Personalized Instruction for Special Needs Students

All schools have their own methods in which they convey information to their students. Here at Acacia Academy, we use what is termed differentiated instruction.

"Not all students are alike. Based on this knowledge, differentiated instruction applies an approach to teaching and learning that gives students multiple options for taking in information and making sense of ideas. Differentiated instruction is a teaching theory based on the premise that instructional approaches should vary and be adapted in relation to individual (needs) and diverse (learning styles of) students in classrooms” (Tomlinson, 2001)

Acacia teachers are flexible in their approach to teaching and will personalize/individualize the curriculum to adhere to the student learning needs, as opposed to the student modifying themselves for the curriculum.

Differentiated Instruction (DI) is a systematic approach to planning curriculum and instruction for an academically diverse learner through responsive teaching.  Responsive teaching is focusing on who we teach, what we teach, where we teach, and how we are teaching.  Teachers consider student characteristics of readiness, interests and learning styles while planning curriculum.

What does a DI classroom look like?

  • Strong link between assessment and instruction
  • Learning goals clear
  • Student groups, time, space and materials are all flexible
  • Students share in classroom responsibility
  • Emphasis on individual growth-daily reflection on learning
  • Work assigned looks inviting and important…”respectful”
  • Tasks should cause learners to stretch but always reachable
  • Expectations high

 

Take a look at differentiated instruction in action…

 

 

 

Common Core State Standards 

The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) are a set of learning skills that all American students should achieve in order to be prepared for the 21st century. They are benchmarks and guidelines for what each student should learn.  Currently, the CCSS have been adopted by 45 states who are working to fully implement them by the 2013-14 school year.  The standards have been developed in reading/language arts and math.  The standards add rigor to the curriculum by focusing on higher level thinking skills such as comprehension, applying, analyzing, evaluating and creating.  These skills are practiced in day to day activities and in teacher assessments, taking learning to a higher level. 

Regarding reading and comprehension, students will be reading at a more complex level.  Students will read literature and informational texts finding evidence to support answers to questions.  Students will be taking learned math skills and applying them to everyday situations.  For example, applying geometric formulas to determine the number of cans of paint needed to cover the walls.  To improve writing skills, students will continue to plan, revise, edit, and publish with specific writing types (arguments, informative/explanatory texts and narrative) with the importance on the reading-writing connection.

For more information:  http://www.isbe.net/common_core/pdf/guide/parent_guide_info.pdf 

                                         http://commoncoreil.org/resources-for-families/









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