Depth and Complexity Frames – Differentiating the Core Curriculum


Presenter: Daniel Brillhart, J Taylor Education
Core Area: Instructional Planning and Delivery 1A, 1B, 1C, 1D, 1E, 1F; Knowledge of Students and Student Learning 2A; Content Knowledge and Expertise 3B; Data-Driven Practice 5A
Grade Level: Elementary & Secondary
Hours: 2

While there is no wrong way to introduce the Depth and Complexity icons into your classroom and your curriculum, some ways are easier than others. This one-hour course, taught by Daniel Brillhart of J Taylor Education, provides an in-depth look at one of those ways: through Depth and Complexity frames.  

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According to Daniel Brillhard of J Taylor Education, the only wrong way to introduce the Depth and Complexity icons into your classroom is to choose not to introduce them.

In this interactive course, Mr. Brillhard provides an in-depth look at one of the easiest ways to introduce the icons: through Depth and Complexity frames.

By the end of this one-hour course, you’ll have a clear understanding of the following:

  • How to introduce Depth and Complexity frames to your students
  • How to use frames as a way to learn about your students — and help them learn about themselves
  • The two basic types of frames and how to use them
  • The two steps you need to know when using frames
  • How to adapt the frames to meet the needs of your students, including as a tool for differentiation
  • How to use the frames to create “iconic pathways” where one icon leads to another

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251 reviews for Depth and Complexity Frames – Differentiating the Core Curriculum

  1. Larissa – SAN FELIPE-DEL RIO CISD (verified owner)


  2. Jacqueline – UNITED ISD (verified owner)

    I liked the use of the frame for a variety of activities. The icons add depth to the activity as well.

  3. Lewis – BOERNE ISD (verified owner)

    Great idea.

  4. Norma – UNITED ISD (verified owner)


  5. Wendy – BOERNE ISD (verified owner)

    This was a great.

  6. Nohely – UNITED ISD (verified owner)

    Very insightful.

  7. Olga – UNITED ISD (verified owner)


  8. Anthony – SPRING BRANCH ISD (verified owner)

    I had no access to the list of icons (they are not available with either of the links under Resources).

  9. Sofia – UNITED ISD (verified owner)

    Great intro to the basic uses of the icons.

  10. Paul – PROSPER ISD (verified owner)

    Very helpful in providing a framework for kids to explore and learn.

  11. Janet – UNITED ISD (verified owner)

    Very detailed and provides good instructional strategies that are simple to implement in the classroom

  12. Dalia – UNITED ISD (verified owner)

    Great Presentation!

  13. Sherri – UNITED ISD (verified owner)

    This course was helpful in understanding how to use the icons in the classroom.

  14. yasmin – DONNA INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT (verified owner)

    great material

  15. Stacey – MARION CITY (verified owner)

    This is a great follow up to all the other Depth and Complexity courses. This course was great to get ideas to use with all levels of students.

  16. Brenda – COLUMBUS CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT (verified owner)

    great application to regular classroom

  17. Danny – UNITED ISD (verified owner)

    nice and easy

  18. Marissa – PLANO ISD (verified owner)

    It was a quick and fun way to learn about how to use frames in the classroom.

  19. Mindy – BETHEL LOCAL (verified owner)

    I had never heard of a depth and complexity framework. I teach HS science. I can actually see many implication for use in my classroom.

  20. Tiffany – GRAND PRAIRIE ISD (verified owner)

    I appreciated the connection of how to use it in math. I can think of many ways to use it in RLA or social studies but in math it is more difficult and appreciated the ideas that i can take to my classroom.

  21. Laura – DONNA INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT (verified owner)

    This has been the most important and informative session yet!!!

  22. Linda – DAYTON CITY (verified owner)

    Thanks for including math!

  23. Amanda – GRAND PRAIRIE ISD (verified owner)

    This training was very useful. I overthink it when it comes to using depth and complexity. Thanks for making it easier!

  24. Amanda – IRONTON CITY (verified owner)

    This is a nice way to learn how you can use the Icons with ALL students and make adaptations based on the students.

  25. Haylee – GRAND PRAIRIE ISD (verified owner)

    The video was messing up at the beginning and I think I missed the entire explanation of the icons so it was hard for me to follow. This was an okay training.

  26. Greg – WESTERVILLE CITY (verified owner)

    Good explanation of using frames and icons.

  27. Lisa – Aldine ISD (verified owner)

    I like the idea of using frames for math word problems

  28. dale – PARMA CITY (verified owner)

    good info if you are looking to use the icons, good multi level examples

  29. Maribel – PROSPER ISD (verified owner)

    The various frame samples with icons helped me get ideas on how to implement them in my class.

  30. Thomas – TIPP CITY EXEMPTED VILLAGE (verified owner)

    I thought it was a unique tool to get students to think more deeply.

  31. Laura – PROSPER ISD (verified owner)

    I liked how the concept of different ways to use the frames can be done in a classroom.

  32. Jenna – PROSPER ISD (verified owner)

    Great explanation of depth and complexity frames and ideas of how to use those frames in all content areas. Also how to differentiate to meet all student needs.

  33. John – WORTHINGTON CITY (verified owner)

    I am not impressed.

  34. Trinicia – ECTOR COUNTY ISD (verified owner)

    This was a very informative learning experience.

  35. Luke – PARKWAY LOCAL (verified owner)

    I think it has alot of value in the class. Unfortunately I am completely new to the idea and do not know what the “Icons” are. I would like to see more on the icons and how I can introduce them to my class. I think it would be hard at this point in the year to just give them a frame and a quick intro and expect them to be able to do it.

  36. William – PARMA CITY (verified owner)

    I think this would be excellent for elementary school teachers, or for English, science, or social studies teachers. It can work in math, but realistically, I think there would be fewer applications.

  37. CHRISTI – KENT CITY (verified owner)

    Unless I missed this direction, it would be helpful to have access to the icons (he had them posted in the “live” session) to refer to throughout the session.

  38. Carie – SOUTH POINT LOCAL (verified owner)

    Interesting ideas!

  39. James – Huber Heights City (verified owner)


  40. Carrie – PROSPER ISD (verified owner)

    I was given multiple ways to implement the use of icons within my class work.

  41. Jeremy – Jefferson Area Local Schools (verified owner)

    It helped better my understanding of how to use depth and complexity using the ICONS.

  42. Chioe – PROSPER ISD (verified owner)

    this was good but it started with the idea that everyone knew the icons, we had to look up the icons to find the first review question

  43. Robert – CHARDON LOCAL (verified owner)

    I just didn’t fit my needs……so I didn’t rate it too highly…

  44. Traci – UNITED ISD (verified owner)


  45. Adam – KILLEEN ISD (verified owner)

    I have kids that cannot write, and I don’t know how to make it work. Pictures maybe?


    It was a valuable course.

  47. John – ALICE ISD (verified owner)

    Interesting ideas

  48. Ricardo – UNITED ISD (verified owner)

    Wonderful course. I highly recommend this course.

  49. David – ALICE ISD (verified owner)

    Frames can be a visual way to look at concept.

  50. Cynthia – EDINBURG CISD (verified owner)

    The presenter was great in showing us different ways he has used Depth and Complexity in his classroom. I think it’s a great method to get out GT students to think deeper about topics and concepts taught.

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