Differentiation involves getting to know your students and making decisions, often in the moment, about what supports they might need. It focuses on connecting student interest to meaningful learning goals and tasks.
Unlike accommodation, adaptation is a goal-driven process that alters instructional methods and intended learning content by making slight changes in conceptual difficulty.
Teachers who choose to modify their curriculum have the potential to alter a wide range of educational components. Some modifications alter content knowledge and intended goals, some provide access by reducing distractions or presenting lessons at a slower pace, and others modify instructional methods by changing input or response modes (Reisberg, 1990).
Other modifications, such as curriculum compacting or streamlining the content of a lesson, reduce learning objectives while maintaining the overall integrity of the original educational content. Teachers who choose to make these curricular changes may require extensive preparation or additional training in order to effectively implement their modified curriculums. Regardless of the extent of modification, these strategies can have significant impacts on students’ academic achievement. Teachers should carefully select assessment components that can achieve accountability for student performance.
Lesson plans are a critical component of effective instruction. They help teachers and administrators remain on top of classroom objectives, plan ahead for activities, and ensure each student receives the lesson content that they need to succeed.
A lesson plan can have an introductory section that outlines teaching goals and learning objectives for class. It can also include a procedural section that includes the different methods used to teach the subject (e.g., a presentation, group discussions, guided activities etc.) and a closure section that summarizes the lesson and creates connections to future lessons.
Brightwheel offers a library of customizable lesson plan templates that cover many subjects, grade levels and course types. These can be viewed in the Room plans tab on your account on the web and are easily editable with our new visual editor.
Many educators are familiar with the concept of differentiated instruction, an instructional approach that emphasizes leveraging students' strengths and interests to deliver a more effective education than a one-size-fits-all approach. However, implementing the process is challenging and requires substantial teacher preparation time.
Differentiated instruction can vary the content of a lesson, how the material is presented and even what type of product students produce at the end of the course to demonstrate mastery of the material. This includes tests, projects and presentations, such as writing a report or giving an oral presentation.
This type of differentiation directly supports UDL, which calls for flexible opportunities to demonstrate skill and understanding. A teacher reads a story on slavery to the class and allows them to write or draw their responses.
Adding visuals to the lesson plan can help students of all ages better grasp concepts and remember them. However, designing visuals can be a challenge for some students, especially when it comes to creating charts and graphs.
When designing visuals, it’s important to consider the typical learning traits of your students. For example, if students tend to focus on the shape of an object, then you may want to add more visual cues to help them identify the information at hand.
Curriculum adaptation is a great way to ensure that all students have access to quality education. However, it’s important to keep in mind that the design of an adapted curriculum should be based on the student’s individual needs and IEP. This will allow the teacher to provide more meaningful learning experiences for their students.
Educators use tactile materials to teach children and those who are blind about their world. Tactile maps, graphs and tangible symbols for abstract concepts allow students to develop a deeper understanding of subject matter and bolster haptic skills such as spatial orientation and systematic searching.
Many of these tactual graphics require the addition of tactile keys to help students decipher information. Educators must also ensure that the graphic is designed to fit within a student’s learning style. For example, an educator may use a tactile map that folds or a key system to convey information a student needs in order to complete a math lesson.
Technology advances are making it easier to produce tactile graphics. For instance, APH offers the Tactile Graphics Drawing Kit that allows teachers, transcribers and mobility instructors to create instant raised line graphics.