The Continuing Educator

We’re not octopuses! What successful differentiation looks like now, with Chase Nordengren and Tatiana Ciccarelli

April 6, 2023


The elusive practice of classroom differentiation has historically had lots of “shouldas” and “couldas” from experts, but it’s always been difficult to do well at scale. Disruptions in formal schooling for all students and educators have only increased the need for good differentiation in the classroom, but there’s no easy button. We discuss how differentiation works today — is it getting easier or harder? Are we making it too complicated, or not complicated enough? Our guests share successful practices they’ve learned from teachers around the country—teachers who walk that thin line between dull routine and total chaos to give kids the right level of voice and choice in their learning.

We talk to Tatiana Ciccarelli, a math educator and model teacher from New York City, currently supporting educators around the country through professional learning, and Dr. Chase Nordengren, principal research scientist for effective instruction at NWEA.

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