Review by Carrie Garges, Common Sense Education | Updated August 2019


Create differentiated math lessons and assessments in minutes

Subjects & skills
  • Math

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Pros: Significantly reduced planning time still results in first-rate plans.

Cons: Students cannot view their own data or feedback from exit tickets.

Bottom Line: Easy differentiation and unique insights that can improve math instruction.

Use Tailor-ED to reduce the amount of time you spend planning math lessons. Exit tickets can be completed more than once: Use these as pre- and post-assessments to measure growth. Outside of the classroom, displaying the individual student results page during parent conferences will give parents a bigger picture of how their kid is performing. Teachers and parents can extend the conversation to student confidence and motivation.

Tailor-ED allows teachers to meet students' needs on multiple levels. Just because a class is identified as third grade doesn't mean the curriculum is limited to third grade standards. If a student or two need reteaching, a unit can be created using standards from a lower grade level to help you shore up any gaps. Just remember: You know your students the best, so be sure to take advantage of the option to change the activities as needed and to not rely solely on Tailor-ED's selections. 

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Tailor-ED is a lesson-planning tool through which teachers can construct differentiated math lessons in just a few clicks. Teachers determines the grade level and standard for each unit. Students begin with a pre-assessment to measure five factors -- motivation, focus, memory, social aptitude, and confidence -- to generate a learning profile. Learning profiles allow the program to match students to the right activities for them. Students with low motivation may be matched to group games, while students with low confidence may get to experience a video lesson along with a self-checking color-the-answer worksheet. Tailor-ED has gathered a collection of high-quality activities from sources like Khan Academy, Teachers Pay Teachers, Math Antics, and Illustrative Mathematics. From this collection, the program suggests activities suited for each group of students, and, in a menu-like format, teachers can either accept or change activities to fit student needs as well as available classroom technology.  

In about five minutes, a printable lesson plan complete with an exit ticket and early finisher activity is ready. After a little bit of printing and preparation for the hands-on activities, lessons can be assigned through Google Classroom, using links copied to websites or printed QR codes to hang about the room. Although exit ticket scores and progress cannot be viewed by students, this data can be viewed either by class or by an individual student on the teacher's reports page. Responses can also be downloaded as an Excel spreadsheet that can be used for a variety of reporting needs.

Differentiated lesson planning, although the pinnacle of good teaching, takes up so much time. One day of differentiated centers could be the result of many days of research and preparation. Using Tailor-ED, teachers can prepare high-quality lessons individualized for the learning profiles of their students in a matter of minutes.

The ability to see the "whole" student truly helps to reach each learner in the class. Tailor-ED provides information about different methods of learning and areas of motivation, confidence, and social competencies. Then the program does the heavy lifting by finding valuable, compatible activities in minutes -- something it would take a teacher hours to do. Tailor-ED could benefit from allowing students to view results from exit tickets as well as their learning profiles to encourage metacognition and reflection; it could also provide methods for goal-setting and celebration.

Overall Rating

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

Flexible grouping focuses on student needs, presenting a variety of activities for every learner. Lessons vary from collaborative learning to online games, making kids more excited to learn.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?

Lessons have been vetted and rated to ensure quality. Learning profiles provide a holistic view of student development, and insight into proficiency, confidence, and motivation gives actionable data for intervention plans.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?

Easy-to-read student data gives teachers a glimpse into more than just skill mastery. Instructional videos can be found on the FAQ page, but there's no help search feature. 

Common Sense Reviewer
Carrie Garges Classroom teacher

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