Diverse Teaching Strategies

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Misunderstood Minds

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


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


“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.