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Layered Curriculum®

Kathie F Nunley

The simplest way to differentiate instruction and teach in mixed-ability classrooms is with a simple method called Layered Curriculum. Developed by Kathie Nunley, a former high school teacher in Salt Lake City, the method allows students to learn at their own pace, mostly in their preferred learning modality and still demands the highest accountability standards.

This method divides an instructional unit into 3 layers, called C, B and A. The C layer consists of a wide variety of assignment choices with teach basic facts, skills, vocabulary and technique. The B layer offers an assortment of projects and labs and other problem solving activities which allow students to demonstrate an application of the knowledge and skills gained in the C layer. The A layer requires students to critically analyze a current issue in the real world which relates to the unit of study. Students work their way through the various layers which then determine their earned mark of a C, B or A grade.

Assignment choices include lecture, problem solving, textbook reading, computer work, videos, worksheets, artwork, models, demonstrations and research.

Accountability is paramount to Layered Curriculum, as students are awarded points only for learning rather than simply "doing" assignments. This is accomplished through individual oral defense, or small group discussion of all assignments.

Kathie F. Nunley is an educational psychologist, author, researcher and speaker living in southern New Hampshire. Developer of the Layered Curriculum® method of instruction, Dr. Nunley has authored several books and articles on teaching in mixed-ability classrooms and other problems facing today's teachers. Full references and additional teaching and parental tips are available at: http://Help4Teachers.com Email her:
Kathie (at) brains.org

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