Whatever the outside constraints, it is important to keep a flexible mind set. Try teaching in new ways. Give students multiple opportunities for learning. Be continuously creative in your teaching. This is all a part of flexibility.
On the other hand, no teacher has unlimited planning time. Most teachers are stretched with all the obligations and duties that are part of teaching in today’s schools.
Know what resources your school has. Often teachers have access to plenty of resources but need to spend time locating and organizing them and then choosing the ones that are appropriate to use. This is time well-spent and in the long run will save you planning time. Ask your school media specialist to help you find the resources you need for a differentiated unit or lesson. He or she is often your best human resource in locating other resources.
An excellent web site for locating many resources useful in differentiating curriculum and instruction is www.differentiatedresources.com. Log on to find resources in various categories, grade levels, and subject areas.
A word of caution – some students think that having choices means they can do nothing if they so choose. Learning time is simply too valuable. The one choice you never have is the choice to do nothing!