Split Personalities: How to teach two whole-group methods at once using Nearpod

Good Morning!

Today, I am embarking on a journey to bring the individualization of small group into whole-group instruction. Can you imagine having two lessons going at the same time? Different questions, by products and assessment measures? This may seem like a small group lesson dream, but it is certainly possible. I am going to teach you how to leverage the amazing Nearpod capabilities to create two lessons, and teach them at the same time.

Step 1:

Create a base-line Nearpod using your standards

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I have decided to differentiate my whole-group lesson on summarizing.

  1. Does your lesson have a learning target?
  2. Does your lesson have success criteria?

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3. Have you included a pre-assessment? (mini question to gauge where a student is BEFORE the lesson begins) 

Notice that there are question prompts provided at the top. I have also included a piece of the text to help the students hold onto information. The students will respond by typing, providing pictures, underlining and/or writing on a white board and taking a picture of themselves. Various means of response will REALLY help them to express what they already know. This mini-assessment shouldn’t take long and will carry throughout the week. If students do really well here, and can’t keep up when placed into a higher slide; provide them with a buddy so they can reach higher. Don’t hold a student back because they can’t jump to the next level, provide them with a peer scaffold. We want them in the proper ZPD level.

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4. Have you included brain breaks?

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Student WILL get fatigued out when you are teaching them at the correct level. Make sure to provide fun break breaks to keep things interesting. These brain breaks should re-enforce the concept and allow them to move and use their voices.

5. Have you included a measure that will track progress throughout the lesson.

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The example provided is of one single slide. The top piece has questions for reflection and the bottom piece includes a summarizing example. The students will respond to the questions in the space provided.

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Here is another example of a slide that can check for understanding. (above)


6. Have you included various means of understanding… if one way isn’t going well, you will need to make sure you can explain it a different way. 

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Above are examples of how students can show you in a different way that they understand the content. I also provide a re-cap of information before it becomes more difficult. Some students will have forgotten the WHY of the lesson. Be sure to remind them.

If students are struggling to match up their previous responses in a new way then I go sit with them and talk them through the process. This is where I become more hands on and form small groups within my whole group lesson. Place the kids who need you to sit with them near each other so you can have a mini-small group lesson while your kids who are doing well work on their own. You can always keep on eye on the large screen and pull kids over who aren’t getting it.

7. Do you have some form of post-assessment? 

After this particular Nearpod I want to make sure my students understand Who, What, When , Where and Why so that they can proceed with creating their own summaries. In order to check for understanding I created a Kahoot that acts like a quiz and provides immediate feedback. I can create my own Kahoots, so it encompasses my targets.

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Kahoot is free for educators and you can create an account here:


It is important to have these items in place when you go to differentiate, so you have a basic skeleton. 

ALL groups will have the same skeleton present. The differentiation begins with the materials and response methods. You will also include different levels of questioning and response structures. 

Here we go:

In this example the students will listen to snippets from the book “Julius Baby of the World”  and will respond to prompts that will help them summarize. The students are encouraged to think about certain pieces of information that are important when summarizing. Do you think that ALL of your students need the snippet? Maybe not! This is where you need to know your students. So, I will ask the same question the first time and go from there. BOTH presentations will include a pre-assessment slide to see who understands and can move forward from the prompts, and who can “hold” information from the story on their own.


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Slide 1 stays the same… questions and snippet.

Slide 2 is where things begin to change…


Hopefully you are with me here at the basics. The next step is to duplicate your presentation here is where you want to go…

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You need to click the “jelly beans” at the top of your presentation (in your library) and hit duplicate. Make sure you re-name your new slide show based on the group.

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My first presentation will be just Summarizing and the second will be Summarizing Level 2

Now that you have duplicated it is time to begin the second whole-group lesson

Remember to keep the targets the same, and chance the way they show their understanding. I will be using a short response to have my more advanced students respond. Instead of having the snippet on the screen they will have to hold onto the information and produce an answer on their own. Here is what it starts to look like…

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The first response slide is the same; it will act as the pre-assessment. The second slide is where things change. Notice that it switches from a basic slide where they can underline to respond to an open-ended answer slide with no anchor piece. These students will need to remember what they read and respond by typing their answer. This will continue until all responses are complete.

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Here is where you can mix things up for the responses… I placed a background image that matched the setting and the students can draw then explain their responses. They will LOVE this.


I am also going to change the matching assessment to a flip grid response where the students will explain The Who, what, when, where and why of the story into a screen and record their responses. The more advanced learners will be given this:

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I will also provide them with a copy of the book being read and the words in there google classrooms. This group will venture off to do this as their first task of the reading block after whole-group. The other groups will complete the matching assignment with me and I will be provided with data for the next day. We will all Kahoot together at a brain break time if time is not allowed. ❤



You have your two separate whole-group lessons complete… what now?


Step 1: Open up the lower-level Nearpod on your main screen

Step 2: Assign your higher level Nearpod into Google Classroom to the students you know will complete that version. If a student doesn’t do well they can always jump into the main screen at any time.

Half of your class will sign into whole-group (lower). Half of the class into student paced through google classroom.

Since you have aligned and swapped out slide your students will BOTH track through with you… Your lower lever by you at the main screen and the higher level clicking when you say in their student-paced mode.

Some of my student (2) Will also be able to complete the tasks after being introduced like an on-line learning environment. They will be able to respond and move through on their own and complete the tasks without following along. I allow them to do this after I check in a time or two. They can then get started with their tasks for the day (novel study).


There you have it!!!

Happy Teaching!


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Hello! I am a general education teacher in a public school system that believes in arming teachers and parents with the tools to make sure EVERY child is successful BEFORE they show signs of failure. Response to intervention should be an indicator NOT failure to respond to general education. <3 Arm yourself with knowledge

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