Diversity within the classroom should not be merely tolerated, it should be celebrated! I believe that every student has something invaluable to contribute, and recognize it as my responsibility to ensure that classroom practices support this belief. I continue to reflect on my provision of multicultural education through the selection of my resources for instruction, connecting the curriculum with current world issues and the diverse experiences and ethnic backgrounds of my students.
I acknowledge that everyone learns differently, and endeavour to apply my understanding of multiple intelligences and diverse learning needs in planning and instruction. In planning for differentiated instruction, I consider the environment, content, learning tasks and assessments in relation with the students’ readiness, interests, and learning styles. Knowing that no two students are alike in their ability to learn at the same pace, solve problems in the same way, or share similar interests and skills, I attempt to adjust to adjust my pacing, when appropriate, and build in additional time for students to practice their understanding. I provide visual and auditory cues, and build in movement throughout the day, varying materials and groupings to better facilitate individual learning needs. I believe providing purposeful opportunities for student choice is critical in teaching to the students’ way of learning! Various strategies that I have observed and used effectively include:
• Students’ use of green, yellow, and red markers to indicate their understanding of the task
• Use of multiple intelligence surveys and student interest inventories to better identify and meet individual needs
• Arrange desks and tables that are conducive to group work and student-teacher conferencing
• Plan learning tasks and assignments according to students’ needs, knowledge base, and interests. Be flexible!
• Set goals and reflect on the implementation of differentiated instruction, seeking the knowledge of teaching partners, faculty meetings, and from professional learning sessions
• Create a classroom profile that effectively organizes assessment data for various subject areas
• Make use of student IEPs and implement strategically and effectively
• Incorporate high yield instructional techniques, embedding practices of scaffolding, and through the provision of immediate and quality feedback, as well as student reflection