By Kelsey Brown
Learning for every child is unique. Whether it be a child’s preferred learning style (visual, kinesthetic, audial), interests, strength and growth areas, or current level performance, every learner has different needs.
As a teacher, it is my job to personalize students’ learning so that I am meeting all of their needs so they can learn and grow.
In my fourth-grade classroom, meeting the needs of my diverse learners looks like many different things.
- For reading, it is students reading individualized text that aligns with their interests and reading level.
- For math, it is students working on a similar problem, but at their level (adding decimals vs. adding large numbers vs. adding two-digit numbers).
- In spelling, each student has their own list, working on the words they need to practice and apply to their own writing.
In addition to varying the level of academic task students do, I also try and provide a lot of choice.
When students have choice, they naturally differentiate the task and make it meaningful for themselves at a level that is just right for them.
When we write poetry, some students write a multi-stanza poem with a rhyming scheme while others write an acrostic poem. Both are great examples of poetry and help each student grow as a writer.
I also try to leave assignments open-ended so students can take them as far as they would like.
For example, when we are creating a slideshow vocabulary presentation, some students will simply define the word while other students will choose to define the word, find a picture, and use the word in a sentence.
I am on board with it all if the student is meeting my objective, learning, and hopefully having some fun and ownership along the way.