Thursday, February 4, 2010

Lesson planning and Differentiation

There are a lot of accommodations that a teacher must take into consideration when lesson planning. My mentor teacher has a diverse group of eighth graders, many having Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) and Student Assistant Plans (SATs). Although these accommodations can seem overwhelming, my mentor teacher meets the needs of these students.

I have had experience tutoring many of her students with exceptionalities. One student in particular, is at the fourth-grade level. He needs assistance from his table partner and is given modified tests. Recently, I had the privilege of giving him an oral exam, while my mentor teacher monitored the other students taking the exam. He needed a lot of assistance with understanding what was being asked of him in each fill-in-the-blank question, but once he knew what the question was asking him, he knew most of the answers to these questions. He is a hard worker and pays attention in class, but he definitely needs to be given exams in this manner in order for him to successfully and correctly complete his exams.

After spending this past and current semester at Suncrest Middle, I have seen why it is necessary to plan for and make accommodations for students and how those accommodations are made possible with the collaboration of other teachers and pre-service teachers. Because it is plausible to believe that others are not always available to help, the teacher must, at times, attempt to meet the needs of these diverse students on her own. So I pose this question:
Is it possible for a teacher, without the collaboration of others, to meet the needs of diverse learners?