Well, I keep trying. I enjoy the challenge, and my students do, too. I have come to the conclusion that it doesn't all have to be a totally new lesson. In fact, in my district, we are encouraged to extend the lesson rather than teach a different lesson. Below is an example of what I did with Mrs. Bainbridge's fraction kite idea.
I love to color and have lots of those cool design books. I took those design books and used them to design my kites. The simpler kite ( top design) is made up of 100 equal pieces, and the students had to use 6 different colors. The more complicated kite did not have equal pieces. Using the smaller size as a unit, the kite had 650 pieces. Students then had to use at least 4 different colors for their design, and then had to count and convert the big pieces into small pieces.
Here are examples of what the grids looked like:
The students received a kite shape already made out of these patterns, and they were told how many equal parts there were. The kids had fun, and it was an appropriate challenge for those kids who needed it. When the students were done writing their fractions under the kite, they had to check their work by adding the numerators of each fraction to be sure it equaled the appropriate denominator (100 or 650).
Last week, we also used Mary from Pitner's Potpourri idea. We looked at Ed Emberley's Picture Pie and created our own picture pie. Differentiation was natural on this one. Certain kids were told they must use 4ths and 8ths in a certain number of colors while others just used 4ths. The artwork created was fun and beautiful!
Both of these were great activities that I received from my blogging world. They show that all of the time I spend in blogland is worth it!