Most classes consist of students with a range of abilities, from those for whom academia is second nature to those for whom study and test-taking is a daily struggle. Students come from a wide variety of backgrounds, levels of knowledge and skill sets. However, teachers can create effective learning environments for all students in the classroom.
If you need to be one of those, there are the recommendations you should follow.
- Accommodate Various Learning Styles
Present material using pictures and written words to help visual learners, explain material orally for auditory learners and include a hands-on activity for tactile learners.
- Assess, Then Adapt
Assessing student achievement is always important, but this is particularly the case in a diverse classroom. If the class includes students with disabilities, implement reasonable accommodations to encourage success. Allow oral tests for students with visual or language disabilities or note takers for those with attention deficit disorder or small motor difficulties.
- One Subject Matter, Different Approaches
Teachers can use a unifying concept for all students in the classroom but give students various responsibilities, benchmarks, and assessments based on capability. For reading instruction, for instance, students get rewarded based on how many books they read and comprehend from a level-based list. For a unit about business, students with high math skills could figure sales and income tax, those with poor writing skills could brainstorm marketing ideas and those needing to work on basic math could ‘run’ the cash register.
- Peer Learning Aids Students of All Levels
Students can help each other learn in diverse classrooms. Studies that include group work help most students to learn better. Teachers may place students in groups of different levels, so each team works on a single task or, more appropriately, in heterogeneous groups, mixing understanding and skill levels and assigning each student to the group a task such as a leader, recorder and so on. Even high-level learners gain from such structure. Advanced students will be motivated to study the material more carefully so that they can understand it well enough to teach it to their peers.