What’s the most important reason to use proficiency scales? One word. INCLUSION. The goal of proficiency scales is not to be one more complicated thing on your to-do list, but to accommodate your students at ALL LEVELS at the same time.

Reading Literature Marzano Proficiency Scale for learning objective standard for fourth grade; describe a character, setting, or event...

Four Levels of Differentiation

The four levels of differentiation within proficiency scales gives you a space to plan for every student in your room. Let’s look at how this works… Most good teacher effective teachers planner lessons based on their standards. Grade level learning objectives. This is great, except that it may only be appropriate for 50% of your students. Students that need to review previous concepts or vocabulary, will get a chance in LEVEL 2. Students who fall far below grade level, or need simpler modifications, can still connect to learning standard in LEVEL 1. Finally your highest achieving students who yearn for a challenge, will have higher cognitive thinking tasks in LEVEL 4. Will proficiency scales, you have a plan of how to reach every need.

Each category has its own learning goal. These levels can also be aligned to Bloom’s or Marzano’s Taxonomy of easiest – hardest cognitive skills (Recall/Retrieval, Comprehension, Analysis, and Knowledge Utilization).

4. Level 4 indicates an advanced knowledge of the skill.

3. Level 3 represents proficiency in each math standard. see the stars*

2. Level 2 will include content from the previous grade level and new vocabulary that must be applied correctly for mastery of level 3.

1. Level 1 will either be derived from sub-skills of the standard, or from the background knowledge of earlier grade levels.

Planning Differentiation

How often do you find yourself winging a lesson modification on the spot? Have you ever had a student with really unique needs? With proficiency scales, there are fewer moments that catch you unprepared. Your standard is clearly identified with an outline of vertical differentiation (easiest to hardest) already planned!

Marzano Proficiency Scale for fifth grade Math, Operations and Algebraic Thinking; simple expressions.

Preparing for these levels ahead of time means that you save yourself the stress of making instructional decisions in the moment. With proficiency scales completed and posted, you have an instant approach to modifying your classroom lessons and activities. Scales allow you to keep your entire class on the same topic, broken into a logical sequence of progression.

“This was EVERYTHING I was looking for! Our district requires goals and scales for every standard but we don’t follow any kind of curriculum. I was so happy to come across this and use these small formative pieces to move my kiddos along and THEY loved passing each one! Seriously! We celebrated each level when a kiddo passed it and they couldn’t wait to get that praise!” – Kathryn K. August 1, 2020

“My 5th grade team and I use these scales and goals. They are great. Highly recommend!” – Jami O. August 1, 2020

5th Grade ELA Assessment RI Reading Information with Scales – Distance Learning

Differentiation has been a necessity in every classroom I’ve taught. Can you relate? The idea of differentiation can be overwhelming if you think about it in terms of planning multiple activities for a standard or topic. Independent projects, choice menus, enrichment stations, take a lot of extra planning and grading. It is so much simpler and something I’ve learned to love once I understood how it worked. I invite you to view the videos I have below for math or follow the links for English language arts examples. Imagine how this could work for your students. The links below for your grade level to find some free examples of how standards can be easily modified into the levels that you need!

Melanie LiCausi







6th Grade Coming Soon!









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