Accommodating Instruction to Meet Individual Needs
Overview. One of the most influential articles ever published in the field of educational psychology was a paper by John Carroll titled "A Model of School. To help each individual student reach his fullest potential, teachers should try in the learning process by providing tasks that match each individual's needs. With continuous assessment and the use of multiple teaching strategies, educators can accommodate all their students' learning styles. Mission Statement. instruction and studies comparing inclusive and regular classrooms in the same agency similar set of assumptions, values, and beliefs about the most effective ways to support . of planning is to identify any accommodations or modifications that are . to meet the individual needs of the child, encourage the child to make.
On Fridays, the whole class reviews the story once more to measure improvement and reinforce learning. To help students of differing abilities improve writing skills, Canova and Contey have established peer tutoring groups.
In the groups, children read their work aloud and help one another with spelling and editing as they create their own books. A writing activity that differentiates on the basis of student interest is the monthly class newsletter, for which the children write stories independently on topics of their choice. Students love to see their names in print, both teachers note. If some of her students have mastered the concept of place value, for example, they can pursue higher-level math work independently while she works with the rest of the class, she explains.
To be ready for young learners whose abilities outrun the rest of the class or who need extra help, Rutz has prepared "math boxes" that offer activities aimed above and below grade-level expectations for each math concept.
During any lesson, "everybody's doing the same work," she points out, "but at different levels of complexity. Everyone works on something that's going to move them ahead. Some students work better with paper and pencils, some need manipulatives, and some learn best at the computer.
Because 4th graders must memorize multiplication facts and Biser knows that not everyone has the same skill at memorizing, she asks her students, "How do you think you could learn this best?
Biser also uses contracts as a means to differentiate instruction. Creating contracts requires a lot of advance work, she notes, but once the contracts are ready, students like them because they get to make choices according to interest and ability. For learning spelling words, Biser provides her students with contracts that list as many as 40 or 50 different activities, each worth between 10 and 20 points, depending on the level of activity.
Students select their own spelling activities and have a week to complete their contracts with their work stapled to them.
When she begins the unit on perimeter, area, and volume, Shockley first presents a short, hands-on lesson that defines the whole-class objective and lays the foundation for individual practice.
Together, she and the students measure various sizes of cereal boxes so that everyone is clear about definitions and processes. Then, in groups of two, students receive activity packets.
The more concrete learners receive packets with worksheets that direct them to measure their own desks and classroom furniture.
In this highly structured activity, students practice calculating the perimeters, areas, and volumes of things they can actually see and touch.
Shockley is on hand to offer help and to extend the activity, for those who are ready, by helping students find a way to arrange the desks so that they have the smallest possible perimeter.
Other students with greater abstract reasoning skills receive packets that direct them to design their own bedrooms. In this more complex and independent assignment, students use their creativity to define the dimensions of an imaginary bedroom and to create scale drawings.
They also calculate the cost and number of five-yard rolls of wallpaper borders needed to decorate their rooms. From catalogs, they select furniture and rugs that will fit into their model rooms. These details provide extensive practice, beginning with such tasks as determining how many square feet of floor space remain uncovered.
This open-ended assignment offers higher-ability students an opportunity to extend their learning as far as they want to take it. She notes that all students have the opportunity to earn As within their own level of challenge. At the Secondary Level Teachers in middle schools and high schools are also using strategies for differentiating instruction, experts say. Then she groups students who are interested in the same titles, usually about four or five students per group, and teaches them how to function as a literature circle—students learn the roles of discussion directors, connectors students who make connections to things in the real worldillustrators, literary luminaries students who point out great figurative languageand vocabulary enrichers those who identify words that most students might not know.
With each new book, students regroup and jobs rotate, but each group sets its own schedule for discussions and assignments. When Raymond's students come together for whole-class activities, they explore themes common to all of the books, followed by assignments that might require students to create their own short literary work that typifies the genre they have just studied.
To help all his students succeed with research papers, Frescoln provides science texts at several reading levels and uses mixed-ability groupings. Each of five students in a mixed-ability group might research a different cell part by gathering information from books at her own reading level. Then groups split up so that all students with the same cell assignment compare notes and teach one another.
Finally, students return to their original groups so that every member of each group can report to the others and learn about the other cell parts. This approach to differentiation helps motivate all students to push themselves just a little further, he says.
To start everyone off on the same foot, DeLuca uses an introductory lab activity that allows the whole class to compare the differing weights of identical volumes of sand and oil.
The object is to determine whether a ship could carry the same amount of sand as it could oil, and how this manifests the property of density. From this starting point, DeLuca assigns students an Internet activity that explores the causes of the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald—but at different levels of synthesis and analysis, depending on student ability. Homework assignments ask higher-ability students to design cargo boats, grade-level students to float an egg, and below-level students to determine which is more dense: They must perform a water displacement experiment to come up with the correct answer.
All students complete lab reports that DeLuca evaluates using a rubric. Analytical writing is the most important element of the rubric, but students can earn an A grade as long as they support their conclusions with evidence found in their own particular assignments.
The tests DeLuca gives are also differentiated according to the tiered homework and lab activities. The important thing is for everyone to have a certain degree of challenge. Even though this is an honors class, Bushe finds that there is a wide variance in abilities, so he tries to differentiate instruction according to interest, task, and readiness.
He finds that mock trials offer opportunities for all three modes of differentiation. Dividing his class of 30 into three groups of 10, Bushe gives each group a court case involving a legal concept such as beyond a reasonable doubt. It's not just language, but can mean our students' cultural beliefs and value systems are quite different from what they'll experience in the average Australian child care centre.
In one of our subjects, students talk about how they were brought up in their country of birth, and then we launch into what happens in Australia. But of course Children's Services are having to go beyond the old Aussie way. For example, there may be hammocks for children to sleep in alongside the mats on the floor, if that's what the children are used to at home. Or there may be multicultural food or toys.
We also get some students with intellectual disabilities we have a targeted Access group in that category. Their needs range from 'moderate' to 'extreme'. They do a lot of hands-on learning in play sessions, and we assess what they learn. There are so many areas of need like this—basically, we've tried to accommodate everybody! Then we have students with physical disabilities. We've got a young, physically disabled lass, Rosie, who attends play session.
- ICVET Promoting Emerging Practice, TAFE NSW International Centre for VET Teaching and Learning
On the day she's with us, we set up the area so there's plenty of room to manoeuvre. She's fit and capable, and because there are cushions around for the children, she can get out of her wheel-chair, prop herself up and interact with the children. We've also had students with hearing and vision problems.
Some of what we do is fairly standard, like providing handouts with enlarged font. But we go much further. For example, in the play group, we've used books in brail, so that the student can still read a story to the children. The value of inclusiveness We teach inclusion as an important principle, so this kind of practice gives able-bodied students a chance to see inclusion in action.
It's wonderful for families and children who come—they see all sorts of people. On the other side of the coin, we get students who have more ability than others. While we wouldn't single out high achievers, over time we'd try to give them more responsibility as they demonstrate that they can handle it. Whenever an educator presents information that engages all modalities, it increases the chances that he or she will reach every student in the class. Independent Study An Independent study is designed for students usually older ones that have mastered content.
In order for an independent study to be successful, the teacher needs to be sure the student or students are proficient in the skills that are required to complete the study. To help students choose a topic of study, it is wise to conduct an interest survey before they begin.
Implementing Differentiated Instruction Strategies
Then, to ensure a successful study, teachers need to go over the skills students need to complete the task, as well as lay out expectations to help students stay on track.
Tiered Assignments Tiered assignments are a series of related tasks varying in complexity. Both formal and informal assessments must be given to determine the level of understanding a student has on the subject matter.
Activities can be designed for small groups or individuals. Teachers adjust their questions and level of complexity based on what fits that particular child.