Illustration by Kate Moore

5 Steps to Differentiated Activity Stations

Use Pear Deck Student-Paced Mode to Differentiate

When you have diverse student needs it’s tough to quickly group students into appropriate activities, give attention to those who need it most, and not lose track of what each student is doing. Here’s how Pear Deck Student-Paced Mode can help:

  1. Create Diagnostic Questions
    Create a Pear Deck with 1–3 diagnostic questions to see what your students remember or already understand about the topic.
    This is a great time to use Multiple Choice Questions. You can put in common misconceptions as answer options to help you quickly see what kinds of mistakes your students might be making.
  2. Create Activity Decks
    For the students who get the answers correct, create a Deck of advanced questions or research to push their thinking and understanding to the next level. 
    For students who pick an answer that demonstrates a slight technical misunderstanding, create a separate Deck of practice problems and metacognitive questions to help them better understand the mistake.
    If students pick an answer that clearly demonstrates they don’t understand the concept, you will be able to work with them directly (with or without a separate Deck, depending on what makes the most sense for the topic).
  3. Start Class and Run Diagnostic
    Before class starts, get all your Pear Deck Sessions launched. You can click Start Presenting on both of your Activity Decks and switch them into Student-Paced Mode before class even starts. Make sure to open the Session Dashboard for both Decks in a separate tabs.
    Finally, launch your Diagnostic Deck and get all students logged in as they enter class.
  4. Group Students Based on Answers
    Looking at the aggregate answers, you can move students to the different activity stations and give them the appropriate Join Code.
    Then, ask the students who will be working with you to gather around a particular table.
  5. Know What Each Student is Doing
    With your other students working on Student-Paced Pear Decks, you can focus your attention on the students who are struggling the most with today’s topic. But you don’t want to abandon the others completely, so how can you keep tabs on what they are doing?
    Since you already opened the Session Dashboard for each Student-Paced Deck in separate tabs, just take a quick glance at those tabs to make sure students aren’t getting stuck. Later you can review their answers and highlight particular responses on the Projector Screen.
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