Diverse Teaching Strategies

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Misunderstood Minds

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Image provided by Yamaha Music School Minneapolis, MN. http://www.cyms.ws/

 

This week’s blog is centered on the following website from PBS.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/misunderstoodminds/intro.html

“This site is a companion to the PBS special Misunderstood Minds, and profiles a variety of learning problems and expert opinions. It is designed to give parents and teachers a better understanding of learning processes, insights into difficulties, and strategies for responding.”- Taken from http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/misunderstoodminds/intro.html

There are so many strategies here that parents and teachers can use to help their students become successful in reading, mathematics, and writing. It outlines many different learning disabilities and how different strategies can help these students become successful at these subjects.

The strategies that I like the most and ones that I have used successfully in my own classroom include ones to help students with attention issues, struggling readers and writers, and struggling math issues. As a music teacher, I get to see all students with different abilities and learning issues. Due to to this grouping of students into my classroom I have had to adapt my teaching to accommodate all different abilities at the same time. How do you teach to students that have different needs in their learning? Here are some strategies that have worked for me!

  • I plan activities to accommodate the student that needs the most time in the classroom. Students that finish before the deadline are given extended activities and asked to help mentor students that are struggling.
  • I teach in 15 minutes intervals. This is to keep my students attention and help them be excited about what is going to happen next.
  • I put objectives on the board of what we are planning to do for the class. This helps students focus on a goal and be able to count down until the end of class for those that do not enjoy music
  • I plan many different activities where students need to get up and move either to use instruments or work in groups.
  • I use as much technology as I can and encourage students to learn and use it as well. In today’s world, our students are digital natives and get excited about using computers, keyboards, Smartboards, etc.
  • For struggling readers, I pair them up with a good reader and use peer tutoring to help give them a sense of accomplishment. I also use the Smartboard to display audio and picture readings to help readers connect text with meaning.
  • I put myself out to my students as a mentor or coach. I encourage them to share their favorite music and activities with the class and myself. I helps me remember more about them and what they like. This helps me plan lessons around their interests and get to know them better.
  • I use audio, visual, kinesthetic, reading, math, puzzles, and games in my teaching to reach all students abilities. I also give students the ability to choose their assessments based on their preferred method of learning. More choice gives students more accountability and responsibility for their own learning. This helps with their confidence and encourages them to persevere through their abilities.
These are just a few of the strategies I use to help all learners in my classroom. Please visit the website above to find more strategies that you can use in your classroom or at home with your student.
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Teaching Strategies for Every Learner

This blog is dedicated to a graduate course at Nazareth College. It will focus on teaching strategies for diverse learners. This week’s response is will refer to the following readings:

http://www.ascd.org/publications/books/107003/chapters/Diverse-Teaching-Strategies-for-Diverse-Learners.aspx

Using Flexible Technology

It is important to have many different strategies to help students of any aptitude learn and grow. The first article or excerpt focuses on strategies for ESOL (English as a Second Language) students. After discussing the achievement gap and other economic reasons why students fall behind, the author focuses on these strategies for teachers to help all students succeed in the classroom.

The great thing about these strategies is that they will work for all diverse learners, not just ESOL students. There are 25 different strategies that Marietta Saravia-Shore outlines and gives classroom examples on how to implement them into the classroom. What struck me about this article is that these strategies should already be a part of a teacher’s classroom, not just implemented for ESOL learners. These strategies will help engage all learners regardless of their economic, ethnic, or language difficulties.

The second article focuses more on what technology a teacher can use to help diverse learners in the classroom. It has great information about talking text software, useful electronic resources, graphic organizers, and word processors. There is also information about professional development for teachers that want to use more technology or need more training to implement these technology ideas.

Each of the articles gives teachers a starting point as to creating different strategies and finding tools to help the students in their classroom succeed. These articles would be best read by teachers already in the classroom that may have missed some of this information in their college training. Most teachers coming out of college today in 2013, may already know or have some of these tools ready to use in their classrooms. The digital age is now 17 years in the making since the inception of the Internet. Many of the ideas and resources talked about in these readings may already be old news to today’s newest teacher graduates.

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