Effective teachers balance the demand of their curriculum with the needs of their students by using a variety of instructional strategies. Strategies that address learning styles, such as auditory, visual, and kinesthetic aid students, especially those who need differentiation, to make connections, discover abstract concepts through visuals, or work in classrooms where cooperative learning and movement allow higher levels of comprehension to occur (Ramsay, 2005). As teachers prepare lessons that address individual needs, they must continually build “rich repertories of . . . examples” to incorporate into their daily instruction (Brown, 2007).
Another method for balancing this demand is knowing your students. To gain an understanding of how a student thinks, learns, or behaves, teachers need to educate themselves about the academic needs of whom they are teaching. Discovering their learning style can help teachers better understand students’ weaknesses and make adjustments or modifications to curriculum that allows for greater success (Brown, 2007). Scripture reminds us in Philippians 2:4, “Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too” (New Living Translation, 1996/2015).
There is a vast number of tools teachers have access to help them build their curriculum while addressing students’ needs: tools as basic as calculators and reference charts, to tablets, mobile devices, and laptops. The latter opens up the world of apps, software and educational websites.
As a math educator, I continually seek to discover new ways to incorporate technology in my instruction. My classes are fortunate enough to have access to Chromebooks every day. I utilize Google Classroom as our learning management system where I am able to assign interactive digital lessons and post discussion questions. Our district also uses a website to assign online assessments, thus allowing my students individual modifications such as text to speech, enlarged text, color overlays and online calculators and reference charts. Other technologies you might see in my classroom throughout the year consist of graphing calculators, stations with QR codes for use with mobile devices, and access to tutorial videos via youtube. I also use interactive assignments online that allow students to manipulate items for self-discovery of abstract concepts. As one type of technology will never meet the needs of every student, my prayer is that through this variety, each and every student is able to find success as we progress through the year.
Brown, M. R. (2007). Educating All Students: Creating Culturally Responsive Teachers,
Classrooms, and Schools. Intervention in School and Clinic, 43(1), 57–62.
New Living Translation. (2015). New Living Translation. (Original work published 1996)
Ramsay, N. J. (2005). Teaching Effectively in Racially and Culturally Diverse Classrooms.
Teaching Theology & Religion, 8(1), 18–23.