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Advancing Differentiation

Thinking and Learning for the 21st Century
(Revised & Updated Edition)


Advancing Differentiation will lead you through the process of creating a thriving, student-centered, 21st-century classroom. Since its initial publication, the book’s materials have undergone rigorous testing and refinement in classrooms all over the world to deliver the best and most effective differentiation strategies. The strategies in this book will help you:
  • Deeply engage every learner while challenging students to think critically, self-regulate, and direct their own learning
  • Set new roles for student and teacher that encourage learner autonomy
  • Employ cutting-edge techniques for designing rigorous E4 curriculum (effective, engaging, enriching, and exciting)
This revised and updated edition features:
  • A primer on differentiation, which answers the crucial question, Why differentiate at all?
  • Self-assessment surveys, observation forms, and new ideas for increasing proficiency in classroom differentiation
  • Ways to address the changing needs of the future workforce
  • More articulated curriculum design defining the differences between strategies and skills—refining the levels of conceptual knowledge
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Paperback $39.99 81418 Paperback 81418 $39.99

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ISBN: 978-1-63198-141-8
Audience: Educators for grades 3–12
Trim Size: 8.5" x 11"
Page Count: 240
Digital Content: Includes all of the book’s customizable and printable forms, a PDF presentation for professional development, and a PLC/Book Study Guide.
Praise for Advancing Differentiation: Thinking and Learning for the 21st Century (Revised & Updated Edition)

“If you find it difficult to navigate the often-perilous landscape of differentiation, Dr. Cash is the guide and guru you need. His gift to you is this survival kit. Use it well!”—David Michael Slater, teacher and author of over twenty books for children, teens, and adults
“My graduate students call this the ‘blue book,’ an apt title for a volume that defines value in education. They routinely report that they keep their copy on their desks long after their course is over. The second edition is even stronger than the first, with its increased focus on concept and capacity building. Many view differentiation in standards-based classrooms as an impossible dream, but Richard Cash joyfully and capably provides valid and viable strategies for teachers who know in their hearts that there is more to education than one-size-fits-all thinking.”—Frances R. Spielhagen, Ph.D., professor of education and director of the Center for Adolescent Research and Development (CARD) at Mount Saint Mary College
Advancing Differentiation is a game changer! This book helps me navigate through the challenges of differentiation by providing rigorous and practical methods that help my students uncover the deeper layers of learning.”—John Born, 7th-grade social studies teacher
Advancing Differentiation is a fantastic resource for teachers and teacher leaders to develop their understanding of differentiation. This book provides a number of powerful tools for teachers to develop their questioning skills, embed critical thinking into their classrooms, and create a learning environment that will motivate and engage a diverse range of learners.”—Jake Duke, STEM curriculum developer, Bellevue School District
“Cash adeptly blends advanced content, complex thinking, and conceptual understanding with the technologies of twenty-first century learning. This second edition lays out the essential components of a differentiated classroom including emphases on teaching big ideas through critical and creative thinking and problem solving. Cash blends theoretically sound ideas regarding curriculum and instruction with a clear guidance for applying differentiation in authentic learning spaces. This is a great book for teachers and curriculum designers.”—Todd Kettler, Ph.D., assistant professor, College of Education, University of North Texas
  • 2017 Legacy Book® Award
Help Students Develop Critical Thinking Online and in the Classroom
A Free Webinar with Richard Cash, Ed.D.

Join Free Spirit’s edWeb community, Social-Emotional Learning, Positive Behavior, and Student Achievement, to take a short quiz based on the webinar below and earn a free CE credit.
  • Common Core State Standards

    The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) have transformed the level of thinking and performance that students will need for competence in the 21st century. Advancing Differentiation provides a valuable resource for teachers in helping all students reach advanced levels of thinking. The book offers numerous ideas for motivating students to seek more sophisticated levels of critical questioning and creative action, while also giving teachers the support needed in developing powerful decision makers. Developing thinking skills is a daily activity that must be embedded into all lessons, not only those addressing the Common Core.

    Additionally, the CCSS require students to go beyond simply collecting facts and applying strategies. Advancing Differentiation includes techniques for dissecting standards and curriculum, and focusing learning on the interrelated conceptual frameworks embedded in all content areas—thereby increasing student engagement. This guide will provide you with useful evidence-based strategies that assist all students in advancing their levels of thinking and learning.

    Richard M. Cash, Ed.D.

Related Resources

A guide to identifying gifted students and creating equity and inclusion within gifted programs.
Inspiring Student Empowerment: Moving Beyond Student Engagement, Refining Differentiation
Differentiation for Gifted Learners Revised 2019
Start Seeing and Serving Underserved Gifted Students
Cluster Grouping Handbook 2019
RTI Success Updated 2019
Teaching Gifted Kids 2018
Teacher's Guide to Flexible Grouping
A comprehensive guide to visual learning strategies with easy-to-use activities.
Making Differentiation A Habit Updated Edition

User Reviews

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December 4, 2017 / Katherine McKnight - Illinois
The GO TO for the high school educator

Advancing Differentiation is the "go to" for the high school educator. Dr. Cash's practical strategies are deeply rooted in the tenets of differentiated instruction and easy to integrate at the high school level.


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