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    How would you address a wide range of skills and abilities in your classroom?

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    How would you address a wide range of skills and abilities in your classroom?

    I would address a wide range of skills and abilities in my classroom by differentiating my core instruction in order to meet the needs of all my students. There are several ways in which I could differentiate my instruction. I would have students work independently, in a whole group, in pairs and in a small group. Therefore, they have a change to not only learn from me but also from others as well as themselves. I would also encourage my students to ask questions, participate in discussion as well as group activities. Furthermore, I would often asked questions about what the students are interested in so I can integrate that in my lessons and activities. If students are interested in a topic or activity they are more likely to want to learn more about it, thus they become more engaged. In addition, I believe it is important to provide small group as well as one-on-one instruction in order to truly know the needs of my students and to better understand them as lifelong learners.

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    Source : sites.google.com

    5 Ways to Address a Wide Range of Skills and Abilities in Your Classroom

    Individualizing experiences to address a wide range of skills and abilities demonstrates your commitment to supporting children’s development and learning in all areas, building on each child’s strengths and supporting their individual areas of potential growth.

    Best Practices

    Five Tips for Individualizing Learning Throughout the Day

    Clarissa Martínez

    March 8, 2021

    José was a sweet, charming child in my class during my first year of teaching. José’s artistic skills led him to run a nice little business drawing illustrations of cartoon characters for his classmates—for a small fee, of course. He won every drawing contest he entered and was selected to illustrate the cover of the school parents’ manual. Whoever sat next to José during the day would eventually break down in tears of laughter. I never heard what he whispered in their ears, but it must have been good. José was also obsessed with basketball. Each day after a game, I pretended to understand the basketball terms he used as he gave me the play-by-play of the game. José also had an identified intellectual disability. Academically, he was behind his peers and his Individualized Education Program (IEP) required accommodations to simplify his work and allow him extra time to finish. It made me think…wouldn’t it be great if all children had individualized goals and support to reach those goals?

    Today, when I think of “individualization” or “differentiating instruction,” I think of José. As helpful as his IEP was in helping me support José’s individual needs, it didn’t celebrate all his gifts, talents, and abilities. I learned what made José special by observing him and talking to him.

    To best address each child’s needs and support their skills we must first observe children closely and spend time with them to develop an authentic, caring relationship.

    By this time in the school year, you have likely gotten to know each child in your class very well. You know which child needs time to adjust to changes in the schedule, which child is the natural leader who takes charge in group experiences, and which child will get so engrossed in building or creating that she seems to forget the other children around her.

    Much of what we do in early childhood classrooms naturally lends itself to individualizing learning, like allowing children to choose which interest area to play in and how to play in it, deciding how they participate in large-group meetings (some children sit with their legs crossed like pretzels, others choose to lie on their bellies, while still others prefer to sit in a chair or stand nearby), and how they use art materials to create. When you work to address a wide range of skills and abilities in your group, you consider and plan for children’s individual differences. These differences include variations in gender, temperament, interests, learning styles, life experiences, culture, language learning, and special needs.

    These individual differences are explored in great detail in Chapter 1 of The Creative Curriculum for Preschool, Volume 1: The Foundation in the section titled “Individual Differences.”

    Here are 5 ways you can address the wide range of skills and abilities children demonstrate throughout the day.

    Offer choices. Encourage children to participate and explore in the way they prefer. Some children may prefer to work individually, with a partner, in a small group, or in a large group. Or, if there are children in your group who are sensitive to sensory experiences, allow them to use tools or wear gloves when exploring sensory materials like sand, potting soil, or gak. Even when meeting with children virtually, offering choices shows that we value their independence and preferences.Plan for possibilities. As you plan an activity to share with the children, think about how you can adjust the activity in the moment for children who need more time, more support, or experience with concrete materials to understand the concept. Also consider how you will scaffold the experience to challenge children who are advanced learners.Empower children to document their learning. Digital child portfolios are a wonderful addition to teachers’ classrooms, replacing large, dusty boxes of notes, artwork, writing samples, and photos. Let’s not forget that the power of a child’s portfolio lies in her selection of what she is proud of and her reflection on her learning. Talk to children about how and why you take notes, photos, or videos of their work. Invite children to share what they would like to include in their digital portfolio and periodically ask them to review photos or videos. Ask them what skills they would like to continue to develop. Encourage children and families to capture and share observations of learning at home as well. This helps families notice and celebrate their child’s evolving skills and abilities!Encourage community support. Children are usually very aware of their skills and those of their peers. In my classroom, José was always asked to help draw a complicated animal for other children! Celebrate each child’s expertise and encourage them to support children who could benefit from their help. Share examples of children’s work in virtual sessions to celebrate successes, even at a distance. You could model this openness about asking for help, for example, by inviting the classroom dancer to teach you his signature dance move.Provide a variety of learning materials. At this age, most preschool children benefit from having a collection of concrete objects to manipulate and explore. For example, it’s easier to describe the properties of an orange when you’re holding a real orange, instead of a plastic orange or a cartoon picture of a smiling orange. In your physical classroom, evaluate the materials in each interest area. Are there puzzles for children with different ability levels? Books about topics that interest the children in a variety of reading levels? Are there blocks that are easy for young preschoolers to grasp and stack as well as blocks that are sturdy enough for older preschoolers’ elaborate buildings and machines?For at-home learning, help families identify materials they already have at home that they can use to support these skills. Building with empty food containers or clean recyclables, identifying letters on food packages or junk mail, writing with soap on the tub during a bath, sorting laundry, and helping to wash dishes are all easy (and free!) ways for families to support their child’s learning!

    Source : teachingstrategies.com

    Address a Range of Abilities in Your Classroom

    Get expert advice on how to address the diverse needs of students in your classroom by strategically organizing your lesson plans.

    How to Address a Wide Range of Skills and Abilities in Your Classroom

    By Brian Soika

    When it comes to addressing a wide range of skills and abilities in your classroom, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. As a teacher, you have to tailor your lesson plan to different learning styles, student backgrounds, and a variety of other factors.

    If this sounds like a daunting challenge, Eugenia Mora-Flores, EdD, has some reassuring guidance for you. Mora-Flores is the chair of the Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program at USC Rossier.

    (Prepare to make a difference in the classroom.)

    As a Professor of Clinical Education, former K-12 teacher, author, and consultant to K-12 schools across the country, here is her expert advice on how to educate students of varying skills and abilities in your classroom.

    Use Differentiation 

    Differentiation is the process of making education accessible for all students. It’s a personalized approach to teaching that addresses individual learning needs rather than using one strategy to address everyone.

    Additionally, differentiation is a useful tool for promoting equity in the classroom. It not only accounts for different learning styles, but student backgrounds and experiences as well.

    Use differentiation to accommodate visual, aural, and verbal learners, gifted students, and students with moderate disabilities—all while acknowledging the unique cultural perspectives of historically marginalized students.

    Differentiate at Every Phase of the Lesson Plan

    Differentiated instruction means using “a range of strategies to communicate the same information in a lesson,” says Mora-Flores.

    Lesson plans are typically structured in phases. “In each phase of the lesson, there may be opportunities to accommodate [different] needs. [But we don’t want] teachers to think they need to create 15 different lessons.”

    Here are some common phases with examples of accompanying differentiation strategies:

    The Introductory Phase

    In the introductory phase of a lesson, you may want to use visuals to recap the previous lesson, while asking a higher-level question to engage gifted learners. You can also break students into groups to discuss prior learning.

    The Research/Inquiry Phase

    In the research phase of the lesson, you can offer a variety of resources for students to learn more about a subject. By providing different modalities such as articles, podcasts, videos, models, experimentation opportunities etc., you ensure that everyone is able to connect with the topic.

    The Demonstration Phase

    Use think-alouds (i.e., ask questions and discuss how to understand the content that you’re reading) to demonstrate how to acquire comprehension skills.

    The Practice/Application Phase

    As students work on their own, you can address them individually. Support them by prompting their thinking and guiding them through challenges.

    Explore Other Instructional Strategies

    Differentiation is a broad term that encompasses many different instructional strategies. In order to address a wide range of skills and abilities in your classroom, explore different tactics under the umbrella of differentiation to find out what works for you and your students.

    Creating peer interaction groups for students can be effective. Whether it’s partnerships, small or large groups, each has its own unique benefits. Switching partners or groups within group discussions can also help keep perspectives fresh.

    For students who require support developing their academic language, teachers can use language tools such as sentence frames and key academic vocabulary words, as well as providing opportunities to talk to their neighbors or table mates to rehearse the language.

    “We also have strategies that help students organize their thinking,” Mora-Flores adds. “Graphic organizers [help students] figure out just how to organize the range of information that’s coming in.”

    Consider Intentional Grouping 

    Intentional grouping is when teachers organize students by common interests, backgrounds, or other criteria.

    For example, students who demonstrate an interest in pursuing a topic at an advanced level, or perhaps students with varying academic ability, can work together to tackle a specific question from your lesson plan. Through collaboration, they use their shared interests or attributes to better engage with the material as individuals.

    Take a Holistic View of Students’ Needs

    It’s important to consider a wide variety of factors that affect students’ ability to learn. Mora-Flores adds that teachers should “look beyond formal identifications of students in our classrooms to really think about students as individuals.”

    Here are a few important formal (and less formal) categories of students whose needs you should plan to accommodate:

    English language learners.Students with special needs. (This is a broad term—make sure you identify the particular need and plan accordingly.)Gifted and advanced learners.

    Source : rossier.usc.edu

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