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100 Teacher Tips 78-79 | Differentiate to Student Needs | Build a Classroom Community

    Tip 78: Differentiate to Student Needs

    When practically possible, teachers should try to differentiate content, processes and learning environment to suit their learners. Every student is different and they have different learning needs. As teachers, we have to find out what the strengths of our class are and how we can best teach our students.

    Some students are also on different levels, so you want to differentiate your content for all the students to understand. Your processes should accommodate all skill levels. Differentiate the projects, the homework, or the assignments that your students do, so that it fits what they’re interested in, or what their levels are.

    To differentiate the learning environment; you can have different stations for different students. You can have different materials that delve into the same topic. When possible, give students the option of choosing the activity they would like to do. By doing this, your students will appreciate you and you will teach all different levels of students.

    We have to remember that all our students are unique and we should try to cater to their needs. By differentiating teaching, we will help them become better students and we will become better teachers by trying out these various ideas.

    Tip 79: Build a Classroom Community

    Focus on building a classroom community. Students need to socialize. Part of being in a classroom is for students to talk to each other. That’s why it’s so much fun to have group activities.

    The students should also learn and remember to have respect for each other and for you. We are not only raising our students to be good at a certain subject, but we are also raising them to be adults in society.

    So, they should practice working together with others and making friends. As the teacher, you should also help them solve problems or issues in small groups. By teaching our students how to respect each other and how to communicate effectively in groups, we are preparing them to be responsible adults.

    That is why we expect our students to do presentations for them to practice in front of groups. We use group work to teach them to work together. We also put them with partners they can talk to each other and learn how to communicate effectively.

    Many teachers think they should allow the students to pick their own groups or partners, but I like to pick them randomly because I believe if they only pick their friends, they don’t get that opportunity to build a relationship with someone else. In life, we do not choose who we work with all the time; we have to work with strangers. So, that is why when I pick students for projects, or when they pick partners, I do it randomly, so that is a chance for them to practice social skills.

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