Curriculum Ladders are a visual representation of the range of complexity for a set of skills. These ladders use skills from NWEA's instructional resource, DesCartes: A Continuum of Learning. The ladders help identify small groups of students with similar instructional needs and make it easier to see the range of skills as you work to address students' instructional needs and to plan for future learning.
Once you know each student's place on the ladder, you may want to differentiate using flexible grouping, tiered assignments or other methods so that each student is working at their appropriate level. The ladders may also be effective for guiding students in goal-setting and to help aides and parents see the direction a student is heading with a particular skill, to see what comes next.
The Idea Behind the Ladder:
"Standards and Curriculum Differentiation" - Deborah Burns