Saturday, July 28, 2012

I-Spy Differentiated Instruction AND A Freebie!!

Hello everyone. I'm Marsha from A Differentiated Kindergarten, and I'm tickled green (pink isn't my color) about being Tammy's guest blogger today.  I want to talk to you about a little tool I use to differentiate my instruction . . . it's the amazing, the magnificent . . . MAGNIFYING GLASS.

I know you're thinking . . . "Seriously? I magnifying glass is going to allow me to differentiate?Those little plastic things I never use except for at my science table."  I am here to tell you "YES."

Differentiating is about meeting your students learning needs in regards to their readiness, interest and learning profiles. 

A magnifying glass and an I-Spy activity appeals to most kinders but it is an especially appropriate activity for your students who are visual and who hold logical multiple intelligence tendency.  They just can't get enough of figuring out where everything is located!

 Likewise, a magnifying glass can DEFINITELY hook a kinder by appealing to their interests.  I mean, really, what kinder doesn't love to play with a magnifying glass.  Face it.  It's fun.  Then when you throw in something that interests your little ones in particular . . . for example . . .


Sea Creatures

Jungle Friends

Farm Animals

or even Leprechauns, they become a tried and true classroom favorite activity. 

So what about readiness . . when we differentiate based on readiness, we don't just give some students more work and other less, nor do we make some work more tedious and other work more engaging.  All tiers should be equally engaging and that can happen when all students are doing some kind of I-spy activity. 

For a math I-spy for addition, one tier may focus on adding numbers 0-5, another 0-10 and another 0-15 and so on like the one below.

 For literacy, one I-spy tier might focus on CVC words, another on CVCC words and another tier CVCe words but all students are working on the same I-spy packet. 

Who knew that a little magnifying glass could be so helpful in differentiating?  Never tried and I-spy with your kiddos?  Here's a little free sample to wet your taste buds.  I like most teachers simply laminate everything and hand them a magnifying glass to get them going, but I recently had a teacher blogging friend (thanks Cheryl) tell me she projects them from her computer and has it done as a whole class activity.  I WISH I had one of those projection camera thingies to do that.  How will you use it ?

Anyway, this letter recognition I-Spy will give you a little taste of how much fun this activity can be.

If you'd like to learn more about differentiating your classroom, stop on over and please check out my blog, leave me a note and follow me.  You can also find out more about any of the above products just by clicking on the pictures. 

Now get out there and grab yourself some magnifying glasses and get differentiating.


  1. What a great freebie! I love creating these because they are soooo versatile! More importantly my students LOVE using these!!
    This will definitely be added to my toolbox for the fall! Thank you!

    ❤Mrs. McKown
    Little Literacy Learners

  2. Thanks, Marcia, I love the resources that you share! I could see differentiating this I Spy with different response sheets. The next level could have the matching letters to write their response by. The most complex level could have just blanks for the children to write the letters they find in one color and then return and write the matching upper or lowercase in another color. I will definitely be using this to start the school year off.

    Donna W.

  3. Sounds like so much fun! I stocked up on magnifying glasses when they were the kids meal prize a year or so ago!

    Sharing Kindergarten

  4. This is such a cute Idea! I just pinned it for a friend of mine that teaches kinder! Thanks for sharing.
    Fancy Free in Fourth

  5. Marsha you have the best ideas! I love all your differentiation centers! I need some magnifying glasses! :)
    Crayons and Curls

  6. Great ideas! I completely agree, kids love using the magnifying glasses! They just pull them right into learning.

    :) Nancy

    Joy of Kindergarten

  7. I never would have thought to use this activity as a projection activity, but what a great idea. One question, do you need a magnifying glass on the board or are the words big enough to see?
    Mrs. Miner's Monkey Business

  8. Thanks for all the great comments. Krissy, I don't have a projection camera (but man would I like one ) but I would think that the letters would be large enough to find them. You could even make it a center for 3-4 kids. They could pull a picture card, let's say a cat, and see who can find the letter that makes the //c// sound in cat first. Ooo man, just thinking about that makes me want to get a projection camerea even more.

    Thanks for all the comments everyone.
    A Differentiated Kindergarten

  9. Love the I spy games. We did one with snowmen in January. Thanks.


  10. If you have an interactive whiteboard you could use your "spotlight" tool to hunt for the words/letters/numbers. It darkens everything but what the spotlight is on. You can also chose how dark you want it to be!

  11. Thanks so much!! I love these activities just as much as my students.

  12. Okay, your freebie convinced me! I am so buying some of your other packets! This is such a great way to work with multiple levels at the same time! Thanks for your hard work in putting it together!

  13. Such a simple and great idea, my daughter would love this! Brilliant activities!

    I'm off to buy a magnifying glass...