| By Gale Staff |
In today’s educational landscape, each student brings unique strengths, weaknesses, and learning styles to the classroom. A one-size-fits-all approach to instruction doesn’t set every student up for success. By addressing the individual needs of each student, personalized instruction can foster engagement, drive motivation, and lead to student achievement.
Of course, when you’re teaching 20+ students or planning a curriculum for an entire district, personalized learning presents more challenges. How can you overcome day-to-day hurdles to engage students in more personalized experiences? Start with leveraging the power of technology and giving students more control over their own learning journeys.
Here are nine strategies to personalize instruction at any school, even with a large number of students.
1. Develop Individual Learning Plans
Personalized learning starts with understanding your students’ current skills and learning styles. Take the time to identify these for each of your students and then develop personalized learning plans that outline specific goals and strategies for each student.
Do your students like listening to lectures, or do they rely on visual aids to understand key concepts? Mapping out the way your students learn best will help you match them to activities that generate learning outcomes.
2. Use Adaptive Learning Platforms
Meet students where they are by using adaptive learning platforms to support instruction. You can leverage the power of technology to connect students to content tailored to their reading level or learning preference. Find learning resources that also use adaptive assessments to monitor individual student progress.
3. Offer Differentiated Assignments
Instead of giving every student the same assignment or project, let students choose their assignment based on their interests. Offer a variety of assignments that accomplish the same learning objectives to cater to learning preferences and drive stronger student engagement. For example, instead of assigning a book report to every student, give multiple options to write a report, make a video, create art, or give a presentation.
4. Encourage Collaboration in Groups
Organize students into small groups based on their learning needs. This allows you to give more targeted instruction based on learning styles and encourage collaboration among students.
Peer-to-peer interactions and cooperative learning experiences can help foster a sense of community in your classroom and enhance learning outcomes as students work together.
5. Create Learning Stations
You can make your classroom more inclusive for all learning styles by creating stations or centers with activities that support your learning objectives. Have students rotate through these different activities, then ask students to reflect on which activities they enjoyed most to get more insight into their preferred learning styles.
6. Offer Students More Choices
Giving students the choice to direct their own learning experiences increases their engagement. Identify and provide opportunities for students to select topics, projects, or assignments that align with their interests and abilities. This can be as simple as letting students choose a novel to study in English Language Arts to researching and conducting their own experiments for a science fair.
7. Scaffold Learning
Offer support and guidance through step-by-step instructions, graphic organizers, and other resources to aid students in their learning journey. As students grasp key concepts and can demonstrate learning without assistance, decrease the amount of support you give them for new assignments.
Scaffolding gives students the tools they need to guide their own learning journeys and then challenges them after they’ve made more progress.
8. Mix Up Your Assessments
Make sure your assessments vary to test student comprehension and consider their strengths. Employing a mix of formative and summative assessments can help you evaluate student progress from multiple angles.
9. Monitor Progress Regularly
As students learn new concepts and skills, continuous progress monitoring is essential to adjust your approach to personalized learning. Assess student progress regularly to identify areas of improvement and differentiate instruction accordingly.
Looking for one resource that can help every educator in your district personalize learning effectively?
Provide standards-aligned, multimedia content by reading and grade level and built-in assessments with Gale In Context: For Educators. Find pre-made lesson plans and activity ideas to differentiate learning for students across disciplines. Plus, deliver collaboration tools that allow teachers, departments, and schools to share materials and deliver consistent educational experiences for all students.
Want a closer look at how you can easily personalize learning with For Educators? Schedule a demo with your rep.