A learning setup that works for one student may not necessarily work for another. It’s important to create a learning environment that adapts to every kind of individual learning style, strength, and weakness. This ensures that your students make the most of their time in the classroom and get an optimal education. Here’s what you can do to calibrate your classroom to suit student needs:
A student’s learning environment can have a significant influence on their learning experience. It’s important to make sure that their surroundings have minimal distractions, especially for those with attention and sensory issues. The following are some things you can do to optimize your classroom.
- Provide different kinds of classroom chairs that attend to their specific physical needs. For example, if they’re left-handed or right-handed or if they need more space.
- Set-up quiet spaces for those who are particularly sensitive to sound and stimuli. Allow them to stay there and work as needed.
- Make students with attention and sensory difficulties sit closer to the board so they can focus their attention on the lesson more efficiently.
- Employ the use of clearly visible graphics and presentations. Utilize powerpoints, graphs, drawings, and more.
- Arrange for opportunities to work in pairs or groups of three and more. Allow students to choose whether they’d like to work independently, with a peer, or with a group.
- Permit students to use different ways to take notes such as audio recording, drawing, slot-note format, or guided notes.
There’s no one way of teaching that suits every student. While it’s impossible to address every single need out there, the least you can do is try to switch up your teaching methods to adapt to more students rather than just one kind of student. Here are some ways you can be more inclusive when it comes to your teaching style.
- Use concrete and tangible materials to symbolize different concepts. You can also present information in more graphical or interactive ways such as pictures, videos, audio, or maps.
- Don’t forget to ask if your students understand the lessons. Frequent check-ins make sure that everyone is engaged and up-to-speed with the material.
- Offer specialized reading material that’s based on the student’s corresponding reading level or subjects that interest them.
- Disseminate instructions through different means besides verbal instructions. You can present them by way of pictures, video, or written material.
- Modify homework and allow students to exercise their creativity. Rather than just essays or presentations, you can have them demonstrate their understanding of the material through different means like a comic, a skit, or a short film.
- Put your notes and presentations up for download. Some students may not be able to take notes while listening, so making it available for them after class allows them to focus on the discussion first.
- Designate peer helpers to assist other students who need help finishing a task or understanding the lesson. Ask them to provide regular positive feedback.
Every student deserves a quality education, an excellent learning environment, and teaching methods that are conducive to learning. While you may not be able to fully address every single one of your student’s needs, it’s still worth it to at least make your classroom more inclusive and adaptive.