Educators today are responsible for teaching all types of learners. In order to accomplish this feat, various forms of instruction have been introduced and implemented to meet the needs of all students. One form is known as differentiated instruction, in which content, process, and product of instruction are adjusted to help support diverse learners (O’Donnell, Reeve, & Smith, 2012). Middle school teacher Dawn Welsh’s ability to identify her students’ abilities, plan for instruction, and successfully support the learning needs of each of her students makes her an effective educator.
Mrs. Welsh has approximately 65 – 75 students in her Language Arts and Reading classes. There are three groups or classes that she instructs throughout the day. Each of these groups attends both the Language Arts and Reading class for two consecutive periods. Collectively from the groups there are six students from impoverished families, ten students whose culture is distinct from the dominant culture in the school, six students who are English Language Learners, and four students that are two grade levels behind. In any case, overall, it is estimated that 75% of them perform at or above grade level in their abilities.
Additional types of learners incorporated include two gifted and talented as well as two lower incidence disabilities. Lower incidence disabilities refer to individuals that may have hearing or visually impairments, low functioning autism, as well as moderately, severely or profound cognitive impairments. Also, there are no students considered to have higher incidence disabilities in the class. Higher incidence disabilities pertain to individuals that may have hearing or visually impairments, ...
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... order to help students that relate to hardship or impoverished cases, extra materials such as pencils and paper is made available to all students. By allowing access to pencils and paper to all students disruptions are reduced and embarrassment is avoided. This small gesture is the least that can be done in the class to help every student feel accepted and prepared to learn.
Undoubtedly, Mrs. Welsh has demonstrated that it is beneficial to learn who the students are in the class as individuals, learners, and their background. Taking these elements into consideration enables her to promote a learning environment that is conducive to all students. Additionally, despite the wide-ranging levels of learners she has been able to adjust instruction, projects, assignments, and activities so that the students are able to adequately perform and meet the intended objectives.
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