Advice for differentiation based on IEP

Hi everyone! I am wondering how you all differentiate for students with IEPs. Specifically, is there a way to limit answer choices, provide sentence stems or something similar only for specific students? I have thought of cloning and editing the clone but wasn’t sure if there was another way. Any suggestions are welcome. Thanks in advance!


@MrsRochon, I teach Algebra 1 and instead of using one big Formative for a learning concept, I use several smaller Formatives that build. That way, the concept is differentiated for ALL my students, not just those with IEPs. Students start at the first concept, get help as needed, and move along the concept path until they reach a level equivalent to what would be on the test.

If any students appear to be ‘staring’ like they are stuck, I either give them a feedback prompt or I go and talk with them one on one.

I will use your previously posted standard and tell you how I might break it down into mini-formatives that build to that standard.

1.1 Identify Place Values (students can choose from MC, type ‘tenths’ ‘hundredths’ ‘thousandths’ as the answer to a Short Answer problem, or with Premium can sort a set of problems into the three categories) - This would help me identify right away do they know what place value even is.
1.2 Read Place Values (Students are given MC options for given decimals. Set to give answers upon submission to prevent guessing. Can be set to multiple submissions or you can stop and go over any missed problems, then reset all answers and have the student try again. You can even use the Premium voice recording suggestion to see if students put ‘and’ in the right place as well as the ‘-ths’ on each place value.)
1.3 Write Place Values (Auto-scoring. Give students various decimals and have them type the correct way to write the decimal. If spelling is an issue, you can either add in answer choices for how you think students will answer, or actively monitor and manually change scores as they work. I like to make all questions 10 points so I can award 3 points (orange) and a feedback comment if they are off track, 5 points (yellow) for mostly right, small error, and 8-10 points (green) for you have the right answer but it wasn’t entered the exact way I did.)
1.4 Compare Same Place Values (compare tenths to tenths, etc, to see if kids know which < > sign to use)
1.5 Rewrite Place Values (Have students rewrite two different decimals so they have the same number of decimal places)
1.6 Compare Different Place Values (I would build in a few rewrite problems at the the beginning - #1 rewrite , #2 write comparison statement. I might also include a Multiple Select problem, where students choose all the decimals greater than a given decimal.)

Chunking the standard this way allows for students to work at their own pace and for you to catch specific errors earlier. :slight_smile:


I use a progression of learning for formatives similar to your breakdown. I have students who are below level significantly and scaffold accordingly but the ESE team likes us to follow their IEP as much as possible when in the gen Ed setting with grade level materials. I have given less questions etc but would like to play around with other common accommodations such as stems or less choices 3 vs 4 or 5.


Then I think your clone would work well. I wonder if you could hyper link a picture (something not so obvious) from the original Formative you assign the class? (If it’s the Guest link, then you can still see the student’s responses (since they are logged in when they click the link.))

I just tested it out and you can put a picture in a text box and hyperlink it. That way, your IEP kids know what picture to look for all the time, but your non-IEP students won’t have a clue that it’s there (unlike hyperlinked text.) I copied and pasted the grinning emoji in this post, but it showed up in the Formative as a camera. Perhaps you could test different icons to see which one (ones) won’t be obvious and cause students to question why it’s there (and end up clicking it.)

I’m so glad you asked about this! I can totally see me using this for my IEP and ELL kiddos next year.


I’ve been experimenting, but the only ‘icon’ I can seem to go to appear in the Formative is the camera :camera:. @david, are there any other icons that would show up? If there was a way to allow even a few common emojis to be typed then it would seem more natural for the students and they might not even notice that the icon is clickable.


Thank you! I only have my iPad until next weekend-semi disconnecting lol so I haven’t had a chance to play :slight_smile:


@tricia.mintner I think that the camera symbol is just a place holder if you try to paste in any image. We offer emojis as a premium feature! If you have premium, you can use them to create questions and send feedback to students! Simply type “:” and then select the emoji that you would like to enter!

That’s cool. :slight_smile: I must have missed that in the crazy last days of school! Would that feature also work in non-feedback areas like text boxes?

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Yep! It works there as well!