When being an educator, it can be difficult to appeal to an array of different students. Some learn quickly, while others learn at a slower pace. Some are visual learners, while others can learn just by reading a textbook. You want to be able to adequately appeal to all types of comprehension styles and levels in order to have a successful learning environment. So how do you balance all of this as a teacher? Here are some suggestions:
Allow students to report feedback on how they feel they are doing on a subject
Allowing students to provide feedback on how they feel about a subject provides you with the data you need in order to analyze who needs extra support and who doesn’t. For example, provide students with a sheet that allows them to select a ranking of their level of comprehension from low understanding, moderate understanding, and mastery. A great way to ensure that students are actually learning the material as opposed to lying on their feedback sheet to avoid embarrassment, make a short assessment at the end of class for all students to complete individually. This will confirm to you as the teacher that all students are responding honestly and this provides you with the data you need to assess who to dedicate time to help.
Make visual examples for students
Not all students can learn from a PowerPoint slide or from reading alone, so it is important to utilize in-depth visual examples of concepts you are teaching. Many students learn at a much greater rate when they can physically see how to do a science experiment or they can match a name to face for example. If you are not currently utilizing visual examples in your classroom, you may see a greater level of subject retention if you decide to do so.
Refer sources to students
You only have so much time on your plate to dedicate to students, so feel free to refer them to outside sources for information. A simple Youtube video explaining the Pythagorean theorem or a website that gives a summary of a scientific concept are only a couple of examples of resources that a teacher can provide to students. No matter the subject, there is an array of information out there that can be extremely useful to students.
Encourage open dialogue and group work
Two heads are always better than one, so encourage open discussions about topics as well as group work. Open discussions and group work will provide students with a sense of teamwork and collaboration, and if a student is struggling with a concept but is too shy to disclose this to the teacher (something that happens extremely often with levels of anxiety on the rise) a fellow student or student(s) can help to provide clarity through group work. Oftentimes group work helps students to excel as opposed to individual work where they may feel lost. As the saying goes; teamwork makes the dream work.
It’s important to give incentive for greater involvement in class. Oftentimes, students will not come to lunch study sessions for example because they simply don’t feel like it (even though they may be struggling in the class). By giving extra credit to students who partake in a lunch study group, this will incentivize a greater level of learning and will likely result in higher grades across the board
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