Low-Prep Activities Versus High-Prep Activities

Low-Prep Activities Versus High-Prep Activities

Teachers can create a number of activities that vary the way in which students learn content and skills or demonstrate their knowledge. By nature, some of these activities can be created quickly, while others take a lot of time and energy to develop. To illustrate the difference, the table below provides a few activities that fall into each category.

Low-Prep Activities High-Prep Activities
  • Option to work in pairs, small groups, or alone
  • Varied journal prompts
  • Choice of books
  • Options for demonstrating knowledge
  • Tiered activities or products
  • Compacting
  • Tic-Tac-Toe
  • Learning contracts
  • Interest center

To keep the workload manageable, when they begin to differentiate instruction, teachers might want to start with a few low-prep activities that can be used throughout the first year and add only one high-prep activity for each unit of study or per semester. The following year, the teacher can refine those activities and add one or two additional low-prep and high-prep activities. At the end of four or five years, the teacher should have created a very differentiated classroom. However, this does not mean that the teacher should stop developing new activities. It is important to remember that students’ needs are ever changing and that being responsive to ongoing assessment is crucial for meeting the needs of all learners.

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