Students each have unique skills, abilities, and needs that need to be addressed. This lesson will explain several ways students can be different from one another and how you can tailor your instruction to address their needs.
As your students enter the classroom, they bring with them a unique background, set of skills, and educational needs. No two students learn the same because of these traits. Diversity in the classroom does not just refer to cultural diversity but also refers to diversity in skills, knowledge, and needs. It is important to understand these attributes in order to effectively teach your students.This lesson will share how you can learn about your students and what to do after you’ve got the information you need to understand each student’s needs.
Learning About Your Students
The most important thing you can do to help educate your students is to learn as much about them as possible. You can achieve this in a wide variety of ways, either by spending time talking to the students, giving them questionnaires to fill out, or engaging them in activities that reveal information about them.Using a combination of all the above methods can help give you a clear picture of what each student needs and how they learn best. For example, talking to students can give you a clear picture of their verbal skills and personality. A questionnaire can target specific information about the student and help you learn about their interests and passions.
Different icebreaker activities can allow you to observe students socializing so you can learn how they act in groups.Another key component for learning about your students is communicating with parents and families. This will give you background information, such as their cultural identity or personal history.
Knowing about your student’s cultural backgrounds, for example, can help you create a more culturally sensitive classroom environment so every student feels welcome and safe.
Teaching for Diverse Learning Needs
After you’ve gathered the information you need, you can begin to tailor activities and lessons to student needs and abilities. With 20 or more students in the classroom, this can sometimes seem impossible. However, through clever lesson planning, it is within the realm of possibility.For example, if you find that some students work better in groups, you may want to, and should, include small group activities that every student can participate in.
This can help those students who prefer this learning style learn and also help students who may not have those social skills to develop them.However, learning styles are not the only ways students are diverse. They also have different sets of abilities, strengths, and weaknesses. Some of these you may only discover as you begin teaching students.
Being aware of student strengths and weaknesses can help you prepare lessons in which you have time to help those studentsFor example, if you have several students who are slightly below grade level in reading, you can design lessons that allow you to work closely with those students to help bring them back to grade level. You may also have some students who are above grade level. By knowing their skills and interests, you can design independent enrichment activities to help them extend learning.
Teaching a classroom of diverse learners can be overwhelming sometimes, but it is important to remember that you are not alone. There are most likely specialists in your building or district that are trained and educated about a variety of needs.
For example, a reading specialist might be able to help you design lessons for students experiencing reading difficulties. Do not hesitate to contact these specialists to aid you in your lesson planning.
Every student you teach has a diverse set of learning needs. These can be cultural, personal, emotional, and educational. To be an effective teacher, you must address these needs in your lessons and activities.
The first step to addressing these needs is learning about your students and then keeping their needs in mind and purposefully designing lessons to address these needs. You should also consult different specialists to help you design your lessons. By doing all of the above, you can be an incredibly effective teacher.