I do not change the materials or rubric for differentiation on this particular project, but it just depends on the subject and child. I might have some kids work alone, some in groups, or some one-on-one with me to make sure their work gets done. While I might require 10 character thoughts from one child, I might only grade five of them from a lower-performing child. I would still say they need ten. I think when we expect more, the kids give more.
I'm not sure I understand what you mean about differentiating across the whole group using books? I differentiate with levels of guidance more than anything.
Generic question stems are not what I use. I use open ended questions that mirror our state assessment. They require the child to think about a situation, assess as a whole, and respond in paragraph answers citing examples and using information to back up their reasoning from the book. That's just an example in reading.
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