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Integrating Differentiated Instruction & Understanding by Design: Connecting Content and Kids Paperback – 2006

ISBN-13: 978-1416602842 ISBN-10: 1416602844 Edition: 1st
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Integrating Differentiated Instruction & Understanding by Design: Connecting Content and Kids + How to Differentiate Instruction in Mixed-Ability Classrooms, 2nd Edition (Professional Development)
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Teachers struggle every day to bring quality instruction to their students. Beset by lists of content standards and accompanying "high-stakes" accountability tests, many educators sense that both teaching and learning have been redirected in ways that are potentially impoverishing for those who teach and those who learn. Educators need a model that acknowledges the centrality of standards but also ensures that students truly understand content and can apply it in meaningful ways. For many educators, Understanding by Design addresses that need.


Simultaneously, teachers find it increasingly difficult to ignore the diversity of the learners who populate the classrooms. Few teachers find their work effective or satisfying when they simply "serve up" a curriculum - even an elegant one - to students with no regard for their varied learning needs. For many educators, Differentiated Instruction offers a framework for addressing learner variance as a critical component of instructional planning.


In this book the two models converge, providing readers fresh perspectives on two of the greatest contemporary challenges for educators: crafting powerful curriculum in a standards-dominated era and ensuring academic success for the full spectrum of learners. Each model strengthens the other. Understanding by Design is predominantly a curriculum design model that focuses on what we teach, and how we teach. Carol Ann Tomlinson and Jay McTighe show you how to use the principles of backward design and differentiation together to craft lesson plans that will teach essential knowledge and skills for the full spectrum of learners.


Connecting content and kids in meaningful ways is what teachers strive to do every day. In tandem, UbD and DI help educators meet that goal by providing structures, tools, and guidance for developing curriculum and instruction that bring to students the best of what we know about effective teaching and learning.

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

<P style="MARGIN: 0px"> Carol Ann Tomlinson's career as an educator includes 21 years as a public school teacher, 12 years as a program administrator of special services for struggling and advanced learners. She was Virginia's Teacher of the Year in 1974. More recently, she has been a faculty member at the University of Virginia's Curry School of Education, where she is currently William Clay Parrish Jr. Professor and Chair of Educational Leadership, Foundations, and Policy. Also at UVa., she is Co-Director of the University's Institutes on Academic Diversity. She was named Outstanding Professor at Curry School of Education in 2004 and received an All University Teaching Award in 2008. Special interests throughout her career have included curriculum and instruction for struggling and advanced learners, effective instruction in heterogeneous settings, and encouraging creative and critical thinking in the classroom.

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<P style="MARGIN: 0px">Carol is a reviewer for eight journals and is author of over 200 articles, book chapters, books, and other professional development materials. For ASCD, she has authored several books including How to Differentiate Instruction in Mixed-ability Classrooms and The Differentiated Classroom: Responding to the Needs of all Learners. Carol's books on differentiation have been translated into 12 languages. She works throughout the U. S. and abroad with teachers whose goal is to develop more responsive heterogeneous classrooms. 

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<P style="MARGIN: 0px"> 

<P style="MARGIN: 0px"> Jay McTighe brings a wealth of experience developed during a rich and varied career in education. He served as director of the Maryland Assessment Consortium, a state collaboration of school districts working together to develop and share formative performance assessments. Prior to this position, Jay was involved with school improvement projects at the Maryland State Department of Education where he directed the development of the Instructional Framework, a multimedia database on teaching. Jay is well known for his work with thinking skills, having coordinated statewide efforts to develop instructional strategies, curriculum models, and assessment procedures for improving the quality of student thinking. In addition to his work at the state level, Jay has experience at the district level in Prince George's County, Maryland, as a classroom teacher, resource specialist, and program coordinator.

<P style="MARGIN: 0px"> 

<P style="MARGIN: 0px">Jay is an accomplished author, having coauthored 10 books, including the best-selling Understanding by Design series with Grant Wiggins. He has written more than 30 articles and book chapters, and has published in leading journals, including Educational Leadership (ASCD) and The Developer (National Staff Development Council).

<P style="MARGIN: 0px"> 

<P style="MARGIN: 0px">Jay received his undergraduate degree from the College of William and Mary, earned his master's degree from the University of Maryland, and completed post-graduate studies at the Johns Hopkins University. He was selected to participate in the Educational Policy Fellowship Program through the Institute for Educational Leadership in Washington, D.C., and served as a member of the National Assessment Forum, a coalition of education and civil rights organizations advocating reforms in national, state, and local assessment policies and practices. Jay has an extensive background in professional development and is a regular speaker at national, state, and di

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 199 pages
  • Publisher: Assoc for Supervision and Curriculum Development; 1st edition (2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416602844
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416602842
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 7.1 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,167 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Carol Ann Tomlinson is Associate Professor of Educational Leadership, Foundations and Policy at Curry School of Education, University of Virginia.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

78 of 82 people found the following review helpful By Timothy Haugh VINE VOICE on June 24, 2006
Format: Paperback
Each well-known separately in educational circles--McTighe as one of the developers of UbD and Tomlinson as the guru of differentiated instruction--they have come together to write a book that is an attempt to meld their philosophies. In that, they are at best partially successful.

Though I am a supporter of much of the work of both of these authors, I found little new here that hasn't been said better elsewhere. On top of that, I didn't really find this book to be a melding of their ideas. It was more an experience of two people explaining their own thing in alternate stretches of prose with only a modest attempt at linking them together.

For someone not familiar with either author's earlier work, this could be a valuable introduction. On the other hand, I would point a reader to their individual work before suggesting this one.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By S. Cornett on November 11, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book because it is the required text for a grad class I am taking, but it is one of the best "required texts" I have had in any course.

I already am familiar with Differentiated Instruction and Understanding by Design, but I found the way they are showing the correlation between the two to be very useful.

The authors don't try to impress the reader with their extensive vocabulary, but rather they explain their ideas in clear concise language. Since I have usually had a long day of teaching before I sit down to tackle the assignment, it is wonderful to have a book that is not a chore to read.

Thanks for a great text!
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Sean on September 6, 2008
Format: Paperback
I had to purchase this book for a grad class, and wasn't able to make it through more than a few pages at a time. The concepts behind Understanding by Design and Differentiated Instruction really aren't that hard to grasp; in fact, I think I sufficiently summed it all up to a friend in about 10 seconds, so I fail to see the need for 175 pages on it. It gets redundant by the second chapter, and they spend far too much time expounding on why UBD and DI are so necessary, rather than actually giving you helpful advice on how to implement them.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By C. M. Woodworth on August 31, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a professional educator who is interested in curriculum development and student success, I couldn't put this book down! Tomlinson an McTighe are both experts on their perspective topics of differentiation and assessment, so the pairing of these two made for informative reading. We want to reach every student to the point that they understand the essential learnings, and these two make numerous practical suggestions so that practitioners in the field can better design and implement plans for reaching students' needs, which would naturally lead to academic improvement.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By MAT Candidate on December 10, 2012
Format: Paperback
"Integrating Differentiated Instruction and Understanding by Design" is a text that describes one strategy for teachers to implement effective teaching strategies and aligned assessment. The text discusses ways that teachers can plan units and lessons that align standards, objectives, activities, and assessments. The text further explains how to write essential questions for each subject area, differentiate your instruction effectively, and accommodate for diverse classrooms.

This text is great for pre-service and in-service teachers as it was one method that covers the topics that all my MAT classes have discussed in my first semester of my master's program. The text is also written in a clear and concise manner that is easy to understand. As well as the text is supplemented with clear graphic organizers that clarify the written text and point to the important information. The text has a lot of content specific jargon and is thus best for professionals or persons training to be a professional in this field.

This text is one that, as I prepare to write units and more lessons, I will continue to refer back to for guidance. In all honesty, I will never use all strategies listed in this text, but there is a lot of beneficial information that I will be using in the near future.
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30 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Barry Garelick on September 10, 2010
Format: Paperback
I recently took a math teaching methods class in education school--a remarkable class for its embrace of every educational fad I detest. One book we had to read in the class was "Integrating Differentiated Instruction and Understanding by Design" by Carol Ann Tomlinson and Jay McTighe.

This book is popular in the education school and professional development circuit. It also hit every hot button I had as evidenced by my copy of the book: it is missing the front cover, which tore off when I hurled it across my bedroom.

Even worse than the book itself were the discussions in class that came out of it. One event in particular stands out. In a chapter that discussed the difference between "knowing" and "understanding", a chart presents examples of "Inauthentic versus Authentic Work". In this chart "Practice decontextualized skills is listed as inauthentic and "Interpret literature" as authentic. The black and white nature of the distinctions on the chart bothered me, so when the teacher asked if we had any comments, I said that calling certain practices "inauthentic" is not only pejorative but misleading. I asked the teacher "Do you really think that learning to read is an inauthentic skill?"

She replied that she didn't really know about issues related to reading. Keeping it on the math level, I then referred to the chart's characterization of "Solve contrived problems" as inauthentic and "Solve `real world' problems" as authentic and asked why the authors automatically assumed that a word problem that might be contrived didn't involve "authentic" mathematical concepts. "Let's move on," she said.

Both this incident and this book remain in my mind because they are emblematic of the educational doctrine that pervades schools of education.
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