Pre-Assessment for Differentiation

Pre-assessment can be seen in two levels. On the one hand, it allows educators to determine student learning styles and on the other, it allows you to see what their knowledge is on a subject/unit before teaching it. Teachers can and should use pre-assessments on a regular basis to determine students knowledge and use this information to better prepare for and differentiate lessons.

Pre-assessment for learning styles:

Kinesthetic: These students learn best using their hands and actively moving during learning activities. In lower grades ELL I would use clay for them to form letters, shapes or words. Using their fingers to trace letters or use their bodies to indicate different body parts.

Auditory: Auditory students use sound to learn. They need to listen, hear and speak to learn at their best. Reading them the test questions or a story will help them to perform better. Recording their own voice is a great ELL teaching method, app’s like Voicethread have proven to be very helpful during my ELL-speaking classes.

Visual: These students need to see the material they are learning. They use pictures to remember and communicate. Writing material on the board for them to read(see) and forming word associations with pictures will help them learn at their best. In my ELL class, I use powerpoint presentations and whiteboards often to make learning more concrete for these students.

Pre-assessment for content

Preassessment Icon

During pre-assessment for content, educators are trying to establish student depth of knowledge on the unit material before teaching it. This allows teachers to differentiate the lesson plan to challenge each student at their skill level. Pre-assessments can take a variety of forms e.g. a quick quiz (see kahoot link – Kahoot game pin: 6497315), a game like 4 corners, brainstorming and yes/no cards. More ideas here.



  1. (n.d.). Retrieved May 23, 2017, from
  2. Pre-assessment Ideas – Differentiation & LR Information for SAS Teachers. (n.d.). Retrieved May 23, 2017, from
  3. A. (n.d.). Differentiation: It Starts with Pre-Assessment. Retrieved May 23, 2017, from





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