K-12 Teaching and Learning From the UNC School of Education

LEARN NC was a program of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Education from 1997 – 2013. It provided lesson plans, professional development, and innovative web resources to support teachers, build community, and improve K-12 education in North Carolina. Learn NC is no longer supported by the School of Education – this is a historical archive of their website.

About this video

Daniel Lunk
Date created
August 2010
Flash Video
This video copyright ©2010. Terms of use

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In the classroom

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In this video, teachers at Raleigh’s Baileywick Road Elementary School discuss how creating tiered assignments has benefited them as teachers. Includes classroom footage.

This video is one in a four-part series about tiering. The other videos include:

For more on tiering, see the article “Tiering to Avoid Tears.”


Anne Hawkins (00:11)
As a teacher, I am much more relaxed because of tiered assignments. I am able to know what exactly I’m going to be doing for a component of time. I’m able to plan myself around which children need what from me on that particular day. It gives me an opportunity to be more personal with the students, rather than being a facilitator and standing back. And part of what I love about this is the relationship part, and being able to work with them in smaller groups, and individually, and seeing the growth, and the spark, as they begin to experience this.
Anne Hawkins [in classroom, to student] (00:55)
I’d like to see what you’ve done so far today. Show me your progress today.
Anne Hawkins (01:00)
It also frees us up as classroom teachers. If everybody is working at their particular level, then I am not having to stand in front of the class. I can serve more as an individual teacher, and work with smaller groups or individuals, and provide the feedback that is needed either for them to extend themselves, or enrich themselves in a way that whole-group instruction would never allow for.
Anne Hawkins [in classroom, to student] (01:32)
Would you evaluate yourself and tell me is that a good use of your time today? Pardon me? How come? Tell me about that. You’re talking and stuff? So what would be a good way for us to switch that around for the remainder of our work time? Okay, and can you show me what you think is a reasonable goal for you to finish before the end of our work time? So you have a goal now of what you need to finish, and I can count on you for that goal? Okay, I’ll come back and check in just a few minutes and see how we’re working on that goal, okay? Alright. How about you?
Anne Hawkins (02:07)
You spend that quality time establishing the community within the classroom, so that people understand what their part is, what they are valued for, when they come into this classroom. And regardless of what other communities you belong to, this becomes one of your new communities where you are the person that gets to make decisions for this particular community. So it really allows me a great opportunity to be personal with my students as well. And from those personal connections, when we conference and talk with each other, I can find out things of interest to them, and gear instruction in their interest area, which makes them even more engaged on what’s going on in the classroom.
Mary-Elizabeth Robinson (02:53)
I think I feel more successful using tiered assignments because I know that I’m meeting my students’ needs. I think sometimes in the past, you know that this child needs something different, you know this one needs to go beyond, but you felt like you could never get there to do it, or you couldn’t do it for a sustained period of time. And tiered assignments have allowed me to meet my students’ needs, and it does free me up to be able to work with the students who I know need that extra support, and I can spend more time with my students, rather than, almost, running from room to room, or group to group, trying to get everybody on track. It makes me feel more successful.