Strand
  2. Choose the Grade Range
Viola! That's it! Start comparing your standards to work up, on or down with text in small groups! Here is what you will see when you get to this website:

This website is from the NC Department of Education. I am not sure if every state or county has it, or if there is one like it from the Common Core. This is just what I use.

Anyhow, to visit this website CLICK HERE. You will probably want to save this on your computer. 

So my advice in using this website is...

  1. Assess your students to find their instructional reading level.
  2. Look at the guided reading correlation chart to see the grade level comparison is.
  3. If the instructional level is below or above the grade level you teach, look at the stacked standards for literature & informational depending on what genre you will be using in guided reading. You can also look at Writing, Speaking & Listening, Language or Foundational Skills.
  4. Target your instruction according to the instructional standards that meet the instructional reading level.
I know there is more analyzing to it, but that's how I would start using it!

I also like using this website with grade levels during the last quarter of the year. It helps them ramp up their instruction, adding more rigor for what will be ahead for their students the next school year.

I hope this is helpful
information to some of you & you get good use out of it!

Make sure to stay in touch & follow me:


  1. Dianna, thank you so much for this excellent post on differentiating instruction! Your graphics of the tiers are very helpful! Great resouce links! You rock! This is definitely getting pinned!
    Peggy at Primary Flourish

    1. Thanks so much! I appreciate your feedback & the pins!!! Hope this is helpful!!! xoxo

  2. Dianna, I just love how you put this together. Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge. :)

    1. Aww, thank you sweet heart! I LOVE this website, I try to get my faculty to use it more often. It's really helpful when looking at book levels as well with a comprehension focus:-) Have a great holiday!!! xoxo

  3. Dianna- This is amazing! You did a phenomenal job of putting this all together and sharing all this information with us! AMAZING!! Thank you so much for a wonderful post on differentiating. I've never seen this website before, so I am really excited to use it!